The Indiana Hoosiers paired up against a top-10 opponent in North Carolina on Wednesday as they were looking to earn their second win over a top-25 team this season. Even though Indiana went on to take down the Tar Heels, 87-63, it didn’t look like it was going to be an easy night for the Hoosiers in the opening moments.
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The Hoosiers walked into Knoxville Tuesday night looking for their first ever win against one of the top women's college basketball programs of all time. No. 12 Indiana took care of business, walking out with a 79-67 win over No. 11 Tennessee and moving on to 3-0 on the season. This win is one of the biggest wins in recent years for the Hoosiers as they continue to climb the women’s basketball hierarchy. As the Hoosiers come out on top in one of their biggest wins of the season, here are three things that stuck out in the win over the Lady Volunteers.
Indiana started off the year on the right foot taking down Vermont 86-49 for its first win of the season. The Hoosiers looked like a brand new offensive team compared to last year, shooting nearly 50% from both the field and the 3-point arc. With a lot of new faces and still questions to be answered about the structure of this team, here are a few early takeaways from the young season.
Friday night started the 2022-2023 season for Indiana with a 86-43 win over Kentucky Wesleyan. This was the first and only exhibition game of the year for Indiana before the regular season starts Nov. 8. In typical Indiana fashion, the Hoosiers were led by Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger with both stars combining for a total of 38 points. Indiana went down in the first 11 seconds of play but took the lead from there and never looked back for its first win of the season.
‘She’s meant so much to this program’: Seven years later, Ali Patberg steps off the court for the final time
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — While the Hoosiers walked off the court for the final time this season after a 75-58 loss to Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen, a specific Hoosier walked off for the final time after seven years of college basketball. Graduate student Ali Patberg dropped 16 points, two assists and one rebound in the final game of her career. This year was her seventh year playing collegiate basketball and her fifth year with the Hoosiers. After the Saturday night loss, Patberg’s emotions came out as she played for the final time in her career. “Disappointed we lost, I’m not a good loser,” Patberg said. “This is not how I envisioned going out but I'm just thankful coach (Teri) Moren believed in me five years ago and gave me an opportunity to wear ‘Hoosier’ on my chest. I just hope that the time I had at IU, people just remember how hard I played and I was a good teammate, and worked as hard as I could. I'm thankful, but it hurts right now. But I'm thankful.” Patberg, a Columbus, Indiana native, came to IU for the 2017-2018 season after having played two seasons at Notre Dame. In those five years at Indiana Patberg became one of the most successful and accomplished players the program has ever had. Patberg became the 15th player at Indiana to have scored more than 1,000 points while also being a part of two consecutive March Madness appearances. Patberg has started every game since the beginning of the 2019-20 season. This year Patberg played an average of 34.3 minutes a game after leading the team to a 24-9 record. After five years, Patberg played and started 122 games, scored 1,736 points, and recorded a total of 4,264 minutes played. With 1:12 left in the fourth quarter, the longtime Hoosier exited the game for the final time. A clearly emotional Patberg went to the end of the bench and wrapped a towel around her head. When Patberg lifted up the towel from her face, emotions were clear on Patberg’s face as she sat in tears watching the final seconds of her collegiate career. Patberg spoke about what it means to be from Indiana while wearing that Hoosier jersey on the court for one final time. “Yeah, it means a lot to me,” Patberg said. “I can’t even put it into words. Like I said, I'm just thankful that I got the opportunity to play for coach Moren. I love everything that our team represents and our school. I know they're going to continue to get better and grow and have success and I can't wait to see that and just know that I was a small, small part of it.” With one All-Big Ten First Team and two All-Big Ten Second Team selections, Patberg’s legacy will remain when it comes to Indiana basketball and Moren knows best what Patberg means to the university and the program. “She's meant so much to this program,” Moren said. “You can tell by her emotion that she is obviously very sad that it's over. Even though she was blessed enough to have seven years of college, that's not lost on AP (Ai Patberg). She realizes that it was a true blessing to be able to stay in Indiana and play another year. “She's our leader. She's our leader on the floor. She's our leader off the floor. She's going to be missed.”
