Top Seed Indiana Women’s Basketball Loses a Heartbreaker to #9 Miami in NCAA Second Round
By Nick Jenkinson/Excel H Sports
The #9 seed Miami Hurricanes made their first trip to Bloomington and advance to Sweet 16 for just the second time in school history with 70-68 win over the #1 Seed Indiana Hoosiers Monday Night in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament second round of the Greenville 2 regional at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall before a crowd of 14,480 which is the second largest crowd in Indiana Women’s Basketball history. Miami improves to 21-12 and has not been to a Sweet 16 since 1992 and they are now 2-7 all time in second round games. The Hurricanes are 10-15 overall in NCAA Tournament and 7-9 in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Katie Meier. Lola Pendande scored 19 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, Destiny Harden scored 18 points and Jasmyne Roberts scored 16 points. Twin Sisters Haley and Hanna Cavinder scored 9 and 3 points each. Miami finished 22-47 from the field for 46%, 8-14 from three point range for 57% and 18-25 for 72%. Miami pulled down 35 rebounds, dished out 15 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks and committed 13 turnovers.
Indiana finished 28-4 which is the best record in school history. The Hoosiers were looking for their 3rd straight trip to the sweet 16 and high hopes to make even more history looking to get to the final four. Indiana is now 9-9 all time in NCAA Tournament games and 8-5 under Teri Moren. Indiana is 2-3 all time second round games and Miami ends the Hoosier’s perfect home record this season at 17-1. Mackenzie Holmes scored 22 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Holmes missed the game Saturday with a knee Injury. Grace Berger scored 17 Points and Yarden Garzon scored 10 points. Indiana finished the game 25-61 from the field for 41%, 5-15 from three-point range for 33%, 13-17 from the free throw line for 76%. The Hoosiers pulled down 29 rebounds, dished out 17 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and committed 7 turnovers.
Miami jumped out to a 14-4 lead 4:25 left in the first quarter. Lola Pendande and Destiny Harden combined for all 14 points. Pendande went to work inside and Harden hit two three pointers. After the timeout Sara Scalia was able to score inside. Haley Cavinder scored the first two points for the Canes that was not by Harden or Pendande. Cavinder would score her second bucket along with Jasmyne Roberts silencing the home crowd with her basket as Miami led 20-12 at the end of the first quarter. Miami opened the second quarter with a Destiny Harden three pointer to lead by 11. Pendande would score her 10th point of game with a bucket inside to take the lead to 28-14 three minutes into the second quarter. Indiana went on a 6-0 run which was ended by a Hanna Cavinder three pointer. The Hoosiers able to chip away as Chloe Moore-McNeil hit a three that cut the lead to 5 with 2:35 left before the break. Miami answered with a Roberts three pointer as the lead went back to eight points and then Roberts added the free throw after being fouled by Lilly Meister. Grace Berger scored on her mid-range jumper to get the Hoosiers back within Nine before Roberts drilled a three pointer to give Miami a 41-29 lead going into the locker room.
Grace Berger opened the third quarter with a three pointer and then hit a jumper to cut the Miami lead to seven points before Jasmyne Roberts scored Miami went back up by nine. Mackenize Holmes scored on back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to five points with 7:07 left in the third quarter 43-38. Holmes went to work doing what she does scoring inside as she cut the Canes lead to 43-40. The game got very physical and neither team could score a basket. Destiny Harden hit three free throws to make it 46-40 with 2:26 left. Mackenzie Holmes hit two free throws to cut the lead to 4. Holmes scored inside to cut the lead two, but Roberts hit another three, but Indiana answered with Sydney Parrish getting the bucket but missing the free throw keep the lead at three. Holmes scored right before the third quarter buzzer as Miami led 49-48.
In the Fourth Quarter both teams struggled to score as the physical play continued Lola Pendande hit a free throw to put the Canes up two 50-48. The 6-4 senior from Spain would go back to the line and hit two free throw to put the Canes up four. Indiana would break the scoring drought with Yarden Garzon hitting a three pointer as the Hoosiers were back within one 52-51. Pendande got herself back to the line hitting two free throws as the Canes led 54-51. Miami attacked inside as Lashae Dwyer scored and was fouled by Garzon as she completed the three-point play as Miami went up 6. Garzon found Holmes inside as Indiana trailed by four. Garzon missed the first and hit the second free throw as the Hoosiers trailed 57-54. Dwyer hit first free throw and missed the second as they Canes led 58-54. The Game became a battle of free throws as Chloe Moore-McNeil hit two free throws to get the Hoosiers within two 58-56 and Mackenzie Holmes tied the game 58-58 with a bucket. Jasmyne Roberts hit two free throws as the Canes led 60-58 but Mackenzie Holmes scored and was fouled tying the game with 3:05 left and missed the free throw. Lola Pendande scored over Holmes as Miami went up 62-60. Haley Cavinder drained a three as the Canes went up 5 with a 1:34 left. Grace Berger hit two free throws as Indiana was down by 3. Yarden Garzon tied the game up with a three pointer with 49.5 seconds left. After getting fouled by Grace Berger, Destiny Harden hit the first free throw and missed the second as the Canes led 66-65 with 40 seconds left. Chloe Moore McNeil missed a drive to the basket and the Hoosiers committed the foul with 20.9 seconds left. Harden missed both free throws giving the Hoosiers one last chance. Grace Berger missed the shot and Sydney Parrish committed her fifth foul sending Haley Cavinder to the line as she hit both giving Miami a 68-65 lead with 12 seconds left. Yarden Garzon hit a three pointer with 6.6 seconds left to tie the game 68-68. Destiny Harden scored in the lane as the IU fans wanted a travel but did not get one a Miami led 70-68 with just 3 seconds left. Chloe Moore McNeil brought the ball up the floor and was not able to get a shot off as the clock hit zero and Indiana’s best season in school history came to an end.
Freshman Yarden Garzon set the Indiana record for most three pointers by a freshman. Garzon came here from Israel and earn all-Big Ten Freshman team is thankful to be a Hoosier. “I am grateful to be here and thankful for all my coaches and teammates but this hurts”. The Hoosiers lose Grace Berger and Alyssa Geary to graduation and Coach Teri Moren knows that in a couple weeks when the team regroups for next season there will be a big piece missing. “We will have a couple weeks off and when we regroup it will be weird not to see Grace Berger walking through that door, this program is not where we would the last five years without Grace Berger” Moren said after the game. The Hoosiers have a lot to be proud of with a Big Ten Regular Season Championship, School record for Wins in a season and Number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament along with record crowds in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
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