Last Monday’s trip to Maryland didn’t yield the results Ali Patberg wanted. Against the Big Ten’s best, Patberg was far from her best.
But over the past two games, Patberg has recalibrated and turned in some of her best work of the young season. Sunday saw the senior guard continue the trend. Patberg’s 21 points helped Indiana overcome a slow start, lifting the Hoosiers to a 74-49 victory over Wisconsin at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
For Patberg, it was the second straight game she hit the 20-point mark, while her five 3-pointers set a new season high. She polished off her stat line with five assists and three boards, helping create separation during the second half. Indiana has now won six consecutive meetings with Wisconsin.
“I thought it was a slow start for us particularly in the first quarter,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “I am not sure the reason of that. I thought we started to pick it up in the second quarter going into halftime which I thought was great. We made some adjustments. Here is the one thing about Wisconsin, they are never going to stop. They are never going to quit no matter what the score is. You could be up, it doesn’t matter. Jonathan (Tsipis) over there and his group do a tremendous job of fighting and trying to stay in games even when there is a deficit. We knew that we had to come out into the second half and play better. I thought we did.”
Indiana certainly shot better during the second half, hitting six of its final 10 3-pointers and finishing with a season-high-tying nine makes from beyond the arc. After taking a 35-24 lead into halftime, holding the Badgers to only four points across the final five minutes of the second quarter, Indiana used a 9-2 run to stretch its lead to 18 points in the third. Grace Berger scored six of her 12 points during the period, while Patberg sprinkled in some deep shots to help put the game out of reach.
Mackenzie Holmes scored 14 points and added a team-best nine rebounds for IU, which returns to action against Purdue on Thursday afternoon.
Fouls were an issue for IU, which saw Holmes tagged with four personals and Aleksa Gulbe foul out. The Hoosiers also only shot 57% from the line.
“I am going to have to make sure that we continue to spend some intentional time,” Moren said. “We are way better shooters than that from the free throw line. ... As I said to our kids winning is hard. Winning is hard in this league. Although we got off to a slow start, I think the second half was much better and that was good to see.”