The Indiana women’s basketball team defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 91-68 in a Sunday matinee game. Here’s a few takeaways from the victory:
Grace Berger can and will do it all
Berger scored a season-high 21 points on Sunday and was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, the first time she’s made three from deep since 2019 against Mount St. Mary’s. She made a crucial steal in the second quarter, added seven assists and scored five mid-range jumpers.
“Offensively I thought Grace Berger was terrific,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “It was good to see her have a breakout day. We’ve seen her do that before but today was ‘Grace Berger Day.’”
She’s a leader, a team player, a playmaker, a defensive machine — the list goes on and on.
“She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met,” Sydney Parrish said.
It was “Grace Berger Day” Sunday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more days like this for Berger during the remainder of the season.
This team can really shoot the ball
The Hoosiers were 61% from deep on Sunday afternoon. Yarden Garzon hit her first four shots from beyond the arc, Parrish was 50% on her triples and Berger (who ordinarily sticks with those jumpers and layups) made all three of her attempts.
Between the three of them and Sara Scalia when she gets hot, there are four capable shooters on this team, and oftentimes three of them are on the hardwood at the same time. There’s not much opposing teams can do to stop them.
Parrish noted that she sometimes doesn’t even go for offensive boards because she’s so confident that Garzon, Berger or Scalia can knock down those 3s.
This marked the sixth game of the season where the Hoosiers were down after the first quarter. A pair of turnovers set Indiana down a few and they weren’t able to stop Rutgers from hitting big-time shots. They were leaving them with open looks, and while offensively, the Hoosiers excelled, they weren’t looking like themselves defensively to start.
“The rhythm felt like we were playing a little uphill this afternoon,” Moren said. “I don’t know if it’s because they were hitting shots or we weren’t getting the stops that we needed.”
The second half gave them more of what they were hoping for, but Moren was disappointed with the first-half showing.
“We felt like we were soft, to be honest with you,” Moren said, “in terms of getting to the loose balls, in terms of rebounding. They took it from us a few times right in front of our bench. So the challenge was that we needed to be grittier, we needed to be tougher, we needed to be more resilient and persistent in coming up with 50/50 balls and rebounds.”
While they did eventually figure it all out and make adjustments, they were unhappy with how long it took them to do so.
On Sunday, 8,598 fans attended the game — the seventh largest crowd in school history. Sunday matinee basketball isn’t usually highly anticipated, but these fans are hungry.
The Hoosiers (20-1) are on the road this Wednesday at Minnesota (9-12) for their first of two road games. The fans likely won’t travel for this one, but the home schedule heats up on Feb. 9, when No. 10 Iowa comes to town.