IU women’s basketball Coach Teri Moren said she was happy and proud after her team’s 75-73 win Thursday night over No. 10 Iowa.
But it was also how Moren's players felt about her as she picked up her 100th career win at the helm at IU.
“No person that deserves it more than her,” junior forward Brenna Wise said. “We’re glad that this is her 100th win, It’s a pretty memorable one for her.”
The win came in a game that perfectly summarizes Moren’s tenure with the Hoosiers, who are now 18-10 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten this year.
When she was hired by IU in 2014, Moren took over a program that was 15-16 the previous season and headed in the wrong direction. Now in her fifth season with IU, Moren is two wins away from completing her fourth consecutive season with 20 or more wins.
And win No. 100 came in a game where IU looked down and out. A barrage of 3-point shots from Iowa in the first quarter and strong interior play from senior forward Megan Gustafson had IU trailing by eight at the half.
Even after a small run cut IU's deficit to five points early in the third, Iowa came back to stretch the lead to 16 — the largest lead by either team in the game. The Hoosiers looked well on their way to a fifth-straight loss.
But just as she’s done during her time at IU, Moren led her team from the bottom back to the top.
“The thing that I appreciate about this group is just how hard they play,” Moren said. “They knew the sense of urgency was picking up, in the second half especially. They knew that every possession down the stretch was gonna matter.”
With junior guard Ali Patberg back in the lineup for the first time since injuring her shoulder Feb. 6, Moren was able to put her up-tempo offense into another gear.
IU scored north of 70 points for the first time since its last win, and it included 20-plus-point performances from Patberg and Wise.
While Moren reminisced on her time at IU, which is highlighted by seasons spent with Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill, it is Patberg and Wise that now direct her toward her next milestone.
The unofficial replacements to Buss and Cahill were back on the court together as Patberg returned from injury and not an ounce of chemistry was missing. Not only was Patberg able to get her stroke going with six 3-pointers, but Wise produced a season-high 24 points.
“It’s good to have her little sidekick back,” Moren said of Wise playing alongside Patberg. “Those two feed off of each other as far as emotionally, and it was great to see Brenna step up the way she did.”
With her star duo back, Moren’s attention now turns to win No. 101 and the hopes of making the NCAA Tournament.
“We still have a lot of season left for us,” Moren said. “We’ve gotta have no hangover when we go to Chicago.”
IU’s next matchup will be on Tuesday at Northwestern in the team’s second-to-last regular season game.
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