Via Stefan Krajisnik of the Indianapolis Star
Indiana women’s basketball is headed to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history following a 73-70 win Saturday against top-seeded North Carolina State.
Despite struggling late to hold onto a lead that was as large as 14, Indiana got a crucial stop on the final possession after senior guard Ali Patberg split a pair at the line to make it a three-point game.
The story of the game for the Hoosiers was once again the defense after forcing 17 Wolfpack turnovers in a game that was filled with runs.
The game started with a 7-0 run from NC State, but Indiana answered with a 9-0 run of its own and that pace of trading runs would continue throughout the first 20 minutes.
N.C. State saw a lead of as many as 11 in the first half, but IU continued to battle. After a nervous start, Indiana settled in and returned to what it does best: getting the ball inside.
IU shot 1-for-6 from deep in the first quarter. Settling for 3s is something Indiana has done in various slow starts this season, and in the second quarter IU took just three attempts from deep.
N.C. State’s Jada Boyd scored nine first-quarter points, but she picked up her second foul a minute into the second quarter. IU took advantage with her on the bench, and a Mackenzie Holmes bucket with 17 seconds to go in the first half gave Indiana a 34-33 edge at halftime.
The second half was an Ali Patberg show, as the Indiana offense usually goes as she goes. With Indiana’s ability to force turnovers, the transition offense was working and Patberg led the way. She had 10 points in the second half — seven of which came in the third.
Holmes fouled out with about 3:30 to go in the game, which opened up a later surge for N.C. State. Indiana got a pair of clutch free throws from Nicole Cardano-Hillary, and ultimately Indiana got the stop it needed.
IU advances to face the winner of 2-seed Texas A&M and 3-seed Arizona.