Berger, No. 24 Hoosiers roll in opener, 75-52

Indiana sophomore Grace Berger scored a career-high 24 points, as the 24th-ranked Hoosiers opened the 2019-20 season with a 75-52 win over Mount St. Mary’s Thursday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. It is the third-most points in a season opener since 2003-04, trailing only Tyra Buss (28 in 2017) and Cyndi Valentin (25 in 2005).

Berger had surpassed her previous career high of 15 by halftime, going 6-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-3 from 3 and 3-of-3 on free throws. She spearheaded a 16-0 run to start the second quarter, helping IU break the game open.

The supporting cast included a strong effort from freshman Mackenzie Holmes, who finished with 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench in her debut. Redshirt freshman Chanel Wilson added nine points, all in the first half, while Aleksa Gulbe and Brenna Wise each had eight.

Standout redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg had just six points to go with eight assists and five rebounds, while classmate Jaelynn Penn was scoreless in 22 points as Indiana showed its improved depth and balance.

The Hoosiers led 50-26 at halftime, then were able to merely tread water in a sloppy second half. That final 20 minutes featured 14 IU turnovers and just 29 percent shooting.

18 comments

  1. Good night for the girls, shot 48% from the floor and decidedly out rebounded a much shorter team. While only turning the ball over 4 times in the first half, we turned it over 14 times in the second half which was mainly due to simple carelessness since the team we played was not very good. This was a bit concerning. Berger was a beast which is not a surprise, she will be very hard to handle by our opponents all season long. Very nice to see Holmes score 15 and grab 7 rebounds in only 19 minutes of play. She is going to be fun to watch this year with her inside play. It is really nice to have a strong inside player for a change. She is very smooth inside, when she gets the ball there is no hesitation from her to take the ball to the basket! Chanel Wilson again looked good, great to see that she was able to play so well after turning her ankle in the exhibition game. Great start for this young season! Go Hoosiers!!

  2. Considering the fact that Ali had a bad night and its quite obvious Penn is not herself yet with those feet problems, that others could pick up the slack. Grace continues to play like a beast and great to see Mac do what she does no surprise there for me. Will be interesting to see how Mac responds when she goes up against bigger more athletic opponents. Dont worry about Jorie her time will come, she picked up a couple quick fouls which hurt her playing time. Just how good can this team be when all cylinders are clicking at the same time, should be fun this season.

  3. Mac is going to get better and better. Mac is one of those kind. Mac is a highly skilled competitor with energy and plays healthy. She just needs to stay healthy. Her dad’s a coach.

  4. A strong game by the young players. The freshmen and sophomores combined for 59 points and 24 rebounds including 7 offensive boards. The upper class veterans combined to lead the team in turnovers with 10. Very disappointing. All in all it was the first game and the team will improve going forward. Hopefully we will have a better crowd on Sunday.

  5. Mike C. gets the “best prognosticator” award.
    He’s been telling all of us right along how good Holmes can be.
    After the exhibition game, I will admit I wasn’t sure.
    But last night, she played like she’s been playing college ball for years.
    Great team victory.
    This team could care less what their individual stats are at the end of the game.
    If they win, they’re all happy campers!
    What a great year this could shape up to be.! 🙂

  6. It was good to see the fan appreciation with the ovation when Holmes went out in the 4th qtr. For the first time they got a sneak peek at what she can bring .

    Glad Moren finally told why Beeler is not playing and didnt show at the hoosier hysteria, concussion with practice on the day of HH. Thats been over a month now , lets hope she gets well soon.

  7. NatHill, thanks for the award:) Here’s the deal, as I have stated before, if we continue to get the ball inside to Holmes, she WILL score. Again, what bothers me most about our team over the last several years is our team not making the effort to get the ball inside. As good as Holmes was last night, there were still several opportunities where Holmes had very good post up position and she did not get the ball. Several times the “lob” was there and yet, no pass. But, last night the team got her the ball better than any effort over the years of getting the ball inside! I just hope that this effort continues because last night, Holmes showed us what is possible with an inside presence. If this continues, this team can be very special to say the least! One other thing about last night’s game, Patberg has got to stop dribbling into double teams and losing the ball. As good as she is and she is a very good player she continues on occasion to dribble instead of pass, that is her only deficiency! She had 5 turnovers last night which is way to many for a player who handles the ball so much. Onward and upward! Go Hoosiers!!

  8. MikeC I agree with you that we had ample opportunities to get the ball inside to Holmes and Gulbe but did not. Hopefully that will change. I watched Bendu shooting during warm ups and it’s obvious that she has been working on her shooting. Now she has a beautiful arc with nice backspin and a repeatable release. She should be well rested when B1G play begins.

  9. It was fun to watch Mac work on the inside trying to be more physical which she will have to do more and more. Only one time do I remember a ball come into her which she didnt handle. Yes i too remember times when she posted up and she didnt get the ball or it was too late when it happened , all that will get better. On the other side of things there are now a lot of good shooters on this team and the ball may not go inside as much unless moren orders it up. It appeared Moren intentionally gave Mac the minutes hoping for the breakout game she got .

  10. It was noted by assistant coach in post game interview that IU ladies missed opportunities to go inside to Mac while acknowledging her good game. So the coaching staff are aware of importance to go inside.
    When T. Moren first started at IU and recently, she likes to go inside but the talent wasn’t quite there.
    I remember T. Moren first or second year she drew up a play towards end of game where IU led Minnesota most of the game to go inside but ladies failed to execute.
    November 2018 signing day interview with T. Moren indicates Mac will play and get the ball.

  11. Jeremy or Jon, just wondering since the early signing period is coming up soon, if our women’s program have any verbal commitments? I have been reading on several websites of some highly ranked players who have verbally committed to some other programs. I have read nothing of any players IU is going after or that have verbally committed to IU? Do either of you know anything about our recruiting efforts?

    1. With the departure of Alexis Johnson, I believe IU now has two available scholarships for next year. I’m sure there are several players they are looking at, but the only one I know of is Eniya Russell, a guard out of Baltimore ranked No. 43 nationally by ESPN. She visited IU last spring and has made several other visits this fall — Georgetown, Kentucky, Miami, South Carolina. But I would think that would be IU’s approach, go for a home run or two, and if that fails, keep options open for a transfer like they got in Danielle Patterson or hold the schollie a year.

  12. MikeC I could be wrong but I believe there will only be 1 open scholarship available for next season. If it were me I would keep that one in my pocket for the following class or a transfer player.

  13. It’s true that Holmes father (Lenny) is a coach, but her HS coach Laughn Berthiume is a legend up here in the state… he has won 4 state championships in his first decade coaching at Gorham HS, and sent several girls on to D1 careers… from a school with a mediocre tradition prior to him getting there.

    Laughn rules!

  14. This is Hoosier Scoop….You must have made a wrong turn somewhere and got off the Main(e) drag, Inside the Halitosis ham-Berger breath.

    Just kidding…Stick around. Scoop numbers are down 50% since Chet left.

    1. Is Chet all the way gone? As my life has become increasingly busy – coaching Grayson’s teams (he’s 6 now!), coaching at the HS, as well as my full timer – I’ve had far less time to peruse these pages. Nothing but fond memories, though, of all those back and forths…
      And to think, it took a girl from Maine to bring me back to the Scoop!

  15. I hope he’s not “all the way gone”….though I’m sure he thinks otherwise. He’s a smart guy and he’s lived life (as told on Scoop) to the fullest.

    Hope all is well with you, Geoff.

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