No. 20 IU women rally in OT

By Dylan Wallace
Special to the Herald-Times

Grace Berger didn’t see the ball go in the basket all game until 1:25 left in the fourth quarter. She split a pair of free throws, visibly frustrated with her 0-11 performance up until that point after scoring a career-high 25 points on Monday night against Minnesota.

But as the game against Wisconsin went to overtime, Berger had two buckets — a drive to the hoop and a 3-pointer — to help Indiana cap off a 16-point comeback and pick up a 75-65 victory over the Badgers.

“I kept telling ‘G’ to keep shooting and keep shooting,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “The one thing I love about Grace Berger is she gets mad, but she doesn’t lose her confidence. Thankfully she didn’t stop shooting.”

Berger’s hot hand in the extra period was contagious as IU shot 5-6 from the field and 3-3 from beyond the arc. Ali Patberg contributed the other triples, including a last-second, one-handed shot at the end of the shot clock that netted in.

“I knew I had one or two seconds, so I was just like, ‘shoot it,’” Patberg said. “Shot it, and it went in. I didn’t have any worries I just shot it, and I believed it was going to go in and it went in.”

The Hoosiers’ hot shooting at the end didn’t resemble their performance throughout most of the game, though.

IU got off to a slow start, going 1-7 from the field while the Badgers made their first 5-7. The Hoosiers made a bit of a run in the second quarter, but ultimately went back to the locker room trailing by 12 after the first 20 minutes.

Badger forward Abby Laszewski was a problem for the Hoosiers down low standing at 6-foot-3. Laszewski commanded a lot of attention in the paint and opened up the floor for her teammates, while also scoring six points of her own in the first half.

The rebounding numbers were the same in the first half with each team having 16, but half of Wisconsin’s were offensive boards, resulting in eight second-chance points.

“We have to be better from the beginning,” Patberg said.

The shooting woes continued for IU to begin the second half. At one point in the third quarter, IU was just 10-44 from the field and trailed by 16 points.

However, the fourth quarter was when the flipped switched for the Hoosiers. They started to apply a full-court press, speeding the Badgers up and forcing turnovers.

“Coach always says our defense gives us energy,” Patberg said. “We started to pick it up — our intensity and our energy.”

Applying the press was a move Moren called necessary. Because of the Hoosiers’ relentless attack, they trimmed the deficit down to three with 52 seconds left.

Moren drew up a play that had Penn receive an off-ball screen on the baseline as she sprinted to the corner. Patberg had the ball in her hands and had three options: Feed the post, take it herself or hit Penn in the corner.

She noticed Penn had a few steps on her defender and delivered a pinpoint pass into Penn’s shooting pocket, to which the junior guard rose up and drained the 3-pointer to tie the game with 14 seconds left.

“I was actually pretty calm during the whole situation,” Penn said. “The first thing I thought was Kobe and that Mamba Mentality. Just keep shooting it and one will fall.”

Penn had a similar look — this time at the top of the key — at the end of regulation that just rattled out. But the Hoosiers started overtime hot and finished the game with a loud standing ovation from the crowd as the clock hit triple zeros.

Patberg led all scorers with 20 points, freshman Mackenzie Holmes had another big night with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Penn added 15. The Hoosiers were sporting pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness, a cause both Moren and the players feel passionate about.

The win improved IU to 17-5 overall on the season and 7-3 in the Big Ten. After a three-game losing skid, Moren’s squad has followed it up with three consecutive victories.

“It was an exciting win for us,” Moren said. “Loved how our kids battled to the very end and how they never gave up. It showed how resilient and tough-minded they are.”

16 comments

  1. Another great win for our girls. We didn’t play well for about 3 quarters but, when it came time to get it together, the girls made a bunch of big plays. Penn’s 3 pointer was a huge shot to put the game into overtime! On the coach’s postgame show, it was stated that they really wanted Penn to take the shot since she has shown in the past that she is capable of hitting crucial shots. The whole night we played down to Wisconsin’s level. They are really not that good of a team but, tonight they played really well. Our defense in the first half was really poor. I am sure that was mentioned at halftime by the coaches? Holmes had a great game tonight and finally reached that elusive double-double. All in all, it was a win just as the last one was. Really good teams win these kind of games when they don’t necessarily play well against an inferior team but find way to pull it out! Go Hoosiers!!

