Senior guard Ali Patberg scored 15 of her 19 points in the second quarter but No. 4/6 Indiana fell short in a 69-66 loss to defending national champion No. 7/5 Stanford on Thursday at the Pink Flamingo Championship in the Bahamas.
Indiana had chances to tie the game including a missed pair of free throws from Grace Berger with nine seconds remaining, and after one in the bonus for Stanford, a good look from Patberg on a left wing triple rimmed in and out.
“We are disappointed. Ali got a good look there at the end, it just didn’t go down for her,” head coach Teri Moren said after the game.
Point guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary got things started in the top-10 matchup on a drive to the rim and back-to-back layups from Patberg pushed Indiana to a 8-4 lead. A 6-0 Stanford (4-1) run was stopped by a Berger jumper in the paint with 3:05 to play. Indiana (4-1) came within one on a Mackenzie Holmes lay-in but Stanford’s Cameron Brink got the last bucket with 1:39 to play in the opening quarter for her team to take a 17-14 lead.
Holmes scores on a nifty move down low to cut it 17-16 on the first bucket of the second but foul trouble sent her to the bench just 15 second later. The Cardinal went on a 7-0 run to force an IU timeout and push its lead to as many as 10 with 6:10 to play.
Cardaño-Hillary got to the free throw line for bonus shots as she missed the back end and grabbed the defensive rebound. Dishing out to Berger, she made her way to the right corner and knocked down her first of back-to-back 3-pointers to help her team come back within three at the break, 37-34.
Stanford pushed its lead back to eight with 5:54 remaining in the third quarter as Patberg’s drive took over late in the third as she hit a pair at the line with 2:29 on the clock and hitting a 3-pointer and a jumper to close the quarter out with 11 points and her team down by three, 55-52.
An 8-1 run for the Cardinal stretched their lead out to eight with 2:19 remaining in the game. The Hoosiers rallied once again, cashing in at the line late in the frame and a 3-pointer from senior forward Aleksa Gulbe with 38 seconds to go in the third making it a two-point game.
“As I said to them, this will serve us well down the stretch and once Big Ten starts,” Moren said. “Disappointed, I feel for my kids today I thought they competed on a day we didn’t shoot it great. If you look at three of our starters with Aleksa, Mackenzie and Grace they struggled today and we still have a chance of winning the game. I guess if there’s a silver lining there, it’s that, that we can compete with anybody in the country and on a day that we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well as we wanted to, to beat a team like Stanford.”
- Patberg’s 19 points was one of three Hoosier performances in double figures. Cardaño-Hillary added 19 on 3-for-5 from the arc and Berger had 12 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
- Holmes led on the glass for IU with 10 boards. Cardaño-Hillary added eight while Berger added six.
- Berger had a game-high four steals and Gulbe and Holmes each added three as IU also set a season-high 12 swipes in the game, the most for the program in a single game since it picked up 13 steals against Illinois on Dec. 31, 2020.
- The Hoosiers had a season-low seven turnovers.
- Indiana shot a season-lows of 32.4 percent from the floor and 70 percent at the line. It was also outrebounded 59-38.
The Hoosiers wrap up play at the Pink Flamingo Championship on Saturday against Miami (FL). Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
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