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The stage was set this Saturday as Indiana made its way to its Sweet Sixteen matchup against Connecticut. Third-seeded Indiana was put up against the most historic program in women's basketball history looking for a return to the Elite Eight but couldn't get over the second-seeded Huskies to continue their run in March. Indiana fell to the Huskies in a one-sided battle 75-58 falling short of another Elite Eight run. This game marks the last time Indiana will see graduate students Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, Ali Patberg, and senior Aleksa Gulbe in the cream and crimson as all three have played their final game in an Indiana uniform. Patberg scored a game-high 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting in what proved to be the final game of her seven-year college basketball career. The starting five of Cardaño-Hillary, Patberg, Grace Berger, Gulbe and junior Mackenzie Holmes saw a lot of success in their years together but now it comes to an end. With three of the five leaving, they all now take different routes after their Indiana career. Holmes talked about how much it meant to play alongside Patberg and the rest of her teammates. “I don't think I could even put that into words,'' Holmes said. “I told Ali I'm not ready to have her not be my teammate anymore. This team is filled with 11 selfless girls who would just put each other before themselves and I mean, Ali's going to be my sister for life as the other seniors will be. I don't think I'm gonna let myself process this for a while.” Things started off well for Indiana, causing UConn to turnover the ball in the first two possessions and racing out to a 8-2 lead in the first four minutes. That six-point lead was the largest it ever got for the Hoosiers as UConn inched its way back after Indiana's hot start. The Huskies took control with 56 seconds left to go in the first quarter and set themselves up for the rest of the game as Indiana wasn't able to regain the lead. The Hoosiers looked to capitalize on some momentum thanks to Gulbe draining a 3 at the buzzer to bring it within four at halftime. Indiana brought it close several times throughout the day but a 16-0 run by the Huskies to start the second half never gave Indiana the chance to come back.
In front of a roaring Assembly Hall crowd, the third-seeded Indiana Hoosiers played in their first-round matchup against the 14th seed University of North Carolina at Charlotte, defeating the 49ers 85-51. This game marked the first time Assembly Hall and Indiana had hosted the NCAA Tournament. Indiana secured a top-four seed a couple weeks ago after winning multiple games in the Big Ten Tournament, which allowed IU to play the first and second round in Bloomington. Indiana fans knew this event was special, as a total of 6,389 fans made their way to Assembly Hall for the first matchup against Charlotte, the tenth-highest recorded attendance in school history.
Indiana survives first round of Big Ten tourney against Rutgers, looks ahead to rematch with Maryland
INDIANAPOLIS — It's the first week of March and that means one thing: Big Ten tournament basketball. Indiana women's basketball started off its tournament journey on Thursday against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the first round of the tournament. No. 14 Indiana survived the first round and advanced, winning with a score of 66-54. After three straight losses to end the regular season, Indiana came into the tournament as the No. 5 seed while Rutgers was ranked as the No. 13 seed. Rutgers headed into tournament play with the second worst conference record in all the Big Ten going 3-14. This was the first that these two teams have met in just under two years. Indiana and Rutgers were set to meet earlier this year on Dec. 30 but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
Senior Day, a top-25 matchup, a National Player of the Year candidate, and first place on the line were just some of the storylines headlined for the final regular season home game for the fifth-ranked Hoosiers. Indiana welcomed in Caitlin Clark and the 22nd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes but the Hoosiers’ fourth-quarter effort wasn’t enough as the Hawkeyes outlasted the Hoosiers 96-91. Iowa had a 24-point lead at one point, but Indiana scored a program-record 42 points in the fourth quarter to get back in the game.
Indiana completes season sweep of Purdue, holding off Boilermakers in front of raucous Assembly Hall crowd
Indiana welcomed one of the biggest crowds in Indiana women's basketball history for the in-state rival Purdue and quickly turned the Boilermakers back to West Lafayette, as the Hoosiers took them down for the second time this season in a 64-57 win. No. 5 Indiana captures its second win in a row and 16th win of their season so far. Earlier this week the Hoosiers had to play in an empty Assembly Hall due to weather conditions, but this time around it was quite the opposite. Assembly Hall recorded a total of 7,891 fans in attendance, making it the fifth-largest crowd in Indiana women's basketball history. After not having the chance to watch the team against Minnesota and the anticipation of Purdue coming into town, the crowd showed up for its record-breaking attendance. Head coach Teri Moren spoke about the atmosphere for Sunday’s matchup. “Outstanding crowd this afternoon in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” Moren said. “I think that is one of our largest. As I said to our kids today, I felt like there was going to be a great crowd that was going to come out and support us this afternoon so we are grateful. Once again, Hoosier nation showed up in a big kind of way.”
No fans, plenty of snow, and the first game back at home in three weeks stirred up the pot for an interesting game in Assembly Hall on Thursday. No. 5 Indiana battled down the stretch in a back-and-forth game as the Hoosiers inched out an 80-70 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Assembly Hall also saw a new type of environment for this game, which was a very familiar sight last season. Due to weather conditions, fans were not allowed to come for this Thursday night game, giving the fans only the option to watch from their homes. It wasn't completely empty, as a few students from the Indiana Student Athletic Board made way and gave the Hoosiers a much-needed boost for certain moments in this game. Senior guard Grace Berger spoke about their presence on this unique day. “The 20-student fan section, I'm not even really sure how they got in,” Berger said. “I thought they were not allowed, but it was a pleasant little surprise when we walked out. They were great, they brought us some energy especially when we were losing a little bit up there in the third and fourth quarter. I think they definitely helped us push to a win.”
