The No. 13 IU women appeared to be on their way to an early statement win at Kentucky.
Junior guard Grace Berger’s jumper at the third quarter buzzer gave the Hoosiers a 10-point edge going into the final 10 minutes in Lexington.
But IU shot just 26 percent in the final quarter, and an 11-0 Kentucky run late in the frame put the home team on top.
Indiana made it interesting in the closing seconds but it wasn’t enough as the No. 11 Wildcats claimed a 72-68 come-from-behind win.
“Obviously, we are disappointed in the result,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “We gave up almost 50 points in the second half. We were disappointed because we think we are a defensive-minded team.”
A 7-0 first quarter run gave the Hoosiers the early edge. IU ended the frame at the buzzer as senior guard Jaelynn Penn hit one of her 3 triples in the opening 10 minutes to take a 21-12 lead.
The Hoosiers continued to build a sizeable lead in the first part of the second quarter, going up as many as 14 with Mackenzie Holmes completing fast break action to make it 28-14 with 6:44 to play before the half.
UK would cut the lead to single digits with 3:57 remaining. But IU’s defense held the Wildcats to no field goals in that final 3:57 and built a 36-23 lead at halftime behind 11 points from Penn and 10 points from Holmes.
Indiana would maintain its lead through the third quarter, going up by as many as 13.
But that’s when the struggles began for IU.
“I am disappointed in the Hoosiers, needed to be sounder on defense in the second half,” Moren said. “So, we will go back to Bloomington and get back to work.”
Three Hoosiers hit double figure scoring. Berger had a team high 21 points while Homes scored 16 and Penn knocked in 11 points.
The trio combined for 48 or Indiana’s 68 points. Berger claimed all 14 of Indiana’s points in the fourth quarter.
Indiana (2-1) will host Butler on Dec. 13.
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