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Culture Shock

Indiana Women’s Basketball Pulls Away from Rutgers in the Second Round of the Big Ten Tournament

Indianapolis, IN– win and advance.

 

That’s the message every college basketball coach sends to their players when the calendar flips to March.

 

The 5th-seeded and No. 14 Indiana Women’s Basketball team did just that Thursday afternoon, defeating the 13th-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights 66-54 inside the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

 

“I just thought our kids were terrific, especially in the second half,” head coach Teri Moren said. “Tournament play is always interesting, and it probably took us the whole first half I think just to really settle in and get some rhythm.”

 

Two factors may have led to a sloppy first half. It was Indiana’s first game in six days, and they were facing the best scoring defense in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights allow less than 60 points per game. But, the Hoosiers pulled away to secure its seventh-straight 20-win season, the longest such streak in program history. It was Indiana’s first win in two weeks.

 

"This is a resilient group, they have been all year," Moren said.

 

Ali Patberg and Grace Berger led the Hoosiers with a combined 36 points. Patberg led all scorers with 19, including 5-7 from beyond the arc. Berger knocked down half her shots and finished with 17. 

 

But, the Indiana lineup already without an injured Kiandra Browne got even thinner when Aleksa Gulbe fouled out in the fourth quarter. This allowed Rutgers to cut the lead to as slim as eight in the final minutes before some clutch shooting sealed the deal.

 

The win sets up a third clash with 4th-seeded Mayland in the quarterfinals tomorrow. The teams split meetings this season, with both teams winning at home. The Hoosiers defeated the Terps on January 2nd for the first time in program history, and Maryland returned the favor with a win just last Friday to close out the regular season. With a win, either team in all likelihood would solidify a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament, meaning they would host the first two rounds.

Tip off is at approximately 1:50 PM ET. The game can be heard on WIUX 99.1 FM or HERE with Sam Newcombe and Ben Fitzsimmons on the call from the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF IU ATHLETICS

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