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Three takeaways from Indiana women’s basketball’s 83-64 win over Florida

Indiana women’s basketball freshman Grace Berger dribbles to ball in the exhibition game against Northwood. Berger put up a career high 11 points against Florida in the 83-64 win Wednesday afternoon (Mark Timko/HN)

Indiana passed one of their biggest tests of this young season with flying colors on Wednesday afternoon, defeating the Florida Gators 83-64 to improve to 4-0.

After a slow start, Indiana surged in the second and third quarters and cruised to a big win, led by five players in double figures and two players with double-doubles.

Here are some takeaways from Indiana’s fourth win of the season.

The Arrival of Grace Berger

It has been a slow start to the season for five-star freshman Grace Berger. Through the first three games of the season, Berger scored only nine points and made only one three pointer.

However, head coach Teri Moren praised her confidence and how it never wavered, even after a slow start.

“She was by far our best offensive player yesterday in practice,” Moren said, “She can get into the paint and then she elevates. Like I said, she has an old man’s game where she elevates and has that mid-range game.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Berger notched a career-high 11 points to go with three assists in the win over Florida. She also knocked down her first three pointer of the season and looked confident throughout the ballgame.

On a day where Ali Patberg found herself in foul trouble, Berger stepped up and played big minutes in the midst of Indiana’s big third-quarter run that helped them to pull away from Florida. The Hoosiers have struggled with turnovers this year, but Berger was a positive on Wednesday, turning the ball over only two times in the win.

“I did see a little bit more emotion out of Grace this afternoon, which is good to see,” Moren said, “She’s just going to continue to grow into a fabulous player and a great Big Ten player here.”

Huge Third Quarter

Indiana was leading by six at halftime after a solid second quarter helped get them in the lead. However, the third quarter was when the Hoosiers blew the game wide open.

The Hoosiers outscored Florida 23-13 in the third quarter, but it was the finish to the quarter that stood out. Indiana finished the last 3:17 on an 11-1 run, allowing no field goals from the Gators in that timespan.

Florida finished the quarter one-of-eight, missing their last six shots and watching the Hoosiers take a 16-point lead into the final quarter.

Indiana’s Brenna Wise scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half, leading to her first double-double as an Indiana Hoosier.

“I thought Brenna Wise was terrific,” Moren said, “I thought a lot of them had their moments where they were really good. We went on spurts there were we were scoring the ball.”

Most Complete Performance of the Season

Despite the 0-4 record, Florida was arguably Indiana’s toughest opponent yet, and Indiana left no doubt who was the better team Wednesday afternoon.

The Hoosiers’ 83 points was a season high. That number was aided by 51-percent shooting from the field and an impressive 62-percent from beyond the arc (8-of-13). That’s easily the best shooting night for the Hoosiers from long range this season.

They also held Florida to 8-of-27 from deep and Bendu Yeaney limited the SEC’s leading scorer, Funda Nakkasoglu, to 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

“As far as one-on-one, when you have the ball, you’re trying to get past Bendu, you’re trying to get a shot off against Bendu, it’s going to be incredibly tough,” Moren said.

The Hoosiers had five players score double figures, with two more scoring nine points. Wise’s 18 points led the way, while Royster added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Turnovers weren’t great, but the 16 turnovers was under Indiana’s average this season, so it’s an improvement from that perspective.

Overall, Indiana gets a big win to improve to 4-0 on the season and will finish out their homestand on Sunday against Northern Illinois.

Austin Render

I am a sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana majoring in Sports Media. Last year I worked with IUSTV Sports doing recap and feature packages for IU field hockey, women's basketball and baseball. I am one of the current WIUX Co-Sports Directors. I am a student broadcaster for WIUX as well as Big Ten Network Student U. You can reach me at austinrender99@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter @austinrender.

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