IU just ended RU’s season in basketball. The two vaunted rivals met earlier this afternoon during the second round of the 2022 Big Ten Tournament. 5-seed Indiana’s victory over 13-seed Rutgers tied the all-time series between the schools at 6 games apiece, and sent IU to the Conference Quarterfinals for the 7th straight season.
Indiana did not have a great scout out on Rutgers, as the teams’ only scheduled meeting this season was postponed, but it didn’t really matter. This was a pretty routine game for the Hoosiers. Great defense (10 steals), Great shooting (40% from 3), and control of the pace of play throughout were the keys for the Cream and Crimson. A classic Ali Patberg postseason performance certainly helped, too.
As mentioned above, Grad Forward Ali Patberg was the headliner for the Hoosiers. The Indiana legend finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists, and was an exceptional 5-7 from 3. Patberg shines when the lights are brightest. This IU squad is among the most experienced in the country, and Patberg is their most experienced player. She is a great leader and the Hoosiers will rely on her heavily over the remainder of the season.
Grace Berger also chipped in 17, 6, and 6. The 1st-Team All-Big Ten Guard continually drew doubles in the midrange, forcing a second defender to commit before either knifing a pass into the paint or kicking it back out to an open shooter. Good things happen when the offense runs through #34.
Nicole Cardaño-Hillary was her usual, menacing self defensively. The All-Big Ten Defender recorded a game-high 5 steals and served as a thorn in the side of Scarlet Knight ball carriers throughout. she also hit a three and added 2 assists.
Little things to clean up: Rutgers won the rebounding battle, 35-30. They also scored 8 more points in the paint than IU did (28-20). Hopefully the heavy minutes off the bench from Chloe Moore-McNeil help keep Aleksa Gulbe and Mackenzie Holmes relatively fresh in preparation for tomorrow. IU’s leading rebounders will have their hands full, as Maryland’s All-League Forward Angel Reese will be looking to put up 20+ points and 10+ rebounds on the Hoosiers for the third time this season.
Survive and advance. Next up for the Hoosiers is their highly-anticipated rubber match against the 4-seed Maryland Terrapins. A win will likely clinch a top-4 seed, and the pair of home games that comes with it, in the NCAA Tournament for IU. Tip is set for around 2pm tomorrow in Indy.