Indiana Daily Student

IU women’s basketball takes down first power-five opponent

<p>Freshman guard Grace Berger looks for a teammate to throw the ball to. IU is 4-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 season.</p>

Freshman guard Grace Berger looks for a teammate to throw the ball to. IU is 4-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

Five players scored in double digits for IU women’s basketball as the team cruised to an 83-64 win over the University of Florida — the team’s first win in the power-five conferences. 

“That’s a testament to our depth and the talent that we have,” junior forward Brenna Wise said. “We can go down the bench and have confidence that the next one in is going to make something happen for our team.”

Had sophomore guard Bendu Yeaney not missed her one free throw, it could have been six players in double digits.

However, Moren said her only complaint on the day for Yeaney is that free throw. Yeaney had the task of guarding Funda Nakkasoglu, who averaged 23 points per game coming into the contest.

Yeaney limited her to just five points on 2-8 shooting from the field.

“She’s incredible as far as her ability to score the ball, especially from beyond the arch, but I thought Benny did a tremendous job,” Moren said. “As far as one-on-one, when you have the ball and you try and get past Bendu, you try to get a shot off against Bendu, it’s going to be incredibly tough.” 

Yeaney has been dealing with an Achilles injury while sophomore guard Jaelynn Penn has a lurking ankle injury, but in the last two games for IU, the duo has scored 48 points.

“They’re studs,” Wise said. “They continue to get better every single day, and we continue to make each other better every single day.”

After losing the first quarter, IU rebounded in the second to take a 39-33 lead into the half. A large part of IU’s early success was freshman guard Grace Berger who scored seven of her 11 points in the first half.

She had only nine points on the season coming into the game.

“I just needed to see one go through the net,” Berger said. “I was just focused on doing other things like defense, rebounding and running plays correctly. I knew the offense would eventually come for me.”

Three days after junior guard Ali Patberg recorded IU’s first double-double of the season, the team got two more as senior forward Kym Royster and Wise packed the stat sheet today.

Wise scored 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, while Royster had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought a lot of them had their moments where they were really good,” Moren said. “This is a great win against an SEC opponent.” 

IU’s defense allowed Florida to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half, but the team came out strong in the third by limiting Florida to less than 30 percent shooting in the quarter.

“At the end of the day, it just depends on who wants it more and being grittier on the defensive end,” Wise said. “That turns into our offense.”

The defense got a boost from freshman forward Aleksa Gulbe who collected two blocks and four rebounds for the team.

Her aggressiveness did lead to four fouls, but that is something Moren said she is OK with.

“We want her to stay aggressive, but we also want her to make better decisions because I think sometimes, she and Brenna both are a little overzealous at that four-spot,” Moren said. “What we don’t want to do is put the opposing team on the free throw line with silly fouls.” 

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