  2. Slow start, slow start, slow start,,, How many times are we going to have to see this and say this. At least the last 4-5 games. This time they pulled it out after playing like a team that didnt belong in the top 25 for the first 3 qtrs. How big was Holmes 11-13 FT and we neednt every one of those to get back in this game, the big 3 by Penn end of regulation, and the full court press in the 4th , something they dont normally go to but in this one they had no choice. This would have been a bad, bad loss had that happened and nearly did. Teams can no longer look at Wis. as a stepping stone. They had leads like this against Iowa, Rutgers Neb , Minn. and now IU all had to fight back to pull out a win. Minn is the only team of that group that didnt come back for the win,, just sayin. Lets hope we can start quick on monday. Go Hoosiers!!!

  3. Ridiculous lousy start again. How does it keep happening? Both, defense and offense. Then, Wisconsin becomes very confident and IU struggles with confidence with their shots and play. IU Ladies defense including press energizes play to what have they got to lose. IU Ladies force a couple turnovers, Wisconsin Ladies miss a couple free throws, IU Ladies make a couple shots and then confidence swings in IU Ladies favor aided by end of game call/play by Gulbe. (charge no basket against Wisconsin Ladies). IU Ladies seen similar things happen to them against Iowa and Northwestern losing about 8 point leads in both losses. Ridiculously poor play by IU Ladies at start of game gets into both teams heads which is IU Ladies lack of shooting confidence and Wisconsin gained energized confidence dictated game for 3 quarters. Thanks, to Gulbe play that resulted in charge/ no Wisconsin basket and all big ten play from Holmes in this one.

  4. Why are IU Ladies not coming out of the gate at beginning of games with shooting confidence rather than acting like they are so uncomfortable getting into flow of many of these games.

  5. I remember just a few years ago IU Ladies had a few similar games like Wisconsin Ladies had last night unable to keep big leads resulting in a loss.

  6. IU was lucky to get a couple timely home calls to help save the day. One near the end when Patberg stepped out of bounds on the sideline saved the ball to an open teammate for a layup. There were a couple others calls that were called wrong or not at all. But this happens in all games at some point.

  7. IU certainly is missing the athletecism of BY in her prime, when she was our shutdown ace. Could have used her against Hilliard who IU could not stop. Hope she can get back to full strength but IM sure it wont happen this season.

  8. In that sense isn’t good for IU Ladies if they don’t get it together. Calls will be different at Purdue and elsewhere.

  9. Unfortunately, BY is not ever going to be at full strength. I agree it is playing out her not being at full strength is a big blow/loss for IU Ladies. Best hope to replace BY full strength next year lies in Patterson.

  10. Over on hoosiers.com part of title says “Lessons Learned”. Im not so sure. For several games in a row now IU has gotten off to slow starts and in each presser the players say we need to get started early but so far we have not seen that.. To me seems more of a coaching issue , not having them ready mentally and emotionally because as seen in this last game the defense in the first half may be as bad as its been this season or previously. I half expected the coach to pull one of those “sit the starters, play the bench” send a message deals. Will it change on monday,, only time will tell.

  11. Poor starts, scoring droughts, bad defense, not finishing in 2 games, and not rebounding; one or more of those = Purdue loss by several points. Correct all these = IU win.

  12. With Iowa losing today really tightens things up at the top. That was a fun game to watch for IU fans and the rest of the conf. fans. 3 teams at the top with 2 losses IU behind with 3 losses. If IU can get back on their game and out of the gate quicker could be an interesting fight for the title. As I said once before could come down to the finally game.

  13. #1 Ranked South Carolina is now 21-1 and just who gave them their one loss, all of us here know. So to say that was a signature win for IU was a bit of an understatement. So I just had to go back and visit the stats from that game. Reb- SC- 40 IU-32 TO–SC-18 IU -13 FT SC-7-15 IU- 12-19 3 Pts- SC-2-19 IU 7-15 Along with that Wise hit 4-5 from 3pt most likely her best day from deep and a big part of why IU won that game. Post game Staley just remarked about how badly her team played and rightly so, but didnt IU s defense play a part in that and did Staley give IU any credit, none that I saw. Most coaches out of courtesy will. Was it a trap game for them, possibly so still,,,, as you can tell it ticks me off about her attitude towards IU.

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