Fresh Faces Shine as Indiana Women’s Basketball Defeats Northwood in Exhibition Play
Written By: Ben Malcomson (Co-Owner/Editor of Hoosiers-United.com; Host of Hoosier Heartland Podcast 11/3/2018
The day after the men’s basketball program started and finished their lone exhibition game, the women’s basketball team started theirs as they took care of business against Northwood to finish out their one and only exhibition matchup before the games start to count.
Let’s face it, it was a bit strange seeing them out there without Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill dressed and leading this team. Although, their departures were only a matter of time, it was evident on the court in their first LIVE game action that the program is in good hands going forward. Teri Moren and her staff are still there leading this team from a coaching perspective, but the on-the-floor, the leadership has now shifted. There is not one clear leader, but a team full of players willing to pick one another up and hold each accountable.
Redshirt transfers Ali Patberg (Nine points on 4-6 FG, eight assists, and four rebounds) and Brenna Wise (13 points on 5-10 FG, and six rebounds) finally got the opportunity to make their debuts in the cream and crimson. They made it count in helping the team cruise to a 78-52 victory.
AP (Ali Patberg) and Brenna were not the only fresh faces to make their debut as highly-touted recruit (from the state of Kentucky) Grace Berger (13 points on 6-12 FG, six rebounds, and five assists) and freshman Latvia-native Aleksa Gulbe (15 points, 7-8 FT, 5 blocks, and 3 rebounds) both played significant roles.
Key Stats that Impress
Points off Turnovers – Ironically, both the men’s and women’s programs created 19 opponent turnovers a piece in their exhibition games. Also, both men’s and women’s opponents were only able to capitalize for eight points (the men had 11 and the women with 10 turnovers, respectively). One of the most important takeaways is the women’s program taking advantage of the extra possessions on their way to 25 points off Northwood turnovers.
Block Party – The Hoosiers put on one hell of a defensive showcase with 12 blocked shots to go along with five steals. Aleksa Gulbe guided the team with five blocks herself. Linsey Marchese (3), Kym Royster (2), Brenna Wise (1), and Keyanna Warthen (1) also contributed.
22 IU Bench Points – I do believe IUWBB’s bench is deeper this year. That was apparent with scoring led by Gulbe (15) and Marchese (7).
Key Areas that Depress
3-point FGs – If there was one area that Indiana really didn’t fare well with was shooting from behind the arc going a combined 1-12 3FG. That was good for 8.3% shooting. Yikes! That is something that will need improved upon. This is not me overreacting. It is just game one of the season that doesn’t even count. Just something worth noting going forward for tracking improvement.
Free Throw Shooting - It wasn’t the worst in the world, but there is room to get better. They finished the game 15-21 (71.4%) from the line. To me, it does not matter if it is the men’s or women’s programs, I will harp on missed opportunities all season long. You are looking at 6 additional points. When you peel back the layers, there were some notable takeaways such as Aleksa Gulbe’s 7-8 from the charity stripe was impressive. Those free opportunities, in turn, made her the leader on the team in scoring with 15 points overall.
Turnovers – 10 turnovers is not too bad, but I would like to see them keep it in single digits at least.
Who Else Wants Some?
IU welcomes Milwaukee to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Wednesday, November 7th, at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time tip. The game will be shown on Big Ten Network PLUS (that means you will need the online paid subscription to see the game). You can listen in on WHCC 105.1 FM. This game is dubbed International Night. Will provide more details on what that consists of with a preview later in the week. For now, enjoy the win that does not count. The real victory is the new faces and this team seeing floor time. Get those jitters out of the way now and be ready for the next game day.