If Indiana Women's Basketball has felt disrespected by their ranking or by the vortex of the Iowa Hawkeyes and its star Caitlyn Clark, tomorrow night is the perfect time to take out those frustrations. The Hoosiers travel to Iowa City to take on those Hawkeyes and its mega-star Caitlyn Clark.
Aside from the game's social significance -- how often is a women's game played in prime time -- this game is for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. By the way, the answer to the question in the previous sentence is not enough.
Iowa comes into this game riding a 13-game winning streak, while Indiana has an equally impressive 13-game winning streak. Legendary wrestling announcer Gorilla Monsoon would say, "It's the irresistible force against the immovable object." What do the Hoosiers need to do to win this game? Here are three keys to victory.
3. Affect Caitlin Clark's Efficiency
This might seem obvious, but there are two things to understand here. First, she's going to get her points. It isn't easy to contain what she does on the court. Clark is the best scorer, passer and maybe the best defender on the floor anytime she plays. The best Indiana can hope for against her is to make her have an inefficient game. If she scores 30, make sure she does it on 25 or more shots. If she has ten assists, ensure she has six or more turnovers.
2. Feed Mackenzie Early and Often
This also might go without saying. However, games like these require big games from the stars. While there is always someone unexpected that plays a significant role, it is the best players on the court who influence the outcome of the game. Mackenzie Holmes is Indiana's star. Coach Moren needs to set up the offense to get her the ball.
1. Weather the Home Crowd
The atmosphere will be electric when the Hoosiers step on the floor against the Hawkeyes. If the arena isn't sold out, it will be a near sellout. It's a prime time game. This is an environment the Hoosiers are not used to. As Norman Dale proved in the movie Hoosiers, the rim is ten feet, no matter where you play. Indiana will have to deal with a hostile home crowd, ready to explode with every shot Caitlin Clark makes.