Depth for IU women’s basketball continued to prove its worth after the team’s 66-46 win Wednesday night against Butler, pushing its record to 8-0 on the season.
Three different Hoosiers scored in double digits as the team had a lead the entirety of the game. Behind the performances of juniors Brenna Wise and Ali Patberg and sophomore Bendu Yeaney, IU had three players score 10 or more points for the sixth time this season.
“There’s a balance there that we haven’t had in a while,” IU Coach Teri Moren said. “Their chemistry is incredible. They are all about each other.”
The win improves IU’s record to 8-0, while Butler suffered its first loss and is now 6-1.
Dating back to last season’s WNIT Championship run, the Hoosiers are now on a 14-game winning streak.
After reigning NCAA champion Notre Dame lost to the University of Connecticut on Sunday, IU took control of the nation’s longest winning streak.
But Moren has said the team does not focus on the streak but rather on improving.
“Every game that we’ve won we’ve celebrated the night of, but the next day we’re back to work,” Patberg said. “There’s always something to work on, and we’re always focusing on the things we need to do to get better.”
Along with the 22 points she had, Wise was big for IU on the boards. While playing the full 40 minutes of the game, Wise picked up 11 rebounds — five of which were offensive — as part of her second double-double of the season.
“She doesn’t have a bad day,” Moren said. “When she comes to practice, she is always excited and ready to work. She’s the shot in the arm that we always need when things are in practice and it’s quiet. Her leadership, her voice is one that I know I always count on.”
Yeaney is usually who the Hoosiers turn to when it comes to defending the opposing team’s top scorer. However, Patberg was given the task of guarding Whitney Jennings who entered the game averaging 15 points per contest.
Patberg allowed her to score 13 points, but it came on just 4-14 shooting.
“AP was incredible defensively,” Moren said. “She had some miscues offensively with not taking care of the ball at times. As far as defensively and what she had to do tonight to keep her quiet, she did just that.”
Despite the win, the Hoosiers turned the ball over 18 times — half of which came in the third quarter. This is the fifth time this year where the team has had 15 or more turnovers in a game.
“That was just us being careless with the ball,” Patberg said. “We have to be better at handling the ball.”
The matchup with Butler was the team’s first game at home since Nov. 25. The team picked up two road wins in the past week, but Moren said the travel and fatigue may have affected the team’s play.
“Yesterday and today, we seemed a little bit lethargic,” Moren said. “Their energy is always great and how hard they play, but some of it went back to focus or lack of focus.”
The 8-0 start is the best for IU since the 2013-14 season. IU’s next opportunity to extend its win streak will be at noon Sunday when Missouri State University comes to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
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