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Big second quarter pushes women’s basketball past Minnesota

After dominating the Nebraska Cornhuskers on both sides of the ball, the Hoosiers took that same momentum into Williams Arena, as the team got its first conference road win of the season, beating Minnesota 75-54.

Indiana was down by one at the end of the first quarter, in what was a bit of a sloppy first 10 minutes. But the second quarter was ultimately the difference in the game, as Indiana outscored the Gophers by 10 to go into the half up 11 points.

Jaelynn Penn scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Youngstown St. (Ross Abdellah/HN)

In the last 4:53 of the half, the team went on a huge 14-2 run to get its confidence back after going back and forth with Minnesota. The team was just making shots, shooting 57.1% in the quarter, and had a good shot selection overall.

The defense during these 10 minutes was also superb, as Minnesota was just held to 10 points during the second quarter. Most notably, senior Jaelynn Penn stood out on the defensive side of the ball, racking up a team-high four steals.

Penn helped hold Minnesota leading scorer Jasmine Powell (averaging 17 points per game) to 12 points on a 4-for-14 shooting night. Head coach Teri Moren was very impressed with the senior’s performance Wednesday night.

“Defensively I thought Jaelynn Penn was really good,” Moren said. “Obviously she had a good night offensively as well, but we asked Jaelynn to have the challenge of guarding Jasmine Powell and I thought she did a terrific job on her.”

Penn’s 19 points tied for the game-high and were a huge reason Indiana’s offense scored the way that it needed to. She was very active in transition and found her teammates open for shots, as she picked up five rebounds to go along with three assists. Another big reason the Hoosiers got their offense going was the playmaking of senior Ali Patberg, as she led the team in assists with six. Drawing so much attention on her own, she was able to kick it out to her teammates who hit their shots.

Indiana picked up right where it left off to begin the third quarter, immediately going on an 8-0 run led by sophomore Mackenzie Holmes. Holmes would finish with 19 points on the night and once again served as a lethal offensive weapon for the Hoosiers. 

But the Hoosiers didn’t stop there, as Penn along with redshirt junior Nicole Cardano-Hilary scored some big buckets to help Indiana extend its lead to 20. Moren was able to get some fresh legs in there in order to rest the starters to prep for the next game. Overall, it was a very impressive offensive performance from the Hoosiers, as Indiana had four players — Holmes, Penn, Grace Berger and Aleksa Gulbe — in double figures. Moren praises her team for going on the road and dominating the way they did. 

“Those wins are always incredibly difficult to win,” Moren said. “But road wins as I always say are a different kind of challenge. Really happy and pleased with the way we played this afternoon tonight against a really good Minnesota team on the road.”

The Hoosiers now travel back to Bloomington to take on Illinois on New Year’s Eve, which will be the final game of the 2020 calendar year. The 2-2 Fighting Illini are coming off a road loss to Nebraska, and a visit to Assembly Hall will only be the team’s second road game of the season.

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