IU women go undefeated at home; ranked 12th nationally as Holmes suffers injury


BLOOMINGTON— The beginning and the end belonged to redshirt senior Arielle Wisne, the result belonged to all Indiana University women’s basketball players, and the aftermath belonged to coach Teri Moren’s medicine cabinet.

Wisne, a 6-foot-5 center who rarely plays, would have earned a standing ovation in Assembly Hall if the fans weren’t already standing when she sang the National Anthem in uniform to start Senior Day.

Then, in her one minute of action in IU’s 71-54 victory over Maryland Sunday, got the crowd roaring again with an emphatic blocked shot.


“She crushed it,” Moren said of Wisne’s singing and said her teammates didn’t even know she was going to fill that role.

Wisne was one of three players honored, along with All-American Mackenzie Holmes and guard Sara Scalia as departing seniors, while the 24-4 Hoosiers completed the regular season by going 15-0 at home, and started preparations for the Big Ten Conference tournament and NCAA play.

Monday, the Hoosiers moved from 14th to 12th nationally in the Associated Press poll.

Moren said saying goodbye to departing players is always “bittersweet,” but as time ran out that description was more apt than usual.

By then, Holmes (11 points, 6 rebounds), the program’s all-time leading scorer, had limped off to the locker room for medical attention on an injured knee. And shortly after, second-string center Lilly Meister, limped off with an injured ankle.

By tying for second place in the standings with Iowa and behind Ohio State, the Hoosiers earned a double-bye in the Big Ten post-season event in Minneapolis and don’t play until Friday.

Moren must prepare her otherwise hot team for the without knowing for sure whether her bigs will be available, or how healthy.

It is likely Moren will need to ingest Ibuprofen the way some people shovel down on M&Ms. And how IU fares will influence whether or not Assembly Hall hosts NCAA games.

This is a seasoned and accomplished team, and otherwise operating at full speed with the return of Sydney Parrish from injury.

Before the season, Moren said this bunch was capable of winning a national championship. To even threaten to do so it is necessary to be healthy.

The 12,402 fans who attended, making the IU women the fourth Big Ten team to average more than 10,000 per home game, demonstrated loud appreciation from the start.

The Hoosiers methodically worked around the Terrapins’ (17-12) full-court press, shredded the Maryland defense with three-pointers and twice put together 16-2 runs to take command.

Scalia, who played two seasons for Indiana after transferring from Minnesota, scored a game-high 19 points, making four 3-pointers and adding to her single-season school-record of 91 for threes.

Scalia, who dedicated her season to a late grandfather, said with the post-season here, the Hoosiers are “really motivated.”

It was a guard-dominated box score for the Hoosiers, with sophomore Yarden Garzon adding 17 points (also hitting four 3-pointers) and Parrish and Chloe Moore-McNeil (8 assists) each scoring 10 points.

The day before the game, Moore-McNeil announced she plans to use a fifth-year of eligibility next season awarded from the COVID-19 pandemic afflicted season.

Maryland put three players in double figures, just enough to periodically cut the IU lead from around 20 to a dozen or so. The Terrapins shot horribly though, hitting just 28.4 percent from the field.

Looking forward to Minneapolis, IU was in a hurry to file this contest away. The event sold out 109,000 tickets across seven sessions, partially because of the Caitlin Clark Effect.

Already women’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer, Clark on Sunday surpassed Pete Maravich to become the men’s and women’s leading college scorer.

IU and Iowa split two games this year, but just as Indiana has had a late-minute injury scare, Iowa starting guard Molly Davis got hurt Sunday and appeared in her senior-day festivities while sitting in a wheelchair. Holmes was upright, though iffy.

“It’s scary when Mackenzie goes down, for sure,” Scalia said.

Holmes rose up for a lay-up with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter and landed funny, instantly hopping on one foot.

She left the game and the court, though afterwards traveled through the handshake line without limping, and watched the videoboard tribute to seniors.

Meister crashed to the court and was helped off, also disappearing into the locker room. For a time, Garzon, who is versatile enough to play point guard and tall enough at 6-foot-3 to work in the middle, played the low post. Garzon said she has spent two seasons working closely with Holmes and learning from her.

Maryland had aborted runs, but Moore-McNeil broke the press, set up the offense, and kept going to the foul line.

“I loved how Chloe just sort of took over in the moment and tried to get to the rim and tried to get to the free throw line,” Moren said. “I thought she was a big reason why we were able to keep the lead, maintain the lead.”

The coming days will determine if the Hoosiers host early-round NCAA games, though last year they were stunned at home by Miami, a driving memory now.

“We all remember how we felt after last year,” Garzon said.

Assembly Hall was turned into gloom central.

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