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Hoosiers fall apart in 72-68 loss at Kentucky

Ugly ending for Indiana’s women’s team in Lexington

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Iowa vs Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana and Kentucky played a basketball game on Sunday, a contest the Hoosiers controlled.

Until they didn’t.

A fourth-quarter collapse doomed No. 13 IU to a 72-68 loss to No. 11 Kentucky on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. The Hoosiers (2-1), who led by as many as 14 points midway through the second period, allowed the Wildcats to score 28 points during the final quarter — five more points than Kentucky accumulated during the entire first half.

Indiana not only couldn’t stop Kentucky late — the Wildcats rattled off a 17-2 run over a six-minute span late in the fourth — the Hoosiers couldn’t find the basket on the other end. IU went six and a half minutes without a field goal as the game reached its end.

“Obviously, we are disappointed in the result,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “We gave up almost 50 points in the second half. We were disappointed because we think we are a defensive minded team. Shots were not falling tonight. I think Grace Berger and Ali Patberg struggled, but not necessarily on the glass. We’re sort of in between being an aggressive team and a passive team.”

Three Hoosiers finished in double figures, including Grace Berger who posted a team-high 21 points. Mackenzie Holmes added 16 points and Jaelynn Penn posted 11. The trio combined for 70% of IU’s total scoring.

The Hoosiers led 36-23 at the half.

All told, however, IU struggled to put the ball in the basket early and late. Kentucky’s zone had something to do with it, but only to a point. The Hoosiers missed bunnies, couldn’t shoot from deep (27%), and missed too many free throws (9-for-15).

One of the questions entering the game was how IU would handle Kentucky’s pressure. The Hoosiers did OK, committing only nine errors — three under Moren’s stated goal for the trip — but one of those was especially costly. With IU clinging to a one-point lead with 1:41 left, the Hoosiers couldn’t get the ball in on a sideline inbounds play. From there, Kentucky strung together six quick points and never looked back.

“We were not consistent,” Moren said. “We need to be more aggressive for 40 minutes. Watching film, I will be interested to see how many post touches we could have had. We have to be better on a lot of accounts, but to go on the road is a challenge for everybody. Give Kentucky credit for coming back because they had some challenges as well. I am disappointed in the Hoosiers — needed to be sounder on defense in the second half. So, we will go back to Bloomington and get back to work.”

IU is scheduled to host Butler next Sunday.