Indiana takes unbeaten South Carolina to the wire falling by Four Points

Indiana takes unbeaten South Carolina to the wire falling by Four Points
By Nick Jenkinson\Excel H Sports
     The #4 Indiana Hoosiers were down by 22 points to the top seed South Carolina Gamecocks as they fought all the way back as unbeaten South Carolina held off Indiana 79-75 Friday evening at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Albany Regional 1 Semifinal. South Carolina is 35-0 and will move on to face Oregon State on Sunday at 1 PM in the Regional Final. Indiana ends the season at 26-6 but they end their season knowing they never gave up and took the number 1 team in the nation to the wire that very few teams have done all season.
    All five Indiana starters scored in double figures led by Sydney Parrish with 21 points, Yarden Garzon added 16, Mackenize Holmes, Sara Scalia and Chloe Moore-McNeil each scored 12 points. Juliana LaMendola scored the only two points off the bench as Lilly Meister, Lexus Bargesser and Arielle Wisne all played but did not score. The Hoosiers were 28-61 from the field for 49%, 13-33 from three-point range for 39% and 6-9 from the free throw line for 66%. Indiana pulled down 30 rebounds, dished out 17 assists, 8 steals, 3 blocks and committed 14 turnovers.
    Indiana was down 49-32 at halftime after the Gamecocks outscored the Hoosiers 26-15 in the first quarter and 23-17 in the second quarter. Indiana outscored South Carolina 43-30 in the second half. The Hoosiers outscored South Carolina 23-16 in the third quarter and trailed 65-55 going into the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers would keep chipping away at the Gamecocks lead trailing 74-72 after Mackenize Holmes made a layup with 1:08 left. Raven Johnson would drill a three that sealed the win for South Carolina with 53 seconds left to put them up 77-72. Holmes scored inside with 30 seconds left to make 77-74. Raven Johnson made it 78-74 with a free throw with 21 seconds left and Chloe Moore-McNeil would hit a free throw with 16 seconds left to make it 78-75. Tessa Johnson hit a free throw with 14 seconds left. Yarden Garzon’s three pointer was blocked by Ashlyn Watkins and Sara Scalia missed a three pointer and grabbed the offensive rebound as the Hoosiers ran out of time.
   Kamila Cardoso led South Carolina with 22 points and 7 rebounds along with 4 assists. The 6-7 Brazilian was 10-12 from the field and 2-4 from the free throw line. Raven Johnson added 14 points as all nine South Carolina players scored four or more points giving the Gamecocks a balanced attack and showing the depth of this team despite Indiana being able to come back and knock down three pointers to stay in the game. South Carolina finished 30-60 from the field for 50%, 8-16 from three-point range for 50% and 11-16 from the free throw line for 68%. The Gamecocks pulled down 32 rebounds, dished out 17 assists, 7 blocks, 4 steals and committed 12 turnovers. Cardoso was hard to stop all game long for the Indiana Defense but in the second half South Carolina was not going to her every time down the floor.
   The Hoosiers set the single season record for most three pointers in a season with 260. Mackenize Holmes ends her career with 146 career games played which is second only to Grace Berger with 148. 116 starts and a school record 126 wins. Holmes scored a school record 2,530 points which is only second to Calbert Cheaney who played for the Hoosiers Men’s Basketball team from 1989-1993 and scored a Big Ten Record 2,613 points in 132 games. Holmes finishes 4th all time with 989 rebounds, second all-time with 257 blocks, 7th all time with 26 double-doubles and a school record 1,043 field goals made. Sara Scalia ends the season with 103 three pointers made which is a single season record and has made a huge impact for the Hoosiers the last two seasons after transferring from Minnesota. Arielle Wisne who scored 11 points in 53 career games will graduate.
   The Hoosiers will return Sydney Parrish and Chloe Moore-McNeil who announced before the end of the season that they are coming back for their fifth and final season. Lilly Meister, Lexus Bargesser, Yarden Garzon, Henna Sandvik and Sharneece Currie-Jelks will be Juniors. Lenee Beaumont and Juilana LaMendola will be Sophomores. The Hoosiers have two incoming Freshman for next season with 6-4 Indiana All-Star Faith Wiseman from Indian Creek HS and Sydney Fenn 6-3 from Buffalo New York who plays at Arizona Compass Prep.
   Teri Moren finishes her 10th season as IU head Coach with a record of 226-98 and 425-229 in 21 seasons overall. Under Moren the Hoosiers have made six NCAA Tournament Appearances never losing in the first round with 3 three sweet 16 and 1 elite trip in 2021 with a record of 10-6. The Hoosiers before Moren made four trips to the NCAA Tournament and only had one win in 1983. Moren has nine straight 20-win seasons and was 15-16 her first season in 2014-15. Before Moren the Hoosiers had six 20-win seasons total. Indiana Women’s Basketball has reached heights that had never been seen before Teri Moren got to IU. The Hoosiers are always ranked in the top 25, hosting NCAA Tournament Games for last three seasons, selling out Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall twice in the last two years and being yearly participant in the NCAA Tournament. Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill started the trend and what has followed has been Ali Patberg, Grace Berger, Mackenize Holmes and Sara Scalia and now its Sydney Parrish, Chloe Moore-McNeil and Yarden Garzon’s turn to keep the new tradition that is Indiana University Women’s Basketball going in the direction that it has been going for the last nine season and that is up and putting the program on the national stage year after year.


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