IU women’s basketball takes down No. 11 Michigan

If there was one thing missing from Indiana’s 2020-21 resume, it was a signature win.  They got it on Thursday night.

The Hoosiers took down No. 11 Michigan in Bloomington, winning their fifth game in a row in the process.

The game was tight throughout, with 12 ties and 17 lead changes.  Michigan’s largest lead of six points came in the first quarter, while Indiana’s largest lead was the final score, 70-65.  IU closed the game on an 11-4 run that included eight Grace Berger free throws.

Senior guard Ali Patberg led the Hoosiers with 21 points.  Berger added 16 points, with all of her scoring production coming in the second half including a 10 of 10 effort from the free throw line.  Aleksa Gulbe also poured in 13 points.  Patberg and Gulbe each made three 3-pointers.

“This one feels good,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “That is a really good team who we have a lot of respect for.”

IU was able to pull out the win despite shooting just 37 percent from the field overall and losing the rebounding battle 42-28.  The Hoosiers were able to compensate with a 9 of 18 effort from 3-point range, and by only committing eight turnovers.  On the defensive end IU held Michigan to 42.1 percent from the field and forced 15 Wolverine turnovers, scoring 20 points off those miscues.

“Looking at the stats, although there was a discrepancy in the rebounding margin, we went in knowing we were going to have to outrebound them in order to win the game. But sometimes that doesn’t hold true especially when you can make shots,” Moren said.  “Tonight, I think it was just a matter of it being very crowded in the low block for Mack (Mackenzie Holmes). I think Michigan came in here willing to allow us to try and beat them from the outside. It was nice to see our 3-ball go in. … I also thought we did some really good things defensively.”

No. 15 Indiana has had a strong season but had previously lost against its toughest competition, namely Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland and Ohio State.  The win over Michigan gives the Hoosiers their highest profile victory of the season and should help them secure a four-seed or better in the NCAA Tournament.

The loss was just the second on the season for the Wolverines.  Indiana improved to 14-4 overall and 12-2 in Big Ten play.  IU is now in second place in the league, trailing only Maryland (11-1) with four games remaining.

The Hoosiers will return to action next Wednesday at Wisconsin.

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