Second-Half Comeback Leads No. 16 Hoosiers To 800th Program Win
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Four players scored in double figures and overcame a first-half deficit to defeat Michigan State, 79-67, on Sunday afternoon inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The win marked the program’s 800th victory.
- Michigan State (9-4, 4-4 B1G) led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, but the Hoosiers (10-4, 8-2 B1G) clawed their way back in to the contest as behind seven first quarter points from senior guard Ali Patberg.
- Senior guard Jaelynn Penn and junior forward Aleksa Gulbe each hit 3-pointers to give their team its first lead 23-20 with 8:11 remaining in the first half. It was part of six lead changes in the first half alone, as Gulbe’s layup led to a 27-26 advantage for the Hoosiers. A triple from Penn brought kept IU within three, 35-32. But the Spartans, who shot 63.6 percent in the first half, were too much to handle as IU trailed 41-33 at halftime.
- In the third, the Hoosiers used multiple runs to cut into the deficit to as few as two including a senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary 3-pointer with 3:32 to go. Penn’s third 3-pointer of the night tied the score at 54-all.
- The Hoosiers would pull ahead as redshirt junior guard/forward came in off the bench for a spark as she connected on the go-ahead layup on a feed from junior guard Grace Berger for a 58-56 lead.
- That’s when the Hoosiers hit the gas, outscoring Michigan State 21-11 in the fourth quarter as they shot 70 percent from the floor in the final period and hit its last seven consecutive free throws.
- Indiana notched its 800th program victory on Sunday afternoon. The program, in its 47th year, holds an overall record of 800-648.
- With the victory on Sunday afternoon, Indiana has now the five of the last eight meetings with Michigan State dating back to 2017.
- The Hoosiers had four in double figures. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes had a team-leading 17 points while senior guard Ali Patberg had 15, junior guard Aleksa Gulbe scored 14, and senior guard Jaelynn Penn put back 13.
- Holmes led all Indiana scorers with 17 points, her 10th-straight game in double figures. The Gorham, Maine native also added three rebounds and two blocks.
- Junior guard Grace Berger tallied a team-high nine boards and seven assists to go along with nine points.
- Patberg had a solid performance with 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists and went 6-for-6 at the line.
- As a team, Indiana shot 55.1 percent from the floor, 70.0 percent from the behind the arc and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Their clip at the line in Sunday’s win was a team season-high.
- The Hoosiers outrebounded the Spartans, 29-23, and assisted on 17 of its 27 made shots.
- The Hoosiers had 13 fast breaks points while they limited Michigan State to only two.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“I am excited that we had a really good second half against a team that was on fire in the first. I consider ourselves a pretty good guarding team, and we just had no answer. Halftime came and we talked a little about sprinkling in some zone. We came back out and that worked for a few possessions. Then, (Janai) Crooms splashed a three in the corner, and we quickly got out of it. I thought our kids adjusted on the fly to guarding better. I thought we guarded so much better in the second half. I thought Jaelynn (Penn), although (Nia) Clouden had 19 points, that was on 18 shot attempts. I thought JJ was terrific guarding her this afternoon. I thought we did a better job in the second at crowding their low post players. Our guards did. We made more shots difficult for Alisia Smith and Taiyier Parks. I thought they were getting some pretty comfortable looking shots in the first half. I thought we did a much better job at being aggressive off the ball crowding. In the second half, I was really pleased with our free throws being able to, unlike the other game against Ohio State, comeback. Obviously, we shot the ball better from the three-point line which is great to see. I thought we looked more relaxed in the shots that Ali, Jaelynn, and Leks (Aleksa Gulbe) took. Their feet were down, and they were in good rhythm. It was nice to see those go down for them. The one obvious stat that we are not crazy about is our 16 turnovers. We have been doing such a great job with ball security and taking care of that thing and averaging right around 10 and that has been terrific for us. I thought tonight there were a few careless passes and decisions that we made. I want to keep that down. But, I was excited about the 17 assists that we did have on 27 field goals that we made. Give our kids a ton of credit for this second half and really showing up in a big way when it seemed like in the first half, we didn’t have an answer. Our kids really battled today.”
The Hoosiers will remain at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall to host Rutgers on Thursday night in a game that was postponed on Jan. 18. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.