Ohio State blitzes past No. 20 IU women, 80-76

Slowly and methodically, the Indiana women’s basketball team built its lead.

A 4-0 run here, a 6-2 run there and less than a minute into the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers were up by 10.

But as steadily as the advantage was gained, it was obliterated even more swiftly.

Still trailing by seven with five and a half minutes remaining, Ohio State used a 15-1 to create a seven-point lead of its own and held on to hand No. 20 IU an 80-76 loss at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday.

It was the third time this season the Hoosiers have let a double-digit lead get away in a Big Ten game, as a result they are now tied with the Buckeyes in the loss column for fourth in the Big Ten.

“Losing in ways like we did today, that’s disappointing, especially when you lead for most of the game, have a 10-point lead in the fourth,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “All you’ve got to do is hit a couple of shots and get stops. We didn’t do that, therefore we’re on the other side of winning.”

Down the stretch it was hard to say whether it was the IU offense or the defense that was most responsible for the letdown.

Ohio State (16-9, 9-5 B1G) scored 31 points in the final quarter, all in the final 7:45, shot 78.6 percent in the frame and made its final 11 shots from the field, while Indiana was just one of its last seven from the field, committed four turnovers and sputtered against the Buckeyes’ zone defense.

“Defense let us down today, no question,” Moren said. “We’re old school over there on the sideline, and on the nights your shot is not falling, can you hang on to a 10-point lead because you’re still getting stops?

“We started pressing there a little bit and certain pieces out there started doing things they shouldn’t be doing inside the offense. We got a little tentative and like I said, there’s no real defense for a bad shot, a bad turnover that leads to a runout. We talk about that all the time — we’ve got to have great shots, we’ve got to take care of the ball, because if you don’t Ohio State is a team that wants to get the ball up the floor quickly. It was a combination of the two.”

The Hoosiers (20-7, 10-5) still battled back in the final two minutes, and it appeared they just might find a way to pull a win out of the fire as they did in the previous two games at Nebraska and Illinois.

IU crawled within 76-74 on two free throws from Ali Patberg with 38.4 seconds left, then opted to bet on its defense and not foul, forcing Ohio State freshman guard Madison Greene into a runner from 17 feet to beat the shot clock, but the ball banked off the glass and in for a dagger with 7.4 seconds remaining.

“Our defense has been reliable throughout the season, has been really good at times,” Moren said. “Let’s face it, it’s a runner from 15 feet or so out that banks off the backboard and goes in. That’s tough luck on our part. Our kids played it the way they needed to, they contested it and made it hard. It was a rushed shot, but the thing went down.”

Grace Berger was fouled going to the basket and made both free throws at the other end with 4.3 seconds to go, but Greene, who led Ohio State with 22 points, made a pair from the line with one second left to clinch the Buckeyes’ victory.

“I think what’s frustrating is this is what’s happened the past couple games, we’ve not been communicating on defense down the stretch,” said Patberg, who led IU with 22 points. “Tonight we got beat. In the past couple games, as coach has said, we got lucky.”

The Hoosiers were out of luck this time around, even with four players in double figures. Aleksa Gulbe and Jaelynn Penn each had 14 points, while Berger added 12.

Next up for Indiana is a mid-week bye before traveling to Minnesota on Saturday.


  1. IU Ladies got beat by a team of talented freshman, sophomores, a junior, and a senior today.
    If you want to beat IU Ladies at some point in game throw a zone at them. IU Ladies become, timid, players indecisive shooting, Berger missing layups in traffic, players get disoriented, and choke. Ohio State leveraged game from IU Ladies with zone, stayed focused with run outs and IU Ladies gave game away and Ohio State Ladies played a big thank you.

    1. I stand by my earlier layman’s observation that this looks like a very tired team to me.
      We were a step slow and obviously gassed as OSU made their unbelievable run to end the game.
      Not sure what the answer is, but something needs to change.
      They’re playing their hearts out and leaving them on the floor.
      Today was a really tough loss, to say the least.
      I ache for each and every one of them.

  2. This team basically collapsed in the 4th quarter blowing a 10 point lead. I have mentioned it in the last 3 or 4 weeks but, it is still true….this team is mentally weak! There is absolutely NO reason to blow a 10 point lead at home in the 4th quarter. I have mentioned before a couple of times how frustrating it is to watch a couple of our guards (Penn & Patberg) bring the offense to a grinding haul by dribbling the ball all over the court and not passing it around to initiate an offense? Said it last week and I will say it again, Pass, cut and screen and open shots will follow! Dribble, dribble, dribble just brings the offense to a halt. I yelled out tonight twice from my seat to “Pass the ball!” To many times tonight (and the last few games) Ali & Jaelynn dribble into a turnover? Very frustrating!! I blame this on the coaches as it continues to happen from game to game?

