Indiana holds on to beat Penn State 75-67

IUWBB Head Coach Teri Moren during their game against Penn State on 01/10/24 (photo by Jeremy Hogan)

#14 Indiana (13-1 / 4-0) hosted Penn State (10-4 / 1-2) on Wednesday evening at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in front of a crowd of 8,516.

Penn State came off a 95-55 win over Northwestern at home last week in which four Lions scored in double figures behind 17 points from Ali Brigham.

The Lady Lions started strong, forcing an early turnover and jumping ahead 2-0. They continued to play aggressive basketball with an impressive full court press and tight man-to-man defense. Even without their star Senior Guard Makenna Marissa, averaging over 17 points per game, starting the game. She has been rehabilitating a leg injury for several weeks and didn’t make it into play until about midway through the first quarter.

Penn State plays very scrappy, sticking like glue to their opponents and slapping at the ball at every possible chance. They did cause 7 first half turnovers against the Hoosiers, but with this, however, comes a significant number of personal fouls. 

Just 8 and a half minutes into the game, Marissa picked up a second foul, which sent her to the bench for a while.

But even without Marissa, Indiana struggled offensively, largely shaken by the unorthodox defensive looks that the Lady Lions provided. Where in Indiana currently owns the nation’s best shooting percentage at 52.1% per game, they only sank 39% of their first half shots.

Mackenzie Holmes scores against Penn State on 01/10/24 (photo by Jeremy Hogan)

Penn State is small, but very quick, providing exceptional; close-outs and effective double and triple-teaming.

At halftime, Indiana was behind by 5 points, 39-34. They would head to the lockers in hopes to find an answer to their high turnovers and inability to get All-American Forward Mackenzie Holmes open, inside the paint.

In the 3rd quarter the Hoosiers would find themselves down by 9 at one point, but struggled back into the thick of it, reclaiming the lead 47-46 after 9 quarter points by Senior Guard Sydney Parrish, who single-handedly. She picked up a 3rd foul late in the quarter, but the Hoosiers were able to will themselves to a 55-51 lead to finish up the quarter, gaining some much-needed momentum.

That momentum would carry, as Indiana found their way to a ten-point advantage with 5 minutes remaining to play.

Hoosier Nation was alive!

Indiana would seal the deal, pulling off a 75-67 point win.

IU was led on offense by Holmes, scoring 21 and pulling down 11 rebounds; Parrish putting up 20; Chloe Moore-McNeil adding 16 points and 4 assists; and, Sara Scalia scored 11. Collectively, the Hoosiers finished with 42% from the field, 29% from beyond the arc, 78% from the free-throw line, and with 34 rebounds.

 Up next, Indiana will travel to Iowa City to take on #3 Iowa in a prime-time match-up of these two Big Ten leaders.

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