Indiana overcame travel issues and a slow start to claim a 63-52 win at Rutgers.
Amanda Cahill led the Hoosiers (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten) with a game-high 20 points, and junior point guard Tyra Buss scored 17 with nine assists. Senior forward Jenn Anderson was also in double figures with 10.
IU is now tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Purdue, behind both Northwestern (6-4) and Michigan State (6-4) in the race for fourth place.
The Hoosiers did not arrive to the Rutgers Athletic Center until a couple hours before tip because of problems with their Tuesday night charter flight out of Monroe County Airport. One of the plane’s wheels went off the runway and got stuck in the mud, forcing the team to leave from Indianapolis on Wednesday morning.
In the first quarter, the Hoosiers were slow starters. They hit 4-of-16 from the field and trailed 17-11. In the second quarter, IU was better, hitting 7-of-12. Freshman RIa Gulley hit a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the first half to pull IU to within two points, 29-27, heading into the locker room.
IU was quick to score coming out of the break. Buckets by Cahill and Anderson gave the Hoosiers a 31-29 lead with 8:35 remaining in the third quarter. Rutgers went ahead once more, but IU took control with an 8-0 run to cap the third quarter. That stretch included five consecutive makes — three from Cahill — and was capped by two free throws from Buss with 3.4 seconds left.
Holding a 46-39 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers didn’t look back. On the night, IU turned Rutgers’ 17 turnovers into 24 points. IU also won the rebounding battle, 32-30, and limited an athletic Scarlet Knights squad to four offensive rebounds and three second-chance points.
The Hoosiers now return home to play Northwestern on Saturday and Michigan next Thursday. Those two games will be crucial as IU tries to solidify a resume for the NCAA tournament. Michigan is currently in third place in the Big Ten at 9-2.