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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Grace Berger aims for hardware to cap off career as a Hoosier legend


Graduate guard Grace Berger has already had a decorated career — so much so it requires scrolling down when viewing her honors and accolades on her IU Athletics player page. Yet she has never been able to conquer the Big Ten with Indiana.

Knowing there was more to be done, Berger decided to return for her fifth and final season. According to head coach Teri Moren, Berger did so in typical fashion.

“If you know Grace, there was very little fanfare when she decided to make that decision,” Moren said. “As a matter of fact, she didn’t even tell me.”

Last season, Berger was the workhorse for an Indiana team who struggled with both injuries and bench depth. She led the Big Ten in minutes played, starting in all 33 games for the Hoosiers.

One of two Indiana players named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, alongside junior forward Mackenzie Holmes, Berger is primed for another season full of accolades. In doing so, her role for the Hoosiers is one without boundaries — she is to do as much as possible in 40 minutes — or longer if needed.

Berger is not only the most seasoned player on the roster, but it can easily be argued that she’s the most complete. Offensively, she drives strong towards the basket, is automatic from mid-range and is a great playmaker. Defensively, she’s physical on the perimeter and can swipe the ball from opponents with ease.

Berger led the team in scoring and assists per game last season. She did whatever it took to will the Hoosiers to a win on a nightly basis — even if it meant beating the buzzer from half-court on multiple occasions.

Along with her trophy case, Berger has already established herself as one of the greats in Indiana lore. If her upcoming season goes as expected, she could be considered for the program’s Mount Rushmore of all-timers.

Berger is the program’s all-time winningest player with 90 wins — currently tied with former teammates Ali Patberg and Aleksa Gulbe. Another season near the top of the Big Ten ranks will help Berger shatter the current mark.

Currently ranked 13th in scoring for the program, Berger is set to shoot up the ranks. If she replicates last season, Berger will finish ranked second only behind Hoosier legend Tyra Buss.

Berger can achieve all the records and honors possible, but there are only two things left for her to accomplish on the court — a Big Ten title and a national title.

“If anybody continues to remind me that we still have a lot of goals that we haven’t accomplished yet, it’s Grace,” Moren said. “If you ask Grace, we haven’t done much, and I love that.”

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Sebree (@mattsebree) and columnist Matt Press (@MattPress23) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season.

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