Bloomington, Ind. – No. 22 Indiana erupted on a 23-4 surge in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, as the Nebraska women’s basketball team dropped an 81-53 decision to the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on Thursday night.
Sophomore Leigha Brown led the Huskers with 22 points, but Hannah Whitish was the only other Nebraska player to manage double figures with 11, as NU shot a season-low 27.9 percent (17-61) from the field. The Huskers hit just 25 percent (4-16) from three-point range, including just 1-for-5 in the second half.
Brown went 7-for-12 from the field and 7-of-10 at the free throw line, but the rest of the Huskers went just 10-for-49 from the floor for the game.
While the Huskers struggled to hit shots from start to finish, Indiana hit 50 percent (9-18) of its first-quarter shots, then went 12-for-19 (.632) from the field in the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers opened the fourth quarter by going 9-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-4 from three-point range to pull away down the stretch. Indiana’s 31 fourth-quarter points were the most in any quarter by any opponent of the Huskers this season.
Indiana point guard Ali Patberg led all scorers with 26 points, including nine in the first 3:07 of the fourth quarter and IU’s last eight points of the third quarter including a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the Hoosiers to the final period with a 50-41 lead. Patberg had 19 points in the second half.
Grace Berger added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for India, while Aleksa Gulbe and Mackenzie Holmes each pitched in 11 points inside for Indiana.
Indiana finished 48.5 percent (33-68) from the field, including 8-of-22 (.364) from three-point range. The Hoosiers out-rebounded Nebraska, 44-33, and matched Nebraska with 13 turnovers in the game.
Brown carried Nebraska in the first half hitting 4-of-7 shots from the field and all five of her free throw attempts to score 14 points. Eliely was the only other Husker to hit more than one shot from the floor in the half, but went just 2-for-8. Eliely had five points, two offensive rebounds and two steals in 13 first-half minutes.
The Huskers, who trailed 21-13 at the end of the first quarter, won the second quarter 14-12, despite going just 4-for-18 from the floor in the quarter. In the half, Nebraska hit just 25.7 percent (9-of-35) of its shots, including 3-of-11 threes (.273). The Huskers did go 6-of-7 at the free throw line.
Indiana led 33-27 at the half by hitting 46.7 percent (14-30) of its shots, but went just 1-for-7 from long range and 4-of-7 at the free throw line. The Hoosiers, who were led by 11 points from Holmes and eight from Gulbe, out-rebounded NU 21-17 but lost the first-half turnover battle 8-5.
The Huskers will return to action at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, March 4-8.