Indiana in the first Elite Eight with a 73-70 victory over NC State


Teri Moren grew up near the Indiana campus and readily admits that she went to men’s basketball games as a child because the women’s team wasn’t very good.

That’s no longer the case, thanks to her training and the play of another Indiana native.

Ali Patberg scored 17 points to help fourth seed Indiana beat No. 1 seed North Carolina State 73-70 on Saturday night, sending the Hoosiers to the regional final for the first time in school history.

“It means a lot to us to be able to do what we did tonight and we continue to build our own tradition,” Moren said. “Tradition has always been on the men’s side and we wanted to build our own. People talk about Indiana basketball and we didn’t want it to be exclusive just on the men’s side.”

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Patberg, who is from Columbus, Indiana, was excited after the game.

“It’s a dream to play for Indiana. I grew up on the road, I’m a hoosier and this means the world to me,” said Patberg, who transferred to the school from Notre Dame in 2017. “My team, our program, is a blessing. and a dream come true to be here on this stage with my teammates and coaches. “

Indiana (21-5) had been in the Sweet 16 only once before, in 1983 before the NCAA Women’s Tournament became a 64-team field. Now the Hoosiers are one win away from the Final Four and will need to beat Arizona in the Market Region final on Monday night to get there. The Wildcats hadn’t gotten that far either.

The Hoosiers led 70-60 with 2:51 to play before NC State scored eight straight points to get within two with 1:21 to play. The Wolfpack (22-3) had a chance to equalize, but star Elissa Cunane missed a disputed layup with 30 seconds left.

Nicole Cardano-Hillary then made two free throws with 21.1 seconds left. Before those two on the line, Indiana had been a lousy 6 of 13 in free throws.

The Wolfpack was not over, with Raina Perez making a lane jump for NC State to return to two with 13.5 seconds left. Patberg then made one of two free throws to make it 73-70 and Cunane missed poorly on a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer, prompting a wild celebration from the Hoosiers in the middle of the court.

“Tough day. Give a lot of credit to Indiana and their coaches and players. They did a great job,” NC State coach Wes Moore said. “They made it difficult for us to handle things offensively. Obviously, they executed very well on the offensive side. I’m proud of our team. We were a bit understaffed for a really good player in Kayla Jones and I’m proud of the way they fought. our kids. There were people playing in some places who probably hadn’t played all year. “

Jones injured his left kneecap during a first-round win over North Carolina A&T. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists this season.

Indiana was down 33-28 at the end of the first half before scoring the last six points of the second quarter. He carried the momentum to third, opening up a 45-35 lead. Indiana made seven of his first eight shots in the period.

Patberg scored seven points in the fourth as the Hoosiers led 58-48.

Jada Boyd scored 18 points for NC State and Pérez 17.

The loss ended a wonderful season for Wolfpack, who won the ACC Tournament title and earned the first No. 1 seed in school history. NC State was trying to secure the show’s second Elite Eight spot and the first since the 1998 tournament, when they were coached by the late Kay Yow.

“We’re going to get over the bump. We have to get over the bump,” Moore said. “We have to keep putting ourselves in this position and hopefully close the deal and take advantage of it.”

The Hoosiers played stellar defense in the first two rounds of the tournament, allowing just 40 points per game. It was the fewest points ever allowed by a Big Ten school in the first two NCAA games.

MAKE NOISE

For the first time at the tournament, the general public was allowed to attend games at the Alamodome. Each game was allowed to have 17% capacity, which was around 4,800 fans. In the previous two rounds, teams received six tickets per person in the travel group.

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