BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)No. 4 Indiana showed off its offensive firepower in the first half Wednesday as it completed an unbeaten nonconference schedule by topping Butler 67-50.
In just 66 seconds of the first quarter, Yarden Garzon sank successive 3-pointers and passed to Mackenzie Holmes for a layup. Then Indiana outscored Butler 9-0 in the opening 87 seconds of the second quarter, featuring a three-point play for Holmes and successive 3-pointers by Sydney Parrish and Garzon.
Heading into the game, Holmes, who scored 17 of her 21 points in the first half, was second in the NCAA in field goal percentage (.692) and Garzon first in 3-point percentage (.542).
”That inside/outside punch, that’s difficult to guard,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said.
The Hoosiers have needed more from Garzon, a freshman from Israel, since All-America candidate Grace Berger went down with a knee injury and has an unclear timetable to return.
”Yarden is clearly a very special player,” Holmes said. ”It’s been a lot of fun playing alongside her. As good as she was when she came in, shot’s gotten even better. She puts in a lot of work with her shot. And her passing is incredible. She’s a very dynamic player.”
Garzon finished the game with 13 points and Sydney Parrish had 10 for the Hoosiers (12-0). The right-handed Holmes shot 8 of 12 from the field, scoring three baskets with her left hand. She also had seven rebounds and three assists.
”The challenge for her is to become greater facilitator,” Moren said.
Rachel McLimore scored 13 and Sydney Jaynes 11 for Butler (5-7), which stayed close early, trailing 12-11 with two minutes left in the first quarter. The Hoosiers went on an 18-3 run in the second half, expanding their lead to 35-16.
Butler cut it to 41-31 midway through the third quarter, thanks to three inside baskets by James. That was as close as the Bulldogs would come.
Indiana is 8-0 at home, featuring wins by 37, 56, 35, 37, 24, 63 and 17 points. The Hoosiers’ one close victory was 65-61 over Illinois in a Big Ten opener on Dec. 4.
Indiana is nearing the program record for most successive wins to open a season: 15-0 in 1972, the first year for women’s basketball at the school. The Hoosiers were 14-0 in 2013-14.
”Our goals stay the same after Grace went down so we can be in the right position when she gets back,” Moren said.
Butler: Under first-year coach Austin Parkinson, the Bulldogs have already won more games than in the previous two seasons combined (4-44). They have lost 23 in a row against Big East opponents.
Indiana: The Hoosiers went into the game ranked fourth in the NCAA in field goal percentage (.515) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.69). They shot .444 against Butler on 24-of-54. They are awaiting the return of All-America candidate Grace Berger, who missed her sixth game because of a knee injury.
Butler: At Xavier on Dec. 28.
Indiana: At Michigan State on Dec. 29.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25