  3. Holmes has hit freshman wall. IU Ladies did not go out and win game allowing other teams (Ohio State in this game) to take win away. IU Ladies have to complete game and win it. Third time it’s happened and almost six times.

  4. The IU Women looked exhausted tonight. I see no reason whatsoever why Allen, Warthen & Wilson had a combined 10 minutes!! Coach Moren must sense there is an issue as even Waggoner got in for 3 minutes but no excuse for not having a deeper, more consistent rotation. I’m not questioning anybody’s effort at all, but opponents are now aware that you just need to be physical in the lane against IU and make them shoot 3’s all day long (4 for 15 today). MikeC is correct…the offensive ball rotation which was so successful in the early part of the season has been bogged down by Patberg & Penn trying to constantly dribble for 10 seconds and drive the lane. Also, Berger looked very tired today. Bad loss at home. This hurts because it will be hard for IU to snag that 4th seed in the BIG tourney which guarantees them a double bye. All is not lost of course but you can’t have serious fatigue late in the season and not be concerned.

  5. Specifically, Berger missing a couple layups in traffic (not really close) and Patberg playin in middle of zone about 8 feet from bucket wide open hesitated with shot looking to pass that threw a sure bucket off into a Ohio State rebound. Penn has no business dribbling around. Patberg does that enough. When both do it spells trouble. Yes, when I noted Ohio State stayed focused there was a difference in mental toughness Ohio State Ladies (freshmen and sophomores)+ a junior and senior vs IU Ladies. Horrific home court loss in front of a good crowd.

  6. Optimist says… well, maybe we get another chance in the BTN tourney… to stop OSU’s 10 years and 14 games of put-downs. After all, this is “our” sport, it’s not football (is it?)

    Arguably best crowd of this year with both pep and alumni bands, alumna, players coming off “finishing” the last 3 road games, gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Everything was in place for celebratory dinners.

    Whether our best-offense low post scorer is under the weather or whatever… (Alexa is great on D and improving on O) we had their bigs in foul trouble… it didn’t have to matter that we played with 5.25 of our “6 starters” in this game.

    Then came the inevitable Q4’s last 8 or 6 or 5 or 4 minutes. OSU cranked up that old idea of refusing to lose, repeatedly. We missed a free throw here, another there, had 4 turnovers and missed 6 of our last 7 not-all-particularly-selective shots, while OSA made their last 11 ! 11 of 11.

    But really, still, how exactly did this happen? “Refuse to Lose” only works occasionally, in retrospect. I looked for more insight by watching the entire replay on BTN+ this eve. Watching it in the back-of-mind context also, of our recent games, a pattern appeared.

    Our many drought spells of the past this year, and the 1 of 7 finish today, seem congruent with the wall-the-paint zones that everyone has learned to lean on against us. When we can’t get the ball into paint and not have 2 pack defenders collapse on the receiver when we do, we’re stymied to stagnancy and deep into the shot clock.

    Oh for a textbook zone buster, a “Stephanie Alford” (rather than search myself to come up with a dozen such 3-point shooter examples). A Mikesell at Maryland… most high-scoring teams have one.
    Just last year, Brenna was reliable as that first-option outside shooter, and Jaelyn has made some video-clip ones over her 2.7 years.

    This year, we rebound well and run-pass by teams on the break or secondary break. But the better teams get back and force us into a half-court offense … against the zone.

    I was pleased for Grace W to see a couple in-game minutes. She runs well, slides well, and keeps her longish arms up on D. She was forced by the shot clock to launch one three that missed. The rest of us missed I think 10 more that weren’t forced. Keep workin’ Grace 2.

    (No, I don’t “know” walk-on Grace W more than any of our lankier-built cheerleaders. But I keep seeing a player whose time will grow as she grows into it.)

  7. The sky is not falling. Yes this game is one that the Hoosiers could’ve, should’ve, would’ve won. I could sit here and break down how the game was lost in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter when the Hoosiers had Ohio State in foul trouble, were in the bonus, and had all the momentum. Instead of stretching the lead and creating separation they turned the ball over 3 times and jacked up a 3pt attempt early in the shot clock on 4 consecutive trips. But I’ll spare you my armchair coaching. There is already plenty of that to go around.
    The B1G, from top to bottom, is the strongest conference in the country this season. Ohio State has played the 4th toughest schedule in the nation this season and it’s paying off for them. Indiana has played the 8th toughest and is having the best season in program history. Yet we thirst for more.
    The Hoosiers have six days to rest, recover and prepare for the final push of the regular season. There is still basketball to be played and more opportunities for this team lie ahead. Nothing has been decided yet.
    Go Hoosiers!!!!!!!

    1. Preach it scwartzie!
      I’m with you. The season is not over quite yet.
      Remain concerned about the fact that we look tired to me, but hopefully almost a week off and (hopefully) a game where we can afford to substitute more, and we’ll be good to go the rest of the way.
      GO IU!

