Big Second Half Sends No. 16 IU To Win Over Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 16 Indiana trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but behind a 22-point performance from sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes came home with a 72-61 win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
- Northwestern had a pair of seven point leads in the first half, including the final seconds of the first quarter but junior forward Aleksa Gulbe’s bucket cut the deficit to 21-16 after the first ten minutes of play.
- The Wildcats (8-3, 6-3 B1G) would open the game up again in the second quarter, leading by seven less than two minutes in to the frame.
- Senior guard Jaelynn Penn made her return in Sunday’s game with an and-1 opportunity and a pull-up jumper from Berger put the Hoosiers (9-3, 7-1 B1G) within four, 27-23.
- Holmes back-to-back buckets to bring the game to a single possession forcing a Northwestern timeout.
- Indiana hit the gas and went on a 6-0 run to take its first lead since the 8:31 mark for the first quarter as Cardaño-Hillary hit the baseline jumper, 33-32.
- But the Wildcats answered with two buckets in the final minute of play as Indiana faced its first halftime deficit of the season, trailing by three.
- In the third, the Hoosiers went cold offensively as NU went on a 10-0 run leading to the media break, 49-36. But it would start to begin its comeback late in the frame to trail by six, 54-48, going to the fourth.
- That’s when IU buckled down, with buckets from Penn, Holmes and Cardaño-Hillary tied the game at 56-all. The Hoosier defense also limited the opportunities for the Wildcat offense, holding them without a field goal for over an eight-minute stretch in the fourth.
- Indiana capitalized down the stretch, going 11-for-13 at the line in the fourth quarter to pull off the victory.
- Indiana added to its series lead which is now 41-39. This is the first win in Welsh Ryan Arena since 2016.
- This is the largest scoring margin since 2/11/17 when the Hoosiers defeated the Wildcats 66-38.
- Indiana saw three in double figures against Northwestern. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes scored 22 while junior guard Grace Berger put back 14 and senior guard Jaelynn Penn had 12.
- Leading scorer Mackenzie Holmes recorded her fourth double-double of her career with 22 points and 10 rebounds. This was her eighth consecutive game in double figures. Her 22 points and 10 rebounds were both team highs.
- Berger and Penn dished out four assists apiece to lead the Hoosiers. As team, Indiana recorded 15 assists.
- The Hoosiers went on a 11-1 run to take the lead for good. They would later go on a 14-2 run last 5:40 to ensure the victory.
- Indiana had the slight rebound advantage, grabbing 39 compared to Northwestern’s 31.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“We got off to a slow start. No doubt about it that this is a really great basketball team that we were facing here today. They put a lot of pressure on you in a lot of ways, not just defensively. But offensively with (Lindsey) Pulliam and Veronica Burton in how they can score the ball and how veteran they are, and their experience. This is a championship team last year. We knew that it was not going to be easy. Of course, we wanted to get off to a better start. I did think the second half, even though they went off on that 10-0 run in the third, we kept chipping away. We kept telling them about getting stops. It starts with getting stops. We have to get back in transition, and we have to get stops. We just had to chip away into the lead a little bit that Northwestern had. I thought Mackenzie (Holmes) finally settled in. We got great minutes from Jae (Jaelynn Penn) this afternoon. We anticipated playing her, but I thought Jaelynn stepped up in a big way. I thought our bench, Keyanna (Warthen) came in and gave us a great couple minutes, DP (Danielle Patterson) came in and gave us a couple of minutes, and KB (Kiandra Browne). It was great to see our bench help us. When they went small, we decided to go small. We got into some foul trouble as you know. I thought the fourth quarter was ours. We really shined, I think in that moment going back down low, hitting a couple of big shots, and taking care of the basketball. Thrilled that we were 80 percent from the free-throw line today. I thought that was huge, and everybody had to shoot a few of them. That was big for us. Turnovers were under 15 which we knew was going to be important. We had only four in the second half. All that was really good stuff. This is a difficult place to win. It’s a great basketball team that we faced this afternoon. We are real pleased with the way that we kept plugging away and hanging in there.”
Indiana returns home to face Michigan State on Thursday, Jan. 31.