No. 24 IU women topple Minnesota, 75-69

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Indiana hit Minnesota with the 1-2 punch of Ali Patberg and Grace Berger on Saturday night, and the No. 24 Hoosiers were able to knock out the Gophers, 75-69, at Williams Arena.

Patberg scored 25 of her season-high 29 points in the first half, then Berger followed with 14 of her 18 points in the second half as IU won a true road game for the ninth time in 11 tries this season.

“That was a huge road win against a really, really good team at home,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “I thought Ali Patberg was fantastic in the first half. Seemed like every time they made a run, she made another run at them by herself. Then I thought Grace Berger was terrific in the second half.”

In spite of Patberg’s monster start, the Hoosiers (21-7, 11-5 B1G) had a hard time creating separation with Minnesota freshman Jasmine Powell nearly matching IU’s redshirt junior shot for shot. Powell had 15 of her 21 points in the first half, largely slowed by foul trouble, including her second foul late in the second quarter.

Patberg scored Indiana’s last 17 points of the first half, including a jumper and a 3 to give the Hoosiers a 40-37 halftime lead.

“I was just trying to be aggressive, and I was hitting shots,” Patberg told the Big Ten Network postgame. “Then I think in the second half my teammates were aggressive and hitting shots.”

In the third quarter, Berger found Mackenzie Holmes underneath for one of her five assists, then hit a pair of jumpers to boost IU to its largest lead of the game at 46-37.

The Gophers (15-12, 5-11) rallied slowly and steadily, eventually tying the game at 53 before Holmes and Berger each scored to give Indiana a 57-53 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Minnesota took a 62-61 lead with 7:28 left, but Berger scored at the other end to start a 6-1 spurt for the Hoosiers, who never trailed again.

The lead was just 67-65, however, when Patberg found Brenna Wise wide open at the top of the key. Indiana’s lone senior swished the 3-pointer to put the Hoosiers in the catbird seat with three minutes left.

“Brenna Wise’s 3 at the end was huge, great to see her stick that shot,” Moren said. “Really liked the minutes Jorie Allen gave us tonight, and Grace Waggoner did a nice job. We went to our bench more to see if we could rest the starters, and I think it paid off.”

Berger, who also grabbed nine rebounds, followed with a jumper to put Indiana up seven. Two free throws from Jaelynn Penn and one from Patberg helped close things out as Minnesota hit just two of its last 11 shots from the field.

“It’s difficult to win in the Big Ten, and twice as hard to win on the road in the Big Ten,” Moren said.

It was the first sweep of the Gophers since 2001 for the Hoosiers, who now control their own destiny in the race for the fourth seed in the Big Ten Tournament after Ohio State’s loss at Rutgers on Saturday. Next up is Senior Day against Nebraska Thursday at 6 p.m. in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

8 comments

  1. Some good things but both, teams especially IU played down to each other. IU Ladies made plays down stretch with a welcomed 3 ball by Wise that IU Ladies were able to grind out a win. Lots of one on one; first half by Patberg and second half Berger shot well in mid range game. Then, some dribbling by Penn and Patberg that caused errors and rest of team hung in for a win. Maybe, offensive movement can be added more to IU Lady offense. G.W. Made a block and chased a rebound down. Maybe, G.W. can hit a shot and set C.W. on bench unless IU Ladies go about 9 deep. Maybe, Gulbe and Holmes can pick up there play a little more. 21 wins of 27.

  2. I personally think the few days off and more substitution had a LOT to do with today’s IU’s victory.
    Started strong, finished strong.
    Greg Murray mentioned the IU women 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 game and season if you ask me.
    GO IU!

  3. Yes, overall through some mistake prone patches (not everything and execution not perfect) IU Ladies do have an excellent self image. When the Lady Hoosiers are playing it is known it is the Lady Hoosiers. Lady Hoosiers and coaching staff exemplify passion for what they are doing. Right on. Pretty impressive. Smart, high basketball IQs, fun to watch, and easy to cheer for. Character.

  4. Made the statement several weeks ago that Moren is stingy with playing time for her bench. You can’t develop a bench if you don’t play them? Last night as the article states, we wouldn’t have probably won this game if the coach wouldn’t have used her bench more than she usually does? There are good players on the bench if she would just have a little confidence in them! It showed last night. Your bench is the key when you are approaching the Big 10 Tournament! Any time you have to play back-to-back days your bench is crucial! To win the tournament you may have to play 3 days in a row if not more? Going deep into your bench will help with that. If we finish in the top 4 in the league, we would have to play 3 days in a row to win the tournament. Holmes, Wilson, Warthen, Waggoner and Allen can contribute important minutes towards winning a tournament championship if used properly! Onward and upward Hoosiers!!

  5. Obviously the days off helped this team both mentally and physically. Ali just missed her 30 pt game and Berger was on her jumper again, great to see. Also as has been mentioned the use of the bench for even a couple minutes helps other players. Hopefully the rotation will continue the rest of season. With the Ohio State loss at Rutgers puts IU in the catbird seat provided they win out. Man what a game that was. Ohio State will not be an easy out for anybody.

  6. We accomplished a must-win to keep hope alive for the valued BTN 4-seed, and Rutgers knocked OSU back to our trailer instead of our tie-break winner. The pressure is on for us to win out to lock-up the seed.

    It’s worth noting that a rested OSU caught us last weekend, while we were in game 3 of our week.
    Just as OSU had the energy to catch us late, Rutgers caught OSU yesterday at the end, when OSU was in game 3 of their week. Watching on BTN, you never thought OSU was not going to win this, until the final possessions when they didn’t. “On fire” does not capture Arella Guirantes. She scored 36 of Rutgers’ 59 points, including a self-created jumper on the game-deciding possession at 20-some seconds.

    Alipat was our Leading Lady for sure, along with 14 points of crucial support from Grace B and 8 of the timeliest points ever from Brenna. Rutger’s Arella got just 9 from her big, Wallace, and only dribbles of points from the rest. Ali was all-out “I’ll take every lane you give me” alert. Arella was truly unstoppable by OSU on this day over the 40 minutes. Made 15 of 21, 3 threes, and (only) 3 of 6 free throws. Nice lady Vera Jones of BTN was searching for words to describe it. OSU’s young team will be having Arella nightmares until their next game. Minnies’ ladies will be seeing in the dark as Ali passes by in the fast lane.

    Our first two guards off the bench are running short of time to help a lot this year. The jr. just keeps trying to go and reach a tiny bit faster than even her speed, quicks and athleticism allow. Our soph seems ever-so-anxious to “get on the board.” Quick to settle for a quick 3 or the head-down, hold-your-breath do-or-die drive to a bucket that’s moved just out of reach. We’ll be needing both of them to fill their roles, along with Jori and Grace W in the tournaments.

    The zone-stretcher shooting touch of Brenna returned yesterday. Those two makes were timely and thus huge. Brenna and Jaelyn making outside shots over the zones is the low-hanging fruit that this team can still capture to be better yet, yet this year. Such as the difference between a top 24 team and a Sweet 16 team.

    Let’s all make for a great-crowd, super send-off for senior B Wise on Thursday.

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