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Shooting woes hurt Indiana in 'disappointing' 17-point loss to Nebraska

A 23-for-72 night from the field ended up playing a key role in the Hoosiers’ fourth loss of the season, 72-55, at the hands of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

The team ended up shooting 32 percent from the field, but the 9 percent from 3-point range was a huge reason Indiana scored the amount of points they did. Indiana head coach Teri Moren said she believes that it was just one of those nights where shots didn’t go down for the No. 5 Hoosiers. 

“Well we pulled it within four and I thought we were going to be in good shape,” Moren said. “But we went 3-for-21 in the fourth quarter, and some of those were hurried up shots so I’m not counting those. But outside the last couple of minutes, we just missed shots.” 

It seemed to look good from the start for Indiana, as the team was knocking down mid range shots and kept what was a packed crowd in Lincoln at bay. But after Aleksa Gulbe got two quick fouls, things started to go downhill. IU certainly lacked size, and was forced to take many outside shots.

After starting 4-for-10 from the field, it seemed like there was a lid on the basket the rest of the game. The Hoosiers proceeded to go 19-for-62 from the field the rest of the game, making it the team’s worst shooting performance of the season. With the starters playing the majority of the game, it was apparent the Hoosiers were tired from all the games they have played recently.

Along with the shooting woes, Moren and company were not happy with the defense that Indiana played Monday. The team has prided itself on defense the entire year, and with Holmes and Kiandra Browne in foul trouble, Indiana’s interior defense struggled to defend Nebraska’s post players. Cornhusker center Alexis Markowski grabbed 15 total rebounds, and just seemed to get whatever she wanted inside. The team knows the defense needs to be better. 

“A lot of people might say [why we lost] we missed shots, but what coach Moren always says to us is ‘Defense wins games,’” Grace Berger said. “We’ve won lots of games against really good teams where we haven’t hit shots, and we’ve usually been able to rely on our defense. And our defense was honestly a lot worse than our offense today. So for a team that takes pride on that end, I think it’s really disappointing for all of us.”

While the team waits for Mackenzie Holmes to return to action, the Hoosiers will need to put this loss behind them and focus on what will be a very challenging end of the season for them. After a home game against a Northwestern team coming off a huge upset against Michigan, Indiana will face Iowa in back-to-back games along with the season finale against Maryland on the road.

Although this loss hurts in the race to the top of the Big Ten, Moren said she and her staff are not worried about this loss. With a veteran team, the staff knows that this team is more than capable of bouncing back and winning what will be a big game on Thursday night.

“We’re disappointed, but this group is not discouraged,” Moren said. “I’m not going to allow them to be discouraged. But fatigue will never be an excuse for us. They’re competitors, they’re young people, but they don't have 24 hours in between [games] so they should be ready to go.”

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