  8. This IU team is feeling very charitable getting big leads , then giving them away for a loss, the bottom line is you cant win if you cant get the ball in the basket. In one of my more recent posts I mentioned I would like to see G. Waggoner get some minutes and finally got to see it evidently the coaches agreed. On one fast break Penn has the ball on a 2 on 1 and running with her was Waggoner, she should have passed to Grace, didnt and blew the layup. Hopefully we will see more of Grace , she has something to add to the team, remember she was a track star in her school along with being a career basketball scorer for her school.

    1. That refusal to pass to Grace W. on the 2 on 1 was only one of many poor decisions by Penn (5 turnovers) yesterday.

  9. IU Ladies blowing leads they work to get during game/s need to continue to play to win the game/s for several more minutes. (teams are going to come after them just like IU Ladies came after Wisconsin Ladies when down (big)). Killer instinct needed and complete/finish the game.

  10. Penn has become a player that sometimes makes big shots including 3 pointers, gets some rebounds, makes big fee throws, but at the same time plays poorly (prone to getting herself in trouble, poor decision making and turning ball over).

  11. Penn’s inconsistency is really hurting the team! Her and Patberg who are our 2 main ball handlers have become very sketchy at times. When things are tight they both tend to think they have to control the ball looking for a big play instead of sharing the ball by passing it around! Our coach needs to take that tendency away from them. As I have stated at nausium, pass, cut and screen and things will open up for a good shot! It’s not that hard. It’s the Bob Knight theory of basic offensive basketball. It has worked for years!

  12. Exactly, there seems to be little player movement at times and I think Waggoner would. In the minutes she was there she was running around and getting open but the ball didnt get to her.

  13. I agree that AP does enough dribbling for both, herself and Penn. IU doesn’t need another dribbler. Throw a zone at IU Ladies when they have to execute, IU Ladies become a head case.

  14. Grace W. looked a little better than I thought she would. Looked physically ready. She didn’t look out of place and moved around well. Grace and Warthen. Set Wilson. Get GW involved more and see if she can hit a bucket though her shot was ugly because late in shot clock. That could be some needed intrigue.

  15. All this goes right back into the coaches laps. Usually a player tries to do what they practice , if the coach doesnt like it they change it, not seeing much change here, both AP and JP continue their excessive dribling , but there are also not enough good screens being set, appears all this goes back to fundamentals. Then too coach wants AP, JP, and GB to be aggressive, a fine line has to be met which is more team beneficial.

  16. The dribbling was the downfall of Tom Crean teams. It worked well first half of season. Then, once teams play against you first time and scout you, the things that worked first half of season fail miserably second half of season and later in season and tournaments.
    Still in big ten except for Maryland there is much parity among teams two through five and maybe beyond that….a good competitive conference. If IU Ladies win 4 or 5 more games including rest of regular season, big ten tournament, and March Madness tournament that would = around a 25 win season. After a good early season start expectations were raised for 2019-20 season.

  17. This IU team is capable and is in need of getting on a roll. With only 3 games remaining it is critical for seeding. There are two key issues one being take care of the ball, fewer mistakes , two hit a better % from deep. If this happens they still cant win the big ten tourney but if they are in oppsite bracket could be runner up to Maryland. Im sure by now it is obvious to most that the terps are the best team in conf.

  18. Today was listening to a mens basketball coach. Talking about practice time and reps, said he used to think more was better but not so much now. What he called “backing off” more rest instead of more reps and his teams appeard sharper fresher. I noted that Moren gave her team monday and tuesday off , probably a good thing.

  19. Well, I don’t disagree and IU Ladies probably need a couple days off to gather or collect themselves. However, a team can look more rested and look falsely better by beating and looking good against a not so good team that gives a false impression. (example men’s IU vs Minnesota). Again However, you have to start somewhere.
    IU Ladies; it is getting time to catch their breath and gain a second wind (whatever they do to accomplish this). IU Ladies haven’t caught a second wind and sustained it yet, this season…becoming unbeatable to maximize talent and potential as players individually and as a team…to win 3 remaining regular season games…two wins in big ten tournament…and sweet 16…I would say that would equal maximizing this teams potential…equals a 27 win challenging schedule for the 2019-2020 season. Anything more would be a pretty big surprise. Anything less is pretty predictable, uneventful ending good season.

  20. Rutgers beat Ohio State in a thriller which helps IU provided IU can win. Hopefully this weeks rest helps to revitalize the team.

  21. I personally think the few days off and more substitution had a LOT to do with today’s IU’s victory.
    Finished strong.
    Greg Murray mentioned we are 9-2 on the road this year. And the BTN+ broadcast said all of the women’s losses have come against teams ranked in top 25 RPI.
    Pretty darned impressive.

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