Indiana was able to win its first ACC/Big Ten Challenge game since 2015 with an 87-73 win on the road against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
It was a career night for both Ali Patberg and Jaelynn Penn as the duo of guards paced the Hoosiers. Wednesday’s win was the start of two road games on two separate coasts ahead of Sunday’s game against UCLA.
Here are three takeaways from Indiana’s win.
Plenty of offense
Things got of to a crazy fast start Wednesday night in Winston-Salem. The Hoosiers scored 33 points in the first quarter and have now scored over 83 points in their last three games. Much of that can be attributed to the play of Ali Patberg and Jaelynn Penn. They combined for 55 points and 35 of IU’s 50 first half points.
Patberg may have played her best game for Indiana yet. She poured in 30 points on eight-of-11 shooting, including making all three of her shots from behind the arc and making all 11 of her free throws. Penn added 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting and making three shots from behind the arc. Brenna Wise also had 12 as the only other IU player to reach double figures.
“Two terrific performances from both of those guys,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “Both teams shot the ball extremely well especially in the first half, and we needed every basket.”
The offense has been clicking as of late and Wednesday night IU shot 52 percent overall and 50 percent from three.
Something that has given Indiana trouble through its first five games this season has been the turnover bug. But Wednesday was a bit of a different story. The Hoosiers only committed 13 turnovers while they were able to force 24. Off those 24 turnovers, Indiana was able to turn those into 23 points.
“Pleased with the way we played collectively,” Moren said. “Only turned the ball over 13 times, which is a plus for us.”
Those 24 turnovers by the Demon Deacons also helped the Hoosiers to win the battle in fast break points, 15-4. Turnovers will continue to be something to look at moving forward on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor. Indiana also had 18 assists to just those 13 turnovers.
Finishing November undefeated
The first month of the season couldn’t have gone any better, record wise, for the Hoosiers. Indiana is now 6-0 for the first time since 2013-14. It’s been a good balance of scoring for the Hoosiers, as the newcomers of Wise and Patberg have been impressive along with returning contributors like Penn and Bendu Yeaney.
“Overall, I thought it was a great performance on the road, tested in a lot of different ways,” Moren said. “Wake Forest has some nice pieces and I thought Bendu did a great job on (Elisa) Penna. I know she had 22, but 22 points that were not easy.”
It was a bit of a slow start to the season, but in the past 10 days, the Hoosiers have started to find their groove a bit. Wednesday’s win could go a long way in terms of getting wins on the road, as five of the next seven games will be away from Assembly Hall. That starts Sunday with a trip out west to play UCLA.