The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 07, 2021 1:00 am

IU women wallop Penn State

Allow fewest points to Big Ten foe since '04 in league opener

EVAN GERIKE | Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON – Nicole Cardaño-Hillary's 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals led No. 10 Indiana to a 70-40 victory over Penn State in its opening Big Ten game Monday night.

It was the fewest points Indiana has given up in a Big Ten game since allowing 39 to Wisconsin on March 4, 2004.

Mackenzie Holmes scored 16 points and Ali Patberg added 15 for the Hoosiers (6-2), who shot over 50% from the field and were 6 for 14 from 3-point range, while the Lions shot 33.9% from the field and made just two of 16 3-point attempts.

“We hang our hats on the defensive end,” Holmes said. “When shots aren't falling, we have to really hone in on our defense. When you have someone like Nikki heating up the ball and the pressure, I think that was working well for us tonight.”

Cardaño-Hillary, who missed all 10 of her shots in a loss Thursday to No. 2 N.C. State, made three 3s on Monday.

“The mindset is always the same, it's just a difference of the shots falling,” Cardaño-Hillary said. “I focus a lot on my defense and then hopefully those shots end up falling.”

Makenna Marisa led Penn State (4-5) with 21 points.

Indiana outscored Penn State 23-9 in the third quarter, including a 21-0 run lasting 7:40, to put the game out of reach.

After a slow first quarter that saw Indiana turn the ball over seven times, the Hoosiers settled in for the remainder of the game and finished with 16 turnovers.

Penn State had 22 turnovers, including nine forced on steