Not only has Indiana claimed its first two conference games, it has won both by more than 20 points.
Yeah, it’s been a good start to Big Ten season for the Hoosiers.
IU returned to the win column in a Wednesday matinee at Williams Arena, riding 19-point scoring efforts from Jaelynn Penn and Mackenzie Holmes to a 75-54 win over Minnesota. Penn and Holmes did the bulk of the damage for the Hoosiers (4-2, 2-0), shooting a combined 16-for-26 from the field. Penn was also effective from deep, accounting for four of IU’s 5 3-pointers.
Perhaps best of all, Penn helped limit Minnesota’s Jasmine Powell to an inefficient day from the field. The Gophers’ leading scorer at 18.5 points per game, Powell managed only 12 points against the Hoosiers — and she required 14 shots to get there.
All told, it was a solid defensive effort all around for Indiana, which saw Minnesota shoot 32% from the floor and 16.7% from long-range. Just like Penn did with Powell, Indiana’s Aleksa Gulbe shut down Gophers second-leading scorer Kadiatou Sissoko, who entered play averaging 15.0 points per game. Against Gulbe and the Hoosiers, Sissoko managed merely six.
On the other end, Gulbe and (11 points) and Grace Berger (13 points) also added double-figure scoring efforts for IU. Ali Patberg only scored six points, but she finished with six assists. As a group, Indiana finished with 22 assists on 28 field goals.
After a back-and-forth opening period, Indiana turned it on late in the first half. A 12-2 run midway through the second quarter built a 14-point lead for the Hoosiers with less than three minutes to go before halftime. Indiana, which led for 36 minutes on Wednesday, extended its advantage to as many as 26 points in the second half.
IU returns to action on New Year’s Eve against Illinois. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network.