Indiana Daily Student

‘She was cooking’: Grace Berger’s 17 point quarter leads Indiana past Michigan State

Senior guard Grace Berger holds the ball during the game against Michigan State on Feb. 12, 2022, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana beat Michigan State 76-58.
Senior guard Grace Berger holds the ball during the game against Michigan State on Feb. 12, 2022, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana beat Michigan State 76-58.

Senior guard Grace Berger scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 7 Indiana women’s basketball to a 76-58 win over Michigan State on Saturday in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Berger also grabbed 7 rebounds and played solid defense in the victory.

Berger got her scoring started early, using a pump fake to get open for a jumper from the elbow on the first possession of the game.

“I was definitely feeling it a little bit, I saw a couple of my pull-ups go in, I got a couple easy drives to the basket,” Berger said. “Anytime I can see the ball go in, that makes me a little more aggressive.”

The early bucket accounted for her only points of the first quarter, however, she did most of her damage in the third quarter. Going into halftime, Berger had 8 points and was second on the team in scoring behind graduate student guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary.

Out of the break, the Hoosiers led by five points. Berger started the half strong and scored 17 points in the third quarter alone on 6-8 shooting. After Berger’s performance, the Hoosiers led the Spartans by 21.

“She was cooking,” head coach Teri Moren said postgame. “We just tried to let Grace be Grace. There was some play-calling going on on the sideline but at some point, you just have to allow them to play.

Berger said the team came out of halftime with the goal of getting the lead and putting the game away. She said Indiana’s aggressive mindset in the second half helped her and her teammates control the game and grow the lead.

Moren said much of Berger’s production can be attributed to her basketball IQ. She said Berger always knows who is guarding her and what she must do to be successful against them.

“I didn’t think that they had an answer for her during the second half, and that was just Grace being Grace,” Moren said.

When Berger checked out of the game in the final minute of the third quarter, the crowd rewarded her with a standing ovation for her play. The Hoosier fans were not done celebrating Berger and they gave her a second standing ovation when she subbed out of the game for the final time in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Berger thanked the fans for their support not only on Saturday but throughout the season as well.

“(The fans) just give us the extra edge, the extra support and energy we need,” Berger said. “It’s really special for all of us to see every time we run out of the tunnel and just see Hoosier nation out there for us.”

Berger and the rest of Indiana will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to play Nebraska in their next game. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Monday.

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