#8 IU knocks off #6 Maryland in milestone victory
Special to The Bloomingtonian, by Skip Daley
South Central Indiana News Network
With just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, it looked as if it might be slipping away, and that Indiana would once again submit to the 6th ranked Maryland Terps. The 9-point lead IU had amassed started to disappear, and the momentum was all Maryland during their 8-0 run. Pinning the Hoosiers against the clock, Maryland trapped on defense and forced several turnovers in the diminishing minutes of regulation. The Terps would tie the game with 19 seconds remaining, and Indiana would play for final shot, which Grace Berger was unable to hit, being double teamed from mid-range.
Overtime would determine this physical battle between two of the nation’s best teams. #8 Indiana had never before defeated Maryland, and was playing short-handed, with a very limited bench. As a matter of fact, Guards Ali Patberg and Berger both played the entire 45 minutes of the game. And all 5 IU starters played more than 40 minutes.
The crowd at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall was on their feet for the entire overtime, as extended play was all Indiana. IU’s defense came back to life, prohibiting any 5th quarter field goals from the Terps, and securing the 70-63 victory, the first over Maryland in Indiana program history.
Indiana University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Teri Moren thanked Assembly Hall for helping to make a difference in today’s game, offering a “huge shout-out” to the fans who “showed up in a big way today,” to start off her post game conference.
Coach Moren continued to praise her defense for their effort against one of the nation’s best offenses, holding the Terps who average almost 83 points per game, to just 63.
“We controlled the pace [of today’s game], Moren stated. “We really wanted to limit their shot opportunities,” which they accomplished by holding Maryland to 36% shooting from the field, and to half of their average productivity from beyond the arc. “Our kids executed the game plan almost near perfect,” said Coach Moren, disappointed only in the high number of turnovers (19) committed during the game.
Coach Moren confirmed the sentiment of Forward Aleksa Gulbe, crediting “team defense” in making the difference in the milestone victory over the Terps.
“We are a group, it doesn’t really matter. . . each of them has a job to do individually, but collectively, at the end of the day we all have to guard the ball; we have to be connected.” Moren went on to say, “This is a smart basketball team . . . they understand the tendencies, and when you’re able to do that with a group, you’re always going to give yourself a chance [to win].
Although they excelled on defense to deliver the upset victory, The Hoosiers offered a balanced scoring attack as well. Patberg scored 18 points, Gulbe and Forward Mackenzie Holmes achieved double-doubles, and Berger and Guard Nicole Cardano-Hillary each scored 9.
Next up Indiana (11-2, 3-0) takes on Wisconsin (3-9, 0-2) on the road on Wednesday night at 7:30pm, while Maryland 10-4, 2-1) invites Penn State (7-5, 1-1) to College Park on Thursday evening at 6pm.