Iowa beats Indiana women’s basketball 96-91

BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/02/19: Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) plays against Iowa Hawkeyes guard Kate Martin (20) and Iowa Hawkeyes guard McKenna Warnock (14) during an NCAA women’s basketball game on February 19, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Indiana University Hoosiers 96-91. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

By Skip Daley – South Central Indiana News Network

It was Senior night at Assembly Hall on Saturday evening, as the Indiana Hoosiers prepared to do battle at home for the final time during the 20210-22 regular season. With over 7,000 in attendance to see them take on #22 Iowa, the crowd was electrifying, coming out in droves to support their #5 Indiana Hoosiers.

IU missed their first 6 shots from the field and remained scoreless until Aleksa Gukbe was able to sink a pair of free throws with 7 mins remaining in the first quarter. The next 17 minutes remained bleak for IU, who was ineffective in the post. Iowa put the pressure on, scoring 12 and pulling down 9 rebounds in the first 5 minutes of play. By the end of the first quarter, IU trailed by 14, and were outrebounded 15-4.

The second quarter didn’t look any more promising, as the Hawkeyes owned the paint, and their 6’3” center Monika Czinano dominated inside, scoring 16 in the first half. it was perhaps the ugliest first half of basketball we have seen from the Hoosiers this season, who found themselves down by 17 at the midway point.

“We just couldn’t get any offense generated and we couldn’t get any stops,” said IU Head Coach Teri Moren about the first half of play.

This Iowa team is deep, with everyone suited up being able to shoot the ball effectively. While all eyes were on All-American Sophomore Caitlin Clark, the perimeter shots were dropping one after another, with 6 different Hawkeyes landing from beyond the arc. By the final buzzer, Iowa would go 10-19 from downtown.

And while Indiana came out of the locker room a much more determined, at the end of 3 quarters, Iowa had already scored 71 points. By comparison, only one team has scored more than 70 points against the Hoosiers all season (Nebraska, 72-65).

The fourth quarter was sparked considerably for IU, as they began to bite into the one time, 24-point lead Iowa had gained. With 3 and a half minutes remaining in the game, Indiana cut the deficit to 11 points, and had gained momentum.

That never-say-die mentality with which Hoosier Nation has become familiar was demonstrated again in the waning minutes, as Indiana fought back, making it a single-digit deficit with less than a minute remaining to play. The crowd went crazy when Gulbe dropped a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to play. Iowa led by 9, but IU would force several turnovers and cut the deficit to just 4 points, with 12 seconds remaining. But it was too late! There was just not enough time left on the clock for Indiana to pull off another miraculous come from behind win. Iowa won the game 96-91.

“They have size they have great guard-play, they play well together . . . they are a well-balanced team,” said Coach Moren, praising the effort of the Hawkeyes.

Iowa’s balance shows up in the box score, as they shot 57% from the field, 6 players collectively scoring 52% from the perimeter, and amassing 27 assists off of 34 made shots.

“We fought like crazy in the fourth quarter to get back in the game and to make it a game,” said Coach Moren. Although the energy displayed by the Hoosiers at the end of the game was important, having to replay Iowa in two days, it doesn’t change the disappointment. “I can assure that no one is happy in our locker room, that we let this one slip away in front of such a great crowd at the Hall,” Coach added.

Indiana shot 31-73 from the field, 6-21 from 3-point land, and 23-26 from the line. Aleksa Gulbe scored 22; Grace Berger had 21 points; Ali Patberg had 18; Nicole Cardano-Hillary and Chloe More-McNeil each scored 11; and playing 23 minutes in her second game back from a knee injury, Mackenzie Holmes score 8 points.

This was the final regular season home game for Indiana this season, and 4 seniors were recognized after the game. Aleksa Gulbe, Nicole Cardano-Hillary, Grace Waggoner, and Ali Patberg; although, there is optimism that Assembly Hall will be able to host some IU games for the NCAA Tournament. Indiana falls to 19-5, 11-3, dropping to 2nd place in the Big Ten Conference standings. Next up, Indiana faces Iowa on the road in a rematch of today’s game. Not much rest for this one, as it will be played on Monday evening with an 8pm tip-off. Following that, the Hoosiers travel to play Maryland, 8pm on Friday night.

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