No. 17 IU women snap skid at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Indiana women’s basketball team not only snapped a three-game losing skid on Thursday night, the Hoosiers exorcised some demons in the process.

No. 17 IU took a nine-point lead to the fourth quarter and never let the Nittany Lions get any closer in finishing off a 76-60 victory at the Bryce Jordan Center.

It came after Indiana let double-digit, second-half leads slip away in losses at Iowa and at home to Northwestern to start the recent slide.

“It was a great win for the Hoosiers tonight,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “It’s been a while, so nice to get back in the win column.”

It took some time for the Hoosiers (15-5, 5-3 B1G) to assert themselves, as Penn State (7-12, 1-7) kept pace in a high-octane opening half. The hosts hit six 3-pointers and shot 48.3 percent overall in the opening 20 minutes to keep pace with Indiana, particularly 6-foot-3 freshman Mackenzie Holmes, who had 12 of her 18 points in the first half. Ali Patberg also had 10 of her 18 points in the opening half, as well as four of her nine assists.

“Mac was terrific, Ali was being super aggressive, (Jaelynn Penn) was being a threat out there, as well as Aleksa (Gulbe),” Moren said. “Like I said to the group, the more aggressive Ali Patberg plays, the more aggressive everyone plays, so she’ll need to continue to do that as we continue to grow in our program.”

Patberg and the rest of the Hoosiers continued to be aggressive after carrying a narrow 39-38 lead into halftime. Indiana opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to take command behind a pair of baskets from Aleksa Gulbe and Ali Patberg, who matched Holmes for the team scoring lead with 18.

A Jorie Allen putback to beat the shot clock capped the frame and sent IU to the fourth quarter with a 58-49 lead. Unlike those previous losses, the Hoosiers were unrelenting over the final 10 minutes.

And while the offense kept rolling, the defense clamped down on the Nittany Lions, who shot just 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) in the second half.

“The second half defensively we were much better,” Moren said. “We got to 50-50 balls with a lot of hustle plays, where Brenna (Wise) and Jorie stand out.”

Wise finished with seven points and 10 rebounds, while Penn was the third Hoosier in double figures with 11 points. Gulbe and Grace Berger added nine points apiece.

After a free throw by Penn State to start the fourth, Holmes responded with a left-handed hook shot in the lane and then an elbow jumper from 15 feet to push the lead to double digits.

The Nittany Lions got as close as nine and had a 3-point attempt to get closer, but it was off the mark, IU scored the next four points and coasted to the finish of its first win at Penn State since 2016.

The Hoosiers return home on Monday to host Minnesota at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

8 comments

  1. Very nice victory on the road which is always difficult. Holding Penn St. to 25% shooting in the second half was the main reason for the win. For the most part we have been a very good defensive team this year leading to our success. Winning games like this on the road is what good teams do! Nice that we are back in the groove after the 3 game losing streak. Time to get a streak going now with the next 2 games at home. I have said this more than once, as good as Ali is, she really makes me nervous when handling the ball. She has a tendency of being careless with her handle. Some of her turn overs are mind boggling at times. Although her leadership on the floor is very good when she keeps her emotions down. Go Hoosiers!!

  2. Surprising that IU had not won there since 2016. Glad to see them get back in the winning ways although their defense in the first half pretty much sucked. Allowed 38 pts and 6 3ptrs. Im sure they got an earful at halftime. Still a long way to go with 10 conf. games remaining to be played, this could come down to the final game to decide a winner of the conf. I noticed that on sunday NWestern plays at Maryland and its only on BTN+. Of course the conf. games are scheduled way ahead of time , but you would think a game this big would on tv. If the terps win Iowa will be in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

  3. Mike, Ali makes me nervous as well.
    But look at her stats last night.
    14 Ali Patberg 37:31 5-10(fg) 0-1(3p) 8-10(ft) 5 (rb) 18(pts) 9(assists) 2(to) 1(steal) +21(+/-)
    I was really nervous after the first half, because while I thought our effort was there and we were playing pretty darned well, Penn State looked like they were having one of those BigTen road games all good teams are afraid might happen to them.
    I thought Jorie’s tip-in and rebound right after it were huge. She plays so darned smart. It’s like her mind is in warp speed.
    Did the women make some sort of defensive change to start the second half, or did they just play harder? Basically blew ’em away pretty well to start the third quarter.
    I’ll bet the ride home was pretty good for the Hoosier Women!
    GO IU!

  4. I liked the aggressiveness Ali played with and I hope it continues. Loved seeing Wise fly in to get those second chance reb. Brenna seems to have that sense that not all players have its instinctive goes back to the backyard play when you know a shot is not going in and you react before anyone else. Looks like another “FOTW” might in the offing for Holmes.

  5. Tossed the ball up and both teams ran up and down the floor. IU Ladies were the better team, however little more physical dominance and play came in half number 2. First half IU Ladies cannot concede the 3 by opponents. To many times recovery made looks like effort but is staged not affecting shots. So opponents game plan is to set up three ready to shoot (as practiced) and be confident because shot will be clean. Penn State was confident until IU Ladies did a better job defending along with Penn State Ladies fatigue. For IU Ladies maybe this was a somewhat short lull during season and could serve as a pivotal game to turn things back to winning.

  6. It’s important for Patberg to hit a shot and layup kinda early in game. She has to feel good and not get down.

  7. Im still greatly surprised this game wasnt moved to BTN with the importance of it. Lack of respect for the women. As an IU fan I love to see the terps lose , but in this case I might make an exception, better for the league. With 10 conf. games remaining the heavy hitters at the top will be knocking each other around and it may be shocking to see how many losses the winner will have. Could come down to tie breakers. Great to see such parity in the conf. this year rather than 1 or 2 teams dominating. Nearly any team this year can beat you if you dont bring your A game. Great to see the B1G being the overall best conf. in the country.

  8. This team needs to become a more physical team overall, Gulbe is strong and needs to be a force inside, Jorie and Hannah could get some minutes and help with that,,,, good luck tonight against Minn. Go Hoosiers!!!!!!!!

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