IU women’s basketball started the season strong, defeating Eastern Kentucky University 100-51.
The Hoosiers got off to a quick start as senior guard Ali Patberg sank a three within the first 30 seconds of the game and never relinquished the lead.
Both sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes and junior guard Grace Berger also started the season with a bang.
Holmes was dominant in the game making all 13 of her field goals for a game high of 26 points. On defense, she recorded eight rebounds, seven blocks and two steals. Holmes said her success was due to her hard work in the off-season.
“It really started with getting in great shape,” Holmes said. “I lost some weight and worked on my speed and quickness, so I could stay in the game for a longer period of time. I didn’t do anything special. I just worked hard.”
Head coach Teri Moren agreed that she has seen a difference in Holmes’s play due to her commitment to improving her conditioning.
Not to be outdone, Berger recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — the first in IU women’s basketball history.
“She accomplished that pretty early on in the game,” Moren said on Berger’s triple-double. “There is a lot to Grace Berger’s game. She can shoot it. She can handle it. She can distribute it, and she is unselfish. I am happy for her, but not surprised.”
Beyond Berger and Holmes’s star performances, Patberg was another key contributor to the team’s success. Patberg scored 18 points, surpassing the 1,000 career points milestone at IU.
With the game in hand, Moren emptied the bench — bringing extra excitement to her team. Redshirt freshman center Arielle Wisne scored in the fourth quarter, prompting a celebration from her teammates on the sideline.
“It was a special moment when she got that rebound and put back,” Holmes said about Wisne’s late bucket. “We know how hard she has worked and she is very deserving of it.”
Moren welcomes the enthusiasm her players have for each other and believes it makes her team better.
“That is one of the characteristics about a winning team,” Moren said. “When your team is about each other they don’t care who gets the credit, just as long as at the end of the 40 minute period we were successful.”