Nicole Cardaño-Hillary (center) | Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The Indiana Hoosiers looked impressive against No. 20 Kentucky, while the Stanford Cardinal stumbled against No. 14 Texas. Who will have the upper hand on Thanksgiving?
We have a Pac-12 versus Big Ten showdown happening Thursday with Indiana facing off against Stanford. Both teams are in the Top 10, with the undefeated Hoosiers ranked No. 4. Stanford comes in ranked seventh and having its only defeat come at the hands of No. 14 Texas. It’s early in the season still, but neither team will want to lose this game and potentially drop in the rankings.
— Stanford Women’s Basketball (@StanfordWBB) November 23, 2021
Stanford has been led by Haley Jones (13.7 points per game) as well as Cameron Brink, its star forward who is taking a sophomore jump this season. Brink is averaging 12.5 points while shooting a whopping 70.4 percent from the field. Fran Belibi is also helping out and shoots 61.9 percent from the field.
Stanford is on a mission to repeat as champs this year, which is no small task. It hasn’t been done since UConn won four in a row from 2013 to 2016. A win against Indiana would go a long way in solidifying the Cardinal as bonafide contenders this season.
Stanford is a good rebounding team and has a staunch defense. It has held opponents to 53.5 points per game this season. The Cardinal will need to bring their best game on Thursday if they want to beat the Hoosiers.
Top 10 test on Thanksgiving ️
— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) November 24, 2021
Indiana has been as good as advertised. The Hoosiers are coming into this game undefeated and with an average margin of victory of 20.5 points. They have yet to be tested this year, but that changes with this matchup. They’ll need to continue getting great offensive production from Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger. Also, Aleksa Gulbe will have to win the battle on the boards and Nicole Cardano-Hilary should hit a couple of threes. If the Hoosiers can execute on a combination of those three things, they should be in a prime position to close this game out in the final minutes.
No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers (4-0, 0-0 Big 10) vs. No. 7 Stanford Cardinal (3-1, 0-0 Pac 12)
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Where: Nassau, the Bahamas
How to watch/ listen: FloHoops, WHCC 105.1 FM (Indiana), Varsity Network (Stanford)
Key to the matchup: No boards, no rings. The team that wins the rebounding battle will likely win the game. For Stanford another factor will be its 3-point shooting. The Cardinal’s only loss this year came against Texas when they shot an abysmal 14 percent from three. That can’t happen again if they want to win. The Hoosiers have looked great in every victory, but how they play against a Top 10 team will tell us a lot about their potential. A big game from Holmes would go a long way to ensuring they leave the Bahamas undefeated.