No. 16 Indiana Bounces Back to Defeat Michigan State 79-67

Four starters scored in double figures as Indiana defeated Michigan State by 12 points.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana head coach Teri Moren said after the Ohio State loss that the team couldn't win with just two players, referring to Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger scoring in double figures while everyone else struggled.

The message got across for Indiana's next game against Michigan State Sunday afternoon in Assembly Hall.

Four starters scored in double figures for the Hoosiers, and the team got major contributions off the bench as well to secure a 79-67 win over the Spartans.

"I'm just happy for our kids," Moren said. "The other night it just seemed like, especially in that fourth, we just couldn't get a shot to go down. I'm excited for each of them individually."

Indiana got off to a bit of a shaky start, though. Michigan State jumped out to a 10-point lead by shooting 6-of-7 to start the game while Indiana was just 1-of-7 from the floor.

The Hoosiers closed the quarter well and had a two-point deficit after the first 10 minutes.

But the Spartans stayed hot in the second quarter. Indiana briefly took a lead, but Michigan State took it right back and extended its lead to eight, 41-33, by halftime.

"We weren't getting stops," Patberg said. "Our best game is in transition, and we didn't get enough stops to do that. We fixed that in the second half."

With five minutes to go in the third quarter, Indiana switched gears. A Jaelynn Penn 3-pointer tied the game, and a Grace Berger layup gave the Hoosiers the lead, which they never relinquished.

Indiana outscored Michigan State by 10 points in the third quarter and took a 58-56 lead into the fourth. The fourth quarter was much of the same as those final five minutes in the third.

The Hoosiers were able to get out in transition and made it difficult for Michigan State to get into the paint. Indiana held the Spartans to just 11 points in the fourth and outscored them by 10 to take the 12-point victory.

"Excited that we had a really good second half against a team that was on fire in the first," Moren said. "I thought our kids just adjusted on the fly to just guarding better. I thought we guarded so much better in the second half."

Mackenzie Holmes led the way with 17 points, Patberg scored 15, Aleksa Gulbe had 14 and Penn had 13. Berger almost got to double digits as well, scoring nine points, but she also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

As big of a lift that the starters provided, Moren was more pleased with the bench. Kiandra Browne, Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, Keyanna Warthen, Grace Waggoner and Danielle Patterson all came in and gave a spark in different moments for the Hoosiers.

"I was really pleased with the help that our starters got from those guys off the bench tonight," Moren said.

With the win, Indiana improves to 10-4 overall and 8-2 in the Big Ten. The victory also accomplished a historical mark for the program, becoming the 800th win in Indiana women's basketball history.

Moren gave credit to all the players she has coached over her seven years at Indiana that have contributed to those 800. For the players, they took a step back after the game and appreciated what it meant to be a part of this program.

"We're truly blessed here and we're a family," Patberg said. "I told the team before the game to live in the moment and play in the moment. Every girls' dream in Indiana is to play for IU. I'm thankful every morning I get to play for this team and my teammates."