CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ali Patberg scored 16 points and No. 15 Indiana overcame a horrible shooting day to turn back Illinois 58-50 on Sunday.
The struggles of leading scorer Mackenzie Holmes (18.7 points a game) emphasized the Hoosiers’ struggles. The 62% shooter – which is among the top five in the nation – was 1-of-16 shooting and put up seven points.
Indiana was 2 of 12 from 3-point range (17%), 18 of 57 overall (32%) and 20 of 30 from the foul line. It was the overall worst shooting game of the season and the first time the 72% free throw shooting team missed 10 from the line.
It added up to the Hoosiers matching their lowest output of the season, a 66-58 loss to Tennessee when they went 2 for 27 from 3-point range and shot 32%.
By they did make the plays down the stretch. After an inside basket by Jada Peebles capped an 8-0 run to cut the Indiana to one with 2:39 to play, the Illini didn’t score again.
Holmes missed inside but Aleksa Guble grabbed the rebound and Patberg hit a jumper. Illinois missed three times on the next possession before Nicole Cardano-Hillary attacked from the wing for a layup with just under a minute to play.
After the next two Illini misses Patberg made 3 of 4 from the foul line to finish it off.
Cardano-Hillary scored 11 points for Indiana (13-4, 11-2 Big Ten Conference), Grace Berger had 10 and Holmes grabbed 11 rebounds.
Pebbles led Illinois (3-13, 1-12), which shot 30% and made 9 of 10 from the line, with 13 points.
No. 12 Michigan visits Indiana on Thursday. Illinois is at No. 9 Maryland on Wednesday.