Poor performances in the opening and closing quarters could have cost No. 14 IU women’s basketball its seventh win. IU took down No. 21 University of Miami 58-45 despite its turnovers and missed shots.
In the absence of sophomore guard and IU scoring leader Grace Berger, junior guard Ali Patberg led the way early on a night where her team needed someone to shoot the ball well. Her 12 points and six assists kept IU ahead despite its early mismanagement of the ball.
A combined 15 turnovers highlighted the opening quarter as neither team succeeded in taking advantage of the others’ mishaps. The ball was slipping through players’ hands, and passes were getting poked away below the basket.
Miami, a program known for running the floor and scoring in transition, could not get its passes into the right places and when it did, IU’s defense was right on it.
IU freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes had three steals and a block as she worked with senior forward Brenna Wise to shut down Miami’s scoring leader, senior forward Beatrice Mompremier.
The Hurricane forward had just 11 points on 27% shooting and fell into early foul trouble. With Mompremier off the court, the Hoosiers went to town down low and began taking over the game in the second quarter.
Although IU shot 37.5% in the first half, its dominance in the paint propelled them above Miami. Patberg scored all 12 of her points in the paint, turning the corner on her defenders and making open shots under the rim.
In limited minutes, sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe put up 10 points and led the floor with seven rebounds in 23 minutes.
IU went on an 11-0 run to end the second quarter as Patberg found Wise from deep and junior guard Jaelynn Penn from beyond the arc a minute later. The story was much of the same in the third quarter.
Miami shot 3-13 from the floor as IU’s defense kept it from scoring. Alternatively, IU shot 7-13 from the floor as the team swung the ball around the perimeter and into the paint for open shots, culminating in seven assists.
Wise faked a screen and darted into the paint as she caught the ball on the right block for an open layup. Her teammates also found Penn for open jump shots on plays with four or more passes. This broke Miami’s zone defense, leading to several mistakes on defense.
At the 4:23 mark in the third quarter, the Hoosiers had a 21-4 scoring run since, and seemingly secured a 46-35 lead.
Shooting woes and tough Miami defense, however, prevented IU from running away in the fourth quarter.
Miami’s junior guard Taylor Mason forced several turnovers from Patberg and Penn. Mason snuck up behind the guards in transition and set up plays on the other end.
Miami also saw production on both ends of the floor from junior guard Endia Banks.
Banks, who struggled most of the game, picked up a steal and took away positioning down low. She helped Miami out-rebound IU 13-12 and prevented IU from getting second-chance opportunities.
The Hoosiers barely outscored the Hurricanes 12-10 while shooting 18% from the floor in the final 10 minutes. Their four turnovers and missed shots allowed the Hurricanes to climb back into the game, but a lackluster shooting percentage kept the Hurricanes from getting too close.
With a minute to go Wise sunk a three in the corner, followed by another three from Penn near the top of the key. IU was two points shy of its average, but the two from Wise and Penn put them out of the reach of Miami.