Indiana enters West Lafayette down two key players, comes back in final minutes to extend Big Ten win streak
With a lively and packed Mackey Arena and a possible upset being written from the start, fans sat down on Sunday afternoon and watched a back and forth battle of in-state rivals. No. 6 Indiana came out on top to take the first matchup of the year against Purdue in overtime with a final score of 73-68. For the second game in a row, Indiana had its back put up against the wall without a single minute of basketball being played. About 50 minutes before tip off, it was announced that the Hoosiers would be without star guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary due to being placed in health and safety protocol. This is the second game in a row that it has been announced moments before tip-off that they would be down a player with a similar situation happening back against Nebraska on Jan 13. with Mackenzie Holmes.
Indiana beats Nebraska to stay undefeated in Big Ten, but Mackenzie Holmes’ injury puts future in question
The No. 6 Indiana Hoosiers headed into Thursday’s game knowing they had a tough matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and it got a little tougher just prior to the game. IU fans watching at home and in the stands were expecting the typical Teri Moren starting five but just about an hour before tip off the Hoosiers announced that star center Makenzie Holmes would not play due to a knee injury. Even without their All-American center, the Hoosiers still bested Nebraska on Thursday, 72-65, to remain undefeated in the Big Ten.
No. 10 Indiana looked to bounce back after its loss to the No. 2-ranked North Carolina Wolfpack last Thursday, starting Big Ten play Monday night against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The game started off close in the first quarter but then went into the hands of the Hoosiers as they controlled the rest of the game, beating Penn State 70-40. The first quarter began in favor of Penn State, starting off on a 6-0 scoring run in the first two minutes causing IU head coach Teri Moren to call a quick timeout. Penn State came with a clear game plan: Causing traps down in the post. This worked in the beginning of the game, limiting center Mackenizie Holmes and forward Aleksa Gulbe to a combined seven points early on as well as causing seven turnovers for the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers shot well but couldn't keep a smooth momentum as they struggled keeping the ball in their own hands, turning over the ball seven times. It was only a matter of time before the Hoosiers started to click, though, and eventually got hot from the field, finishing the first quarter with an 18-13 lead. This time around the Nittany Lions were the ones with turnover issues. Indiana forced Penn State to cough up five turnovers in the second quarter. Not only that, Penn State had trouble getting quality shots and getting shots to go in the basket as they shot 26 percent from the field in the second quarter. The Hoosiers limited Penn State under 10 points, which led to the Nittany Lions scoring just eight points in the final 10 minutes heading into halftime. With Indiana’s defense hunkering down, the Hoosiers doubled their first-quarter points as they scored 19 in the second quarter before heading into halftime. They also cut down on the second-quarter turnovers as they only had added two more to close out the half. Indiana sixth-year guard Ali Patberg took charge to start the third quarter as she quickly scored five points within the first three minutes as well as staying strong on the defensive side of things. Patberg’s leadership out of the intermission caused Penn State to miss a pair of 3-pointers , limiting the Nittany Lions to just five points in the opening five minutes of the second half. That is as much as Penn State could muster offensively, enduring a scoring drought for the majority of the quarter. Indiana capitalized on Penn State going cold and stormed out to a 21-0 scoring run, eventually increasing its lead to as large as 34 points. The quarter closed out in dominant fashion by the Hoosiers as they finished with a 30-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play. Both teams only scored 10 points each in the fourth quarter to close out the game. Indiana finished shooting 51 percent from the field and 43 percent from behind the arc. Despite the 30-point win, Moren talked about the importance of cleaning up the turnovers and how it has continued to plague the team this season. “The only frustrating piece of the game is our turnovers,” Moren said. “We wanna be under 11 once again. We were careless tonight, especially in the first half. We've got to fix that, we have to figure out how to fix that.” Moren also said that Indiana’s losses to North Carolina State and Stanford earlier in the season are an indication of needing to continue to build the program and not getting complacent. “I think that playing the Stanfords and realizing that at the end of the day they won the national championship and we're right there does something good for your team,” Moren said. “NC State, we can look at that so many different ways. If we hit a couple more 3s the outcome is completely different.” In those contenders, Moren sees similarities, but she also said she believes the Hoosiers need to stay focused on what got them to this point. “We don’t have to be extraordinary," Moren said. "We have to be ourselves.”