No. 13 Indiana Rolls Past Samford to Improve to 2-0

The 26 points scored by Samford was the fewest by an Indiana opponent in the Teri Moren era.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Aleksa Gulbe started to get into a rhythm in the third quarter, snagging rebounds left and right while also finishing through contact and completing and-ones.

She finished the game one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 11 points on the night.

But Gulbe didn't make anything of her performance. It was business as usual for the junior forward in Indiana's 71-26 victory over Samford.

"I just try to take one possession at a time," Gulbe said. "Look for options I have offensively, and obviously play good defense, so I can help my team."

Gulbe's unselfish answer was reflective of the team's unselfish play.

Four of the five starters scored in double-figures on Thursday with Jaelynn Penn coming up just shy with eight points.

"This is a team that's unselfish," Moren said. "Their willingness to give up the ball and make the extra play. Instead of a good play, make the great play. That's sort of the fabric of this basketball team."

But Indiana's blowout win didn't come from the offensive side of the ball. The Hoosiers rolled through the Bulldogs due to their defense.

This was a Samford team that played tight games against Alabama and Auburn to start its season, but No. 13 Indiana didn't give them a chance right out of the gates.

The Hoosiers held Samford to just four points in the first quarter, and seven total points in the first half. The Bulldogs were shooting 3-of-29 from the field, which is just 10%, in the first 20 minutes.

"I thought our defense was really good," Moren said. "Obviously to only hold them to 26 points is fantastic."

Good defense has been the standard for Moren ever since she came to Bloomington.

Thursday was an all-time defensive performance for Indiana. The 26 points scored by Samford was the fewest by an Indiana opponent in the Teri Moren era. The previous low was 32 vs. Oakland in the 2018 season. 

It is the fifth-fewest points by an opponent in program history, and it is the 17th time in program history the Hoosiers have held an opponent under 30 points. It is the fewest points allowed since a 62-25 win over Ball State during the 1973-74 season.

Offensively, Moren and the players weren't pleased with how they shot the ball.

Even though Indiana finished the game shooting 50% from the field, the Hoosiers were only 25% from three and just 55.6% from the free-throw line.

Moren isn't worried about the 3-point shooting. She believes those will fall, but she was very displeased with the charity stripe.

"Free throw shooting, not good enough and won’t be good enough," Moren said. "We are too good of free-throw shooters. We spend too much intentional time on free-throws in practice, so it is another frustrating area for us."

Also, just the flow of the offense wasn't as solid as it usually is. Samford played a lot of zone, but when they switched to man, it was something the Hoosiers didn't expect.

"I am frustrated a little bit on the offensive end. I thought 15 turnovers was too many tonight against that team," Moren said. "So, that is a little frustrating. We had too many fouls. The early foul trouble hampered us and got us out our flow. Maybe that is why offensively we were just average at best."

But a win is a win, and the Hoosiers are 2-0 as they get set for their first road game of the season, which also happens to be a top-25 matchup on national television.

On Sunday, No. 13 Indiana will play at No. 11 Kentucky at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Moren and her squad will hope to carry over its defensive intensity, but they'll look to pick things up offensively against a high-powered Wildcat team.

"We're excited," Ali Patberg said. "They are another great team. It's another opportunity for us to play the game we love. We'll be ready."

Below is the box score from Indiana's victory over Samford: