Berger Records Third Triple Double As No. 15 IU Defeats Penn State, 90-65
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior guard Grace Berger notched her third career triple-double as Indiana posted a strong second half to sweep Penn State on the season in a 90-65 victory Wednesday afternoon at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
- After allowing Penn State (8-8, 5-7 B1G) to open 5-of-6 from the floor and go on 6-0 run in the first quarter, Indiana’s sharp shooting would come alive as junior guard Grace Berger popped up for a floater to trail by one at the media timeout.
- The Hoosiers (12-4, 10-2 B1G) would take their first lead of the contest with buckets scored by sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes then senior guard Ali Patberg. Indiana tacked on another nine points to go up 22-20 at the quarter break after shooting 6-of-8 inside the arc to the end the first 10 minutes of action.
- Indiana opened the second quarter of action with a second chance put back from Holmes to add onto their lead. Reverting back to the first frame, Penn State would use a 6-0 run to tie the game at 32-32 forcing Indiana to call a timeout. Junior forward Aleksa Gulbe scored a layup as the Hoosiers were out to a two-point lead. After a quick bucket by Penn State, Berger was able to get the steal and found senior guard Keyanna Warthen for the 3-pointer. On a Penn State turnover, Gulbe found the basket while trying to stay in bounds and Indiana was out to a 39-36 lead. In a tale of back and forth, the Lady Lions would have a slight 40-39 advantage heading into halftime.
- It was all Indiana in the third quarter as Berger got the Hoosiers going with her floater from the free throw line to regain control of the lead. With the 3-pointer dagger by senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hilary and a bucket by Gulbe, Indiana would force the Penn State timeout while out to a six-point advantage.
- The Lady Lions would try to etch their way into the lead, coming in within nine, but a hot Hoosier quarter proved too much to handle and the score read 65-51. Holmes had the opening six points for the Hoosiers in the final frame of Wednesday afternoon’s contest. That would aid the squad to get out to a 73-56 lead. Her field goal with 2:36 on the feed from Berger would seal her historic triple-double.
- Berger recorded her third career triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. She has recorded all the triple-doubles in Indiana women’s basketball history this season and the most ever by a single player in Indiana men’s or women’s history. She ties former Iowa guard Sam Logic with the most triple-doubles every by a player in a single season and the second most ever by a Big Ten player in her career.
- Holmes led the Hoosiers with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field. Holmes has scored 20 or more points in six games this season and has done so in back-to-back games (25 vs. Iowa last time out).
- Rounding out the double figure scorers for the Hoosiers included 16 points and eight rebounds from Patberg while Gulbe chipped in 15 points and two steals.
- Cardaño-Hillary paced the team with five assists and four steals, both season-highs.
- Indiana outscored Penn State 51-26 in the second half.
- Indiana outscored Penn State 48-30 in points in the paint and 28-12 on fast break points.
- The Hoosiers forced 19 Penn State turnovers and converted 26 points off those turnovers.
- Indiana shot 34-of-66 (51.5 percent) from the field. It is their seventh game this season shooting 50 percent or better and their third straight game doing so.
- In holding Penn State to 26 points in the second half, Indiana held the Lady Lions to 7-of-26 shooting from the field, 26.9 percent.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“It was a good win and a good second half for us today. We were just in there talking as a staff and we thought in the first half that the game started at four instead of three, and that was a little disappointing. Defensively we were not very good. Offensively, we were scoring and that wasn’t the problem. It was just us guarding. We had a few miscommunications on some things we were trying to do on switching. We didn’t talk well enough and communicate as well as we needed to so we gave up some shots. But give Penn State credit. They are playing with energy. They are a confident team right now. They want to play fast. I thought the difference between the first and the second half was we guarded better and then we pushed the pace. Give Kevin (Konopasek), our strength and conditioning coach, a lot of credit. Our kids are in superior shape. We are able to play at a fast pace for a longer period of time. I thought that was the difference really in the second half. We kept our foot on the pedal, as I always say, and kept trying to attack in transition. But we did a much better job defensively on their post players that we didn’t have an answer for in the first half. I thought that Aleksa Gulbe and Mack (Mackenzie Holmes) and Dani (Danielle Patterson) when she came in did some tremendous things. Lastly, congratulations to Grace Berger for her third triple-double that she has posted. That is pretty special. We knew over there on the sideline that she needed two assists to get it, so we were trying like crazy to put her in a situation where she could feed Mack and we pulled it off. Happy that we could make that happen for a kid that works her rear end off and is a high-level player.”
The Hoosiers travel across state lines to face Illinois on Sunday. Tipoff at State Farm Center is set for 3 p.m. ET.