The Hoosiers were well in control as the time ticked down and the crowd looking to go home for the Super Bowl a few hours later.
Indiana was starting to run away. They led by 16 with just over five minutes left to play. In honor of the football game later in the day, Northwestern put together their best two-minute drill. The Wildcats broke off a 18-2 run to end regulation. Ultimately, an extra five minutes was needed.
On a day in which three Hoosiers scored 17 points or more, Indiana fended off a stingy Northwestern run to hold on for a 78-73 win.
IU women's basketball blew a 16 point lead at the end of regulation, but ended up beating Northwestern 78-73 in OT. Head coach Teri Moren said she hopes her young team learned some important lessons today. #iuwbb pic.twitter.com/XksthispGQ
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) February 4, 2018
“I’m really proud of the way our kids handled themselves in overtime,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “We came up with some big stops when we had too. Overall, just happy that we escaped with a win. I’m disappointed that we did get the lead and we relinquished it, we gave it up. But I thought it was good for our kids to have to battle back the way they did.”
Once again, the Hoosiers relied on senior Tyra Buss to get the job done. She finished with a season-high 31 points. She was seemingly everywhere. The senior concluded her afternoon 10-of-24 from the field including three shots from behind the arc and 100 percent from the free throw line.
Buss had those 31 points, but just four points came in the final 10 minutes of the game, including overtime. Still, the senior kept her composure, helped her team and stayed with her attacking mindset.
“I just let the game come to me,” Buss said. “Whether that’s scoring or doing all of the things I need to do to help the team win. I was just being extremely aggressive. That’s what coach always said and she said we could attack them. I was just finding my opportunities to be able to take her to the rack.”
The Hoosiers looked like they were going to stroll out of Assembly Hall with a win in regulation. However, Moren said the transition defense just wasn’t quite good enough at times towards the end of regulation. They turned it over during a few possessions and couldn’t get anything to fall.
“We put ourselves in a position where we had to lock down and get stops,” Moren said. “Credit our kids, because they had to get the stops.”
With Sunday’s win, Indiana has now won four straight games and has gotten back to .500. Moren said she was very proud about her team’s effort in overtime, but was disappointed they relinquished it. Yet, she thought it was good for her team to go through a game like this and still come away with a win.
The Hoosiers are now through three of their four game home stand. Moren thinks that has helped this team get things back on track.
“We have to continue to understand that everyday that we come into practice, our goal is to get better and accept the fact that we still have so much improvement,” Moren said. “This isn’t a group that will ever get to a level of satisfaction thinking that we figured it out… I hope that they have confidence.”