Indiana Daily Student

Indiana women’s basketball defeats Penn State 70-40 to begin Big Ten play

<p>Senior guard Ali Patberg celebrates after a basket Nov. 14th 2021 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana defeated Penn State 70-40 Monday.</p>

Senior guard Ali Patberg celebrates after a basket Nov. 14th 2021 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana defeated Penn State 70-40 Monday.

No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball opened Big Ten play with a 70-40 win over Penn State on Monday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. 

Indiana started slow with two turnovers in the first 90 seconds to give Penn State a 6-2 lead, forcing head coach Teri Moren to call an early timeout. The timeout led to a quick run that gave the Hoosiers the lead, and they outscored the Nittany Lions 16-7 across the final eight minutes of the first quarter. 

After the shaky start, Indiana never trailed during the final three quarters behind a dominant defensive performance. Penn State’s 40 points are the least Indiana has given up in a Big Ten game since March 4, 2004, against Wisconsin.

“Really proud of our guys and how they bounced back after a really tough night the other night in terms of our being able to score with any kind of ease,” Moren said. “So it’s a great way to start out the Big Ten conference schedule.”

Penn State junior guard Makenna Marisa scored 13 of her team’s first 15 points and ended the day as the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. No other Penn State player recorded more than 8 points, and outside of Marisa, the team shot 26.4%.

On the other side, the Hoosiers shot 51% on the day, including 42.9% from 3-point range as all five starters scored in double figures. Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes scored 16 points and led the team in scoring for the third-straight game.

Both Moren and Holmes said the difficult non-conference schedule the team played has prepared them for the rest of the season. Both said Indiana had a chance in each of the team’s losses and learning from past mistakes helped the team tonight and will continue into the future.

“We lost a lot of close games that I know we could have and should have won,” Holmes said. “That’s one part of motivation for letting those games slip away, but another part is that we can compete with any team in the country and showing that we’re one of the top teams in the country every single night is really important to us.”

Graduate student Nicole Cardaño-Hillary scored 14 points and hit three 3-pointers in a bounce-back performance. She failed to record any points against North Carolina State University last game, but the guard said she takes the same mindset into every game despite the shots sometimes not going in.

Indiana turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter and 18 times in the game. Moren said the goal for the team is 11 turnovers or less in a game.

“The only frustrating piece of the game is again our turnovers,” Moren said. “Once again, we were careless tonight, I thought, especially in the first half, and we’ve got to fix that.”

Moren said the team is looking forward to the few days of break without travel before they play again. She said she hopes to use the break to work on fixing some of the mistakes that have plagued the team throughout the early season.

Indiana moved to 6-2 on the season with the win and will face Fairfield University at 7 p.m. Thursday in Bloomington.

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