Indiana Daily Student

IU women’s basketball comes back late, earns third straight victory

<p>Sophomore Grace Berger looks for an open player Jan. 30 against Wisconsin at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. No. 20 IU beat Wisconsin 75-65 in overtime.</p>

Sophomore Grace Berger looks for an open player Jan. 30 against Wisconsin at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. No. 20 IU beat Wisconsin 75-65 in overtime.

Everyone on the bench slumped over as No. 20 IU women’s basketball trailed by 16 points in the first quarter. Its coaching staff and players were unhappy with the referees’ calls on the floor, and shots were not falling. 

Fast forward to the end of the game, and junior guard Ali Patberg is fired up at center court, stomping the ball into the floor and waving her hand at the crowd in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. 

The Hoosiers overcame a 16-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter and defeated Wisconsin in overtime, 75-65 on Thursday.

“Loved how our kids battled to the very end, how they never gave up,” IU head coach Teri Moren said. 

IU trailed 12-2 early in the first quarter. It surrendered multiple shots near the basket and connected on one of its first seven attempts. 

Sophomore guard Grace Berger made her typical cuts to the free throw line but missed every shot. Sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe and freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes also missed open shots below the basket.

“I kept saying it’s one stop, one score at a time,” Patberg said. “We weren’t going to get it all back in one possession, so we never gave up.”

Patberg led IU with eight first-half points. The team shot 28% from the floor and could not shut down Wisconsin. 

The Badgers’ freshman guard Sydney Hilliard turned the corner on her defenders, driving to the basket and scoring with ease. She had 12 at the half and would finish the night with a team-high 23 points.

IU shot poorly again in the third quarter. Berger was 0 of 10 and Gulbe hit just 3 of 11. 

Before the final quarter began, Patberg took charge in the team huddle and got something stirring within her teammates.

“When you have a kid like Ali Patberg, she’s already sending the right message to her team and that’s, ‘We’re gonna win this game,’” Moren said.

IU shot 50% from the field in the fourth quarter and brought the game closer as the minutes ticked away. Penn and Holmes continued scoring, and the defense applied a rigid full-court press. 

Senior forward Brenna Wise drew three charges and prevented Wisconsin’s forwards from getting the ball below the basket. Holmes continued to draw fouls and knock down her free throws while Patberg spread the floor and found her teammates for open looks.

With 23 seconds left, Gulbe stopped a Badger layup and secured the final possession for the Hoosiers. They were down three points and needed one more push to tie the game.

Moren drew up a play for Patberg, but it was junior guard Jaelynn Penn who got the ball from behind the arc. Penn, who had missed six 3-pointers on the night, caught the ball and felt a new kind of energy. It came from the memory of Kobe Bryant.

“First thing that went through my mind was Kobe and what he would do,” Penn said. “Mamba mentality.”

Penn drained the 3 and tied the game. Although she would miss a shot at the buzzer, her shot and IU’s defense had brought the team all the way back from 16 down. 

Berger made her first basket of the game and of the overtime period to give IU its first lead of the night. The team poured on a 12-4 run and ended the night with a three-game winning streak.

In the final 15 minutes, Moren’s offense put up 37 points and knocked down half of its shots. Despite having Berger and other consistent shooters missing from all over the floor, Moren said the team’s composure was completely different from the first three quarters. 

“The thing I love about this group and Grace Berger is that she doesn’t lose her confidence,” Moren said. “In overtime, they looked like a whole new team.”

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student