Patberg nears triple-double in win over Nicholls State

Report written by H-T women’s basketball contributor Dylan Wallace: 

Ali Patberg knew she was close to making history. It wasn’t the first time she was close, either.

Indiana was leading Nicholls State, 88-29, at the end of the third quarter Sunday, and the Hoosiers’ point guard was two rebounds and an assist shy of the first-ever triple-double in IU women’s basketball history. She fell just short of that mark in last year’s win over Missouri State, finishing with 16 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds.

IU coach Teri Moren wasn’t planning to play her starting point guard in the fourth quarter of what eventually ended as a 111-47 drubbing.

“We told her the max she was going to play was no more than two minutes,” Moren said.

Two minutes for Patberg to clinch just the third triple-double in school history — following in the footsteps of men’s players Juwan Morgan (2018) and Steve Downing (1971).

Assistant coach Rhet Wierzba told Patberg to go in and crash the glass because they thought it’d be easy for her to pick up the final assist — she had seven after the first quarter.

But 6-foot-5 freshman Hannah Noveroske was snatching any and every Nicholls State missed shot. At one point, Patberg pushed it to Keyanna Warthen, who then touch-passed to Noveroske for the score. The hockey assist went to Patberg, but it didn’t show up in the box score.

After that play, her two minutes were up, and Moren subbed Patberg out of the game as she finished with 17 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. The rest of the way she was all smiles on the bench as she watched her team cruise, improving its record to 2-0.

“We were disappointed she couldn’t do it, but at the end of the day, Ali Patberg is just going to be happy we won the game,” Moren said.

The game was more about Patberg getting herself back into a rhythm after struggling in the Hoosiers’ season-opener against Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday when she only scored six points on 3-8 shooting and committed five turnovers.

Throughout that first game, she would get frustrated with how she was playing, but on Sunday, she had to refocus on what the theme of this season is.

“We want to be great,” Patberg said. “It doesn’t matter the score. It doesn’t matter to the team. But every night, we’re out there to get better as a team.”

As a team, IU was rolling on all cylinders versus Nicholls State. Moren has always preached getting out to a fast start and playing up-tempo in transition, and the Hoosiers ran out to a 35-12 lead after the first 10 minutes, which was the second-most points the program has scored in any quarter.

IU finished the game with 41 fast-break points compared to Nicholls State’s four. Thirty-six of those came off of the 20 turnovers they forced.

“You have to have the willingness of your players to want to run the floor,” Moren said. “I thought today, even in the second half when the game was out of hand, we had our players running the floor hard. It’s a testament to our players and the discipline they kept throughout.”

After finishing last in the Big Ten in assists a season ago, Moren challenged her team to share the ball more. On Sunday, the Hoosiers finished with 33 assists, which is the single-game program record. Their 111 points tied the second-highest total for a game — just four points off the record — and their field goal percentage (63.4%) was just a few makes off of a record (68.6%), as well.

Five players scored in double figures, including freshman Mackenzie Holmes, who led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-9 shooting. Junior Jaelynn Penn contributed 13 points, sophomore Aleksa Gulbe had 12, and freshman Chanel Wilson added 10 to go along with her seven assists.

“We all can score at any position,” Patberg said. “We are willing to share the ball, and that says a lot about our culture, about what coach preaches to us. It’s going to be hard for other teams to play us because I think we have, again, scoring options at any position.”

10 comments

  1. Great to see 5 players in double figures and 2 more a field goal away. Also great to see Grace Waggoner score at the end of the game. The bench went ballistic when Grace scored and got fouled, just shows the great team togetherness when that happened! Holmes is just going to be a tremendous player for the Hoosiers! As I stated last time, she is the missing link for this team, her inside presence is very formidable as today she blocked 5 shots. Not only did she block 5 shots, on 2 of those blocks, after each block she ran the floor and scored inside at the other end. That’s another great thing about her, I am trying to remember when we had a center that could run the floor like she does? Not sure there is another? It’s easy to get very fired up about this team after the first 2 games but, both teams we have played are not very good. And today’s opponent did not have a player on their roster over 6′ tall which showed in the final rebounding stats, something like 48-25. As stated in the above article, we broke a team record by recording 33 assists which beat the old record of 29. This team is almost to unselfish but, that is a great thing. How this team interacts with each other is something to see, very cool. Chanel Wilson is going to make a huge difference for us this year, she is a REAL player. Grace Berger will be one of the best all around players in the conference this year! Barring injury, MacKensie Holmes may become one of the GREAT players in IU history, her game is so solid at both ends of the floor. Yes sir Hoosiers fans, great things to look forward to when the women play this year! Can’t wait to see this team play somebody that is real good! Go Hoosiers!!

  2. We were all concerned about post play this year, or at least I was.
    Granted, this was not a BigTen caliber team, but consider this sports fans.
    The two true centers (in my mind at least), Holmes and Noveroske, were 13 for 13 from the field, with 7 rebounds in a combined total of 27 minutes played.
    And eleven players scored.
    We have so much depth it is unbelievable.
    What a great year this could very well be.

  3. How does IU stack up against Oregon? Barring injury can IU ladies be big ten champs? Center position is in good hands (barring injury). All positions are in good hands (barring injury). IU ladies have highly rated players. 2 miss Indiana basketball players on floor/team.

  4. You have to love the way our “hurryin hoosiers” run the floor including Holmes. Actually though Mac did blow one layup although she was fouled and hit both free throws. Dont forget while others have predicted Allen as FOTY I said Holmes would be and so far have seen nothing to change that opinion, but there will be bumps in the road we all know that. We will face bigger stronger more athletic teams especially in the jam. I can only hope we can compete with those teams. Im sure many of you noticed that Oregon beat the national team the other day, only the second time thats ever been done and by the widest margin. For those that have watched this program develop know that this years team will be the best team. Last year Berger avg. around 5 pts a game and could not hit the 3 what a change for her, add in Holmes and what she can do along with Wilson’s ability to hit a couple 3’s a game and it makes you wonder how good this team can be. I have to hold back my enthusiasm. Go Hoosiers!!!

  5. A solid performance against an over matched opponent. We got a glimpse of how well the Hoosiers can run the floor and our young players got valuable minutes that will pay off down the road. Jackson State should provide better competition as they hung pretty well at home against U Miami. Sunday will be the last game at home for a while so we need to show up and fill more seats at The Hall for this next game. Go Hoosiers!

  6. Looking ahead to the P. Jam appears the only way to watch will be on flo hoops tv , unless of course you go there. Would hate to miss those games even if we lose.

  7. IU ladies basketball schedule pre conference gets a little scary. T.M. and IU ladies will get a good measuring stick to see if they are an upper echelon team meaning top 10. I expect IU ladies to be competitive because of T.A. and coaching staff. That is the way they are built. I expect Holmes will have a tough way to go. IU ladies have been in the top 25 to 50 or so range under T.Moren. Now, Top 10 or remain in top 25 to top 30 range??? is the question.

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