Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

IU women’s basketball will open 2021-22 season with highest ranking in program history

Indiana women’s basketball will begin the preseason with its highest ranking in school history, coming in at No. 8 in the Associated Press top 25 released on Tuesday.

The Hoosiers have now appeared in the AP preseason poll for the last four consecutive seasons, and the No. 8 spot marks their highest-ever ranking overall in the national poll. It surpasses the No. 9 ranking they earned in Week 16 last season. They also elevated three spots from its final ranking of 2020-21, where they finished No. 12 and have now been ranked for a program-record 38 consecutive weeks.

Off the heels of an NCAA Elite Eight appearance last season and its sixth-straight 20-win campaign, the Hoosiers return all five starters for 2021-22.

Among those returners includes a pair of All-American honorees in junior forward Mackenzie Holmes (17.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg.) and senior guard Grace Berger (15.4 ppg.) Second team All-Big Ten selection Ali Patberg (14.0 ppg.) also returns for her seventh and final collegiate season along with senior forward Aleksa Gulbe (9.0 ppg., 6.9 rpg.) and senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary (8.5 ppg.).

Eighth year head coach Teri Moren holds a 148-80 overall record in her time in Bloomington. She’s taken the program to three NCAA appearances and they are coming off a second-place finish in the Big Ten last season.

Indiana will host UIndy in exhibition play on Nov. 5 and will open the 2021-22 regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at Butler.

The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”