Indiana Daily Student

No. 17 IU women's basketball breaks losing streak in 76-60 win over Penn State

<p>IU women’s basketball huddles up before their game Dec. 15 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU beat Penn State Jan. 23, 76-60.</p>

IU women’s basketball huddles up before their game Dec. 15 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU beat Penn State Jan. 23, 76-60.

No. 17 IU women’s basketball snapped out of the little funk it was in during its 76-60 road win Thursday night against Penn State.

IU’s balanced scoring attack and airtight defense in the second half helped it break its three game losing streak. Its performance was reminiscent of the team that beat multiple ranked opponents earlier this season, before dropping two games in overtime .

One might think winning would come easy against a team four games under .500, but the Nittany Lions proved to be anything but an easy win for the Hoosiers.

IU snagged an early 4-0 lead, but Penn State responded nicely. A pair of 3-point baskets gave Penn State the lead at 11-10 at the under-five media timeout in the first quarter.

The last 4:32 of the quarter turned into a lot of running up and down the court, with IU narrowly winning the stretch by outscoring PSU 12-7.

IU finished out the quarter on top 22-18. Junior guard Ali Patberg made her presence known in the quarter, as well as the whole game.

She scored five points and factored in a couple great passes. While freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes filled up the scoreboard with four points in the quarter, it was evident that Patberg’s leadership on offense made a huge difference.

The Nittany Lions continued to shoot the ball well, and it paid off as they opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run to go up 29-28. In that span, the Hoosiers got a little careless with the ball, giving up five turnovers.

Again, it was Patberg and Holmes to the rescue, as they single handedly carried IU’s offense to a 39-38 lead at the half.

Patberg and Holmes would each finish with 18 points to pace IU’s offense. Patberg’s eventual nine total assists kept the offense running smoothly.

In the second half, IU turned its attention to defensive efforts. In a demolition derby, IU held PSU to just 25% shooting in the second half and held it without a basket for the final 6:54 of the game.

The Hoosiers used their defense to pull away on offense, which built their lead by getting everyone involved. Junior guard Jaelynn Penn racked up 11 points, while sophomores Grace Berge and Aleksa Gulbe each had nine points. Senior forward Brenna Wise finished with seven.

IU used an 11-2 run to open up the third quarter and push the lead to 11. From that point on, IU would not lead by less than seven points.

It had been a while since IU had such a convincing win, and it will need consistent performances like those of Holmes and Patberg to avoid another losing streak.

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