No. 6/5 Indiana Improves to 5-0 In Big Ten Play For First Time With Win Over Nebraska
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Senior guard Grace Berger scored 22 points as No. 6/5 Indiana held on to beat Nebraska, 72-65, on Thursday night inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers improve to 5-0 in Big Ten play, its best start to a conference season in school history.
• IU (13-2, 5-0 B1G) shot 50 percent in the first quarter as Gulbe made a nifty move inside to give her team a five-point advantage late in the frame. They would lead by six, 22-16, after one as graduate student guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary shined in the first half, as she put up 13 points, 5 rebounds and two steals while also leading the Hoosiers’ defensive efforts.
• The Huskers (13-3, 2-3 B1G) went 2-for-11 down the stretch as IU put up its first double-digit margin in the game with 2:51 on a jumper from graduate student guard Ali Patberg. They would lead 44-31 at the break.
• Stretching the lead to as many as 17 in the third, Indiana kept Nebraska at bay as it came back from a short offensive drought in the frame to go up 57-43. Berger and senior forward Aleksa Gulbe led the way with five points each.
• Nebraska challenged the Hoosiers down the stretch, as sophomore guard Chloe Moore-McNeil came in clutch in the fourth. Her two 3-pointers with 6:19 and 3:21 were big for her team to even put them up 10 late in the quarter.
• Getting into the bonus, Indiana got a pair from Berger at the line while Nebraska’s opportunities came knocking as they trimmed the lead down to as few as three as the Hoosiers failed to score another field goal after Moore-McNeil’s buckets.
• Moore-McNeil would step up again late to hit a pair of clutch free throws with 23 seconds to go and make it a two-possession game.
• The Hoosiers are now 5-0 in the Big Ten, which is their best conference start in program history.
• Indiana now leads the all-time series vs. Nebraska 10-5 after the win tonight.
• The Hoosiers have won six straight games against Nebraska.
• Overall Indiana is on an eight-game winning streak.
• Indiana is leading the Big Ten defensively in opponent points per game. That number now stands at 57.1 points per game. The Hoosiers have held every opponent under 70 points this season.
• The Hoosiers held Nebraska well below their season scoring average of 82.4 points per game as they gave up 65 points to Nebraska.
• With Nebraska leading 10-7 at the 5:04 mark of the first quarter the Hoosiers went on an 8-0 run in just over a minute to go up 15-10 at the 4:03 mark of the opening quarter.
• Indiana held Nebraska scoreless for 4:15 of game time in the third quarter.
• The Hoosiers had four players score in double figures.
• Grace Berger led Indiana with 22 points as she notched her 13th career game scoring 20 or more. Berger added seven rebounds and three assists.
• Aleksa Gulbe tallied 17 points and added five rebounds, two blocks and tied a career-high with four steals.
• Gulbe’s two blocks moved her into a tie for ninth on the Hoosiers all-time list for career blocks as she now has 93.
• Nicole Cardaño-Hillary posted 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
• Ali Patberg scored in double figures with 10 points and added four assists.
• Kiandra Browne got her first career start and played a career-high 25 minutes. She scored two points and added five rebounds, one assist and two steals.
• Five of the six players that saw action in the game registered at least two steals.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“It started off as a tough morning, finding out that Mack(enzie Holmes) wasn’t going to be available. Also, finding out that one of our assistants wasn’t going to be available. Yet, we show up to shootaround and our kids are ready to go. They didn’t flinch, they stepped up to the task at hand tonight in a big-time kind of way. The response we got from these guys after getting some news today that we weren’t expecting, give our kids just a ton of credit. It says a lot about the character, it says a ton about how they were raised. I think it says even more about what an experienced veteran team looks like. It got a little dicey there towards the end when Leks (Gulbe) fouled out, we can’t have that. As long as we don’t have Mack, both KB and Leks have to stay in the game. You got to see us play a little small ball tonight. I though Chloe Moore-McNeil was exceptional. I thought what we did defensively, just to stifle them and our play off the ball, just making plays. We knew we were going to have to take calculated risks or chances. We didn’t want to be too risky, but we knew that we were going to have to play different. Just give our kids a ton of credit. I’m really proud of them and it was a great win.”
The Hoosiers travel to Purdue on Sunday in a nationally televised game. Tip time inside Mackey Arena is set for 2 p.m. ET on FS1.