No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball returned to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday, taking on Michigan State. Although the Hoosiers led for just 6:35, they pulled out a close 3-point victory.
The Spartans won the tipoff and took the lead 20 seconds into the contest with graduate student guard Julia Ayrault’s layup. After committing 23 turnovers against Ohio State on Feb. 4 — largely because of the Buckeyes’ full-court press — Michigan State deployed its press.
Both squads got out and ran in the opening quarter, but the Spartans led 32-27 after 10 minutes. The foes combined to go 24-of-34 from the field in the opening quarter with Michigan State’s 32 points being the most in a quarter against Indiana this season.
The Spartans went 3-of-5 from distance in the second quarter, headlined by Ayrault’s pair of makes from beyond the arc — the latter being three seconds before halftime.
Although the Hoosiers shot 7-of-12 from the field in the second frame, they trailed by 10 points at the break. Fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia led the cream and crimson in the first half with 12 points — all coming from 3-point range.
The Spartans stretched their lead to 11 midway through the third quarter. That was until the Hoosiers responded with a 13-2 run over nearly four minutes to pull even, capped off with back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore guards Henna Sandvik and Yarden Garzon. However, Michigan State junior guard DeeDee Hagemann drove inside for a layup with two seconds left in the frame, giving Michigan State a 2-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
After pulling to within one possession three times in the early stages of the final frame, Scalia drained a 3-pointer with just over six minutes remaining to take a 1-point lead.
The squads traded baskets until Michigan State knotted it up at 84 with just over two minutes remaining. While the Hoosiers responded to take a 2-point lead, the Spartans did too. Tied at 86 with 1:12 remaining, Holmes made a layup on an assist from Moore-McNeil to take a 2-point lead.
Garzon drained a mid-range jumper with 20 seconds left to take a 4-point lead. Michigan State’s Hagemann responded though, making a layup with 15 seconds left to pull within 2. Scalia drained a pair of free throws with 11.6 seconds left while Moore-McNeil did the same just 5.1 seconds later to secure a 94-91 win for the Hoosiers.
With 28 points against the Spartans, Holmes needs just 17 points Sunday to break Tyra Buss’ all-time program scoring record of 2,364 points.
Moore-McNeil notched just the fourth triple-double in program history, scoring 10 points, corralling 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists.
Indiana (19-3, 10-2 Big Ten) will be back in action at 2 p.m. Sunday against Purdue (10-12, 3-8 Big Ten) inside Assembly Hall, looking to go 2-0 against the Boilermakers this season leaving Mackey Arena on Jan. 21 with a 74-68 victory. The matchup will be available to stream on Big Ten+ with a subscription.