BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Yarden Garzon's stat line for No. 6 Indiana was plenty impressive — 20 points with four 3s, plus 10 rebounds in a 78-65 win over No. 2 Ohio State.
It's what the freshman from Israel did without the ball that really helped the Hoosiers on Thursday night.
With Indiana trailing by six at halftime, coach Teri Moren asked Garzon to switch over and slow down Buckeyes forward Cotie McMahon, who had already scored 18 points.
Garzon limited McMahon to three points after the break and the Hoosiers, boosted by a third-quarter flurry, rallied to win. Mackenzie Holmes scored 26 for Indiana.
“Yarden got challenged in that second half, being put on Cotie, and she stepped up to the challenge and made plays and knocked down shots,” Holmes said. “Her level of maturity is something I’ve never seen from a freshman.”
And the Hoosiers are seeing things that once seemed unimaginable.
They've won four straight over the Buckeyes, and their seventh win in a row overall continued the best start in school history (19-1, 9-1 Big Ten). The Hoosiers celebrated with a raucous, record regular-season crowd of 10,455 — it's the second time in less than two weeks they've set an attendance record.
McMahon finished with 21 points before fouling out with about five minutes to play. Taylor Mikesell had 15 and Taylor Thierry had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Ohio State (19-2, 8-2), which has lost two straight since starting this week as one of only three unbeaten Division I teams.
The Hoosiers surged in the third quarter, a game-changing 24-3 run that allowed Indiana to erase a 38-32 deficit and seize control by building a 56-41 cushion. Ohio State never fully recovered.
“It was not good, obviously, but Indiana played really well through that stretch,” Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff said. “We had some early shots that didn’t go in and then we had some turnovers and it just snowballed on us.”
Indiana opened the run with eight consecutive points to take the lead then made three straight 3s. It ended by converting back-to-back Buckeyes turnovers into breakaway layups and Holmes making a free throw.
Ohio State's full-court pressure had scrambling early in the fourth as it closed to 64-56 with 6:15 to play. But the Buckeyes couldn't get any closer.
“It was a battle of two really good basketball teams and we knew it was going to be a fight,” Moren said. “We just had an incredible third quarter.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have looked vulnerable this week, albeit against two of the nation's top teams. While Ohio State's conference title hopes, the Buckeyes shouldn't fret.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have only won one Big Ten regular-season title in school history, that coming in 1983. The wins over No. 13 Michigan on Monday and now the Buckeyes have them within reach of ending that drought.
Ohio State: This week's losses will probably prevent the Buckeyes from spending a third consecutive week at a school-record tying No. 2. But this loss shouldn't knock Ohio State out of the top 10.
Indiana: The Hoosiers should climb back into the top five with one more win. And they've solidified the case to earn a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Moren was honored before the game for becoming the school's career victories leader. She broke the mark set by the late Jim Izard (188) with last week's 83-72 victory at Illinois then added win No. 190 against Michigan. The crowd roared with approval as one fan held a sign that read “Pay Teri Moren."
Mikesell started her career at Maryland, left for Oregon and then returned to her home state Buckeyes. Thursday's game put her in the 2,000-point club. She now has 2,013 career points and needs 25 to reach the 1,000-point mark in two seasons with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State: Welcomes Purdue to Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday.
Indiana: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday.