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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Turnovers, defense dictate pace in No. 9 IU women’s basketball’s 69-61 loss to Michigan State


Before checking in as No. 9 IU women’s basketball’s first substitutions of the game, senior guard Keyanna Warthen and freshman forward Kiandra Browne encouraged their teammates to get set on defense as they kneeled in front of the scorer’s table at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Hoosiers led 15-9 at that point and 34-26 at halftime before letting their lead slip away in the second half. IU was going for its 10th straight win but fell to Michigan State 69-61 Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Head coach Teri Moren’s squad committed 17 turnovers, matching a season-high from its second-most recent loss Jan. 28 to Ohio State.

“Coach Moren said we gotta shelf it because we have much bigger games ahead of us,” sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes said. “We can’t keep looking back to this one, we just gotta move on and keep on pushing.”

After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, in which they shot 41.7% from the field, the Spartans stormed back and outscored the Hoosiers 43-27 in the third and fourth quarters.

Michigan State exploded for a 9-0 run out of halftime to take its first lead since the game’s early minutes, when it was up 2-0. 

Junior guard Nia Clouden led the surge for the Spartans, scoring 12 points in the first 4:45 of the second half. Clouden added 12 more points in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 30. She scored just 3 points and didn’t make a shot from the field in the first half.

“She was unstoppable, and we didn’t have an answer for her,” senior guard Ali Patberg said of Clouden. “Then we weren’t getting stops and it affected our offense.”

Moren said that run and Clouden’s determination to score not only gave Michigan State momentum, but also took away energy from IU.

Although the Hoosiers made a late switch to a 2-3 zone that helped slow down the Spartans, it was too little, too late. Time wasn’t on IU’s side and, coupled with four of its starters in foul trouble, a comeback wasn’t in the books. 

The Hoosiers saw their largest deficit, 9 points, with just under six minutes left to play. It wasn’t until then that their favorable hometown crowd started to get involved to will them back into contention.

IU crawled back to within 3 points and Patberg even had a chance to tie it in the corner from behind the arc. With an energetic crowd cheering them on, however, the Hoosiers faltered down the stretch and couldn’t stop the Spartans when they needed it most.

“It makes me sick to my stomach that we performed like that in front of them,” Patberg said. “We played pretty poorly in all areas, so we have to own that.”

“Sadly this is gonna be a wake-up call for us,” she added. “We’re gonna get better, we’re gonna be ready."

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