IU women tough enough to bounce back #iuwbb

GUANYNABO, Puerto Rico — One day after a stunning 65-62 loss to Grambling, the Indiana women’s basketball team rebounded with a 68-60 win over South Dakota on Friday in the finale of the Puerto Rico Classic.

The Coyotes (12-2), ranked No. 2 in the mid-major top 25 and receiving more votes than Indiana in the AP Top 25, were looking to complete the tournament sweep and appeared on the verge of doing so in the first half, while the Hoosiers saw Ali Patberg play carefully after picking up two early fouls.

South Dakota led 22-13 at the end of the first quarter and saw the advantage peak at 31-19 with 4:22 left in the second quarter.

That’s when IU began to battle back, sparked by senior Kym Royster, who made a pair of free throws and then completed a three-point play to cut the deficit to seven.

The Hoosiers (11-1) failed to convert on a chance to trim the lead to four on a Brenna Wise 3-point attempt, but settled for a 34-26 halftime deficit.

It was the start of a defensive crackdown by Indiana, which gave up just 29 points over the final 24 minutes after giving up 31 in the first 16. South Dakota wound up shooting a season-worst 29 percent from the floor, including just 7-of-31 from 3.

In the third quarter, Wise hit a 3 to get within 39-38, and freshman Aleksa Gulbe nailed a 3 from the top of the key for Indiana’s first lead at 41-39 to cap a 15-5 run.

The freshman injured her ankle on the landing, however, leaving the Hoosiers’ temporarily shorthanded until she returned in the fourth quarter.

Playing despite a pair of ankle sprains, sophomore Jaelynn Penn finished off the frame with a running layup down the right side of the line for two of her five points and a 49-45 lead.

South Dakota didn’t wilt, scoring the first five points of the fourth period to regain the lead.

Patberg hit a jumper to put IU back on top, and after a Coyote free throw tied it, a pair of Patberg free throws gave Indiana the lead for good.

That triggered an 11-2 run that gave the Hoosiers a 62-53 advantage with 2:49 left when Patberg’s 3 capped a five-point possession that started with a Royster basket and a foul. Royster grabbed her own missed free throw, and IU came up with two more offensive rebounds in a possession that lasted a minute and 31 seconds.

South Dakota got within four and had the ball inside the final 30 seconds, but Patberg blocked a shot, got the rebound and made the free throws to close the door.

The redshirt junior transfer from Notre Dame finished with 25 points to lead all scorers, while Royster had 11 points and nine rebounds. Wise added 13 points and eight rebounds.

17 comments

  1. IU ladies got physical in this one. South Dakota is good but not great. SD is ready to shoot the ball with confidence. B.Y. unsure inbounding ball. Currently, B.Y. Struggles with driving, handling ball and decision making. J.P. Is struggling (maybe with ankles) but she needs to be a double digit scorer. Her shot right now is not smooth. Excellent game by Kim Royster (got Indiana going) and Ali Patberg. IU ladies decided to move as game went on. This Game Was A Very Good Win.

  2. Currently, I see IU ladies as a bubble team and NIT team. Maybe better. Currently, I think it depends on if Penn can become assertive in scoring and improvement on inside led by Glube and Royster. Love the way Glube plays. IU ladies seem to have butter fingers and need better ball security. I expect them to improve as T. Moren teams do especially second half of season.

  3. Although we cut our turnovers down to 14, we still had less assists than turnovers. This is not good, we must get to an area of twice as many assists than turnovers to become the kind of team we need to be! Our defense was exceptional today holding them to around 30% shooting. Bendu and Jaylnn need to improve greatly in their ball ball handling if this team is to get better! They both are a turnover looking for a place to happen. Much better performance than the game before. Go Hoosiers!

  4. Hopefully our ball security will improve as the season goes on, but some of that could be related to the ankle problems we are having with some players. The ankle situations are an ongoing problem from pre season and they keep getting re injured. Seems we need to try to give those players more rest, allow Berger and even use Warthen more till those girls can get back on their feet, sorry about the pun. They just got thru with having 10 days off before P.R. and the problems returned. Aside from that B. Y. bad decisions dribbling into trouble, A. P. trying to go between double teams and has the ball stripped more times than not.

  5. I thought Kim Royster was the unsung hero of the game.
    Had a ton of fight in her, and made key plays at just the right time.

  6. No doubt Royster had a strong presence inside, but it was the overall will of the fight in this team not to lose in spite of the ankle problems of Penn and Gulbe.

    With South Dakota sitting there at #26 in the AP had they won all 3 games no doubt would pop the top 25, but since IU stopped them was it enough of a quality win in the voters eyes to move IU up….. remains to be seen.

  7. Agree with the will not to loose but , all clubs are beat up to an extent. Never want to bring up ..being nicked up into the equation. ( my two cents )

  8. Without K.R. IU ladies don’t win this game.
    I noticed during warmups SD ladies run a drill where players sprinted to 3 point line taking shots. Their game readiness for shots showed that they work on this a lot. However, IU ladies kept putting on the pressure and as Grambling did against IU ladies the game before. Like IU when pressure was on and SD wasn’t allowed to do what they wanted they started missing shots including the 3 ball.

  9. Over their last 29 games the IU women’s basketball program has gone 26 – 3. That’s extremely solid no matter how you slice it and dice it . That’s a winning culture being established along with an expectation to win every time they take the court. The best part is that this current group hasn’t even come close to firing on all cylinders yet. When they do it’s going to be fun!

  10. True , the fun will be in watching this group grow and develop into what they will be. There will be ups and downs but the talent is there to form into a formidable team. Moren wil form them into the best they can be.

  11. Here are the RPI strength of schedule ratings for the Big10 before heading into conference play.
    From strongest to weakest:

    9 – Ohio State
    24 – Iowa
    55 – Nebraska
    61 – Penn State
    80 – Indiana
    81 – Rutgers
    86 – Purdue
    89 – Northwestern
    129 – Michigan State
    203 – Michigan
    209 – Minnesota
    250 – Illinois
    252 – Maryland
    298 – Wisconsin

    When we look at a team like Minnesota and see an 11 – 0 record we need to take into account their weak schedule and the fact that 9 of those games were at home. When we peel back the window dressing what will remain? Is Nebraska really a 5 – 6 team? The have played a much, much tougher schedule than Minnesota with 5 true away games. Only 8 teams in the country played a harder schedule than Ohio State. Will that experience pay off later as it did for Indiana last season? The biggest question I have … is Maryland the team to beat? That Charmin soft schedule they’ve played
    has proven nothing. They are far from unbeatable.
    My picks to finish in the top 4 of the conference this season in no particular order are: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, and Maryland. Any of these teams could also win the B10 tourney.
    Let the games begin!

  12. If Glube can keep ankle and rest of her injury free I think we’re going to see a Glube and Royster combo playing at same time more often.

  13. Im not sure just how much the RPI and SOS play into how good a team is or can be but it is fun for fans to play around with. Plus the pollsters are not always correct in their ranking selections as we have seen. But one thing is for sure, now the curtain will be pulled back as conference play will be getting underway and in a short amount of time we will be finding out where the strength of the big ten really is. I foresee a rather tight battle among the top 5-6 teams whoever that will be.

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