Indiana Daily Student

No. 22 IU women's basketball finishes Michigan, regular season with 78-60 win

<p>Junior Jaelynn Penn attempts a shot Feb. 27 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU defeated Michigan on March 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 78-60.</p>

Junior Jaelynn Penn attempts a shot Feb. 27 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU defeated Michigan on March 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 78-60.

No. 22 IU women’s basketball finished the regular season on a high note at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

IU defeated Michigan 78-60 on Sunday to put the finishing touches on a historic regular season. IU set program records with 23 regular season wins and 17 weeks spent in the AP Top 25. The Hoosiers were ranked every week of the season.

From an upset over now-No.1 University of South Carolina at the Paradise Jam in November to a program-record 13 conference wins, IU finished the season much the way it began — balanced scoring on offense and lockdown defense that turned a three point lead to a 20-point lead in the second half.

IU had seven players score at least once and four different players in double digits Sunday, led by junior guard Ali Patberg’s 21 points.

It was the fourth-straight game in which Patberg scored over 20 points. She scored 16 of her 21 points in the second half.

Michigan started the game out 5-6 from the field, but IU used an 11-0 run to finish the first quarter up 19-16. The Wolverines kept it close in the second quarter, trading buckets with the Hoosiers, but sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe’s nine first-half points led a balanced offense.

Out of halftime, the Hoosiers took over and outscored the Wolverines 22-12 in the third quarter. Patberg had 10 of the 22 points, and junior guard Jaelynn Penn hit two of IU’s three 3-pointers in the quarter.

Sophomore guard Grace Berger and freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes joined Patberg and Penn with double-digit points in the fourth quarter.

IU held Michigan to 30% from the field in the second half, forcing 11 turnovers and seven steals in the final 20 minutes of play.

The win was IU’s third in a row. The past three wins for IU have all been convincing double-digit victories, won in much the same fashion as early season wins over South Carolina, the University of Florida and Michigan State.

After enduring a three-game losing streak in the middle of their Big Ten schedule, the Hoosiers did not lose consecutive games the rest of the season.

The Hoosiers have just postseason basketball left on the schedule. They begin postseason play in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

IU has the potential to make a deep tournament run with a talented squad that has exceeded expectations and records all season.

A three-game win streak may signal that IU is playing its best basketball at the right time.

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