IU women’s basketball faced its biggest test of the new year Sunday, traveling to Iowa City to take on an Iowa team that had not lost at home in 714 days.
Unlike they’ve done most of this season, the Hoosiers could not break this long standing record, falling to the Hawkeyes 91-85 in double overtime.
The Hoosiers had a career scoring day from sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe as she tallied 18 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Jaelynn Penn led the team with a season high 24 points.
But it was not enough to outlast a battle-tested Hawkeye team led by senior guard Kathleen Doyle. She finished with 31 points and was a rebound shy of a triple double as her team won its 30th consecutive home game.
The Hoosiers got off to a good start, leading almost all of the first half and carrying a 37-32 lead into halftime.
Despite IU's leading scorer Ali Patberg only scoring two points through the first 20 minutes of play, there was plenty to be confident about. The Hoosiers had seven different scorers on the board at half time.
The Hoosiers needed balanced scoring and a Patberg scoring breakout in the second half to lock down their first win in Iowa City since 1994, but neither of those things happened.
Patberg added just four more points in the second half, and senior forward Brenna Wise only scored six points all night.
In the third quarter, the Hawkeyes used almost 65% shooting from the field to turn a 10 point deficit into a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
IU relied on Gulbe and Penn to regain the lead in the fourth and ultimately shepherd the Hoosiers into overtime.
The game was tied at 77 after one extra period. The Hawkeyes counted on Doyle and fellow senior guard Makenzie Meyers to lock down on IU defensively and hit clutch shots to pull in front for good.
The loss to the defending conference tournament champs dropped IU to 4-1 in conference play and a tie for first with Rutgers and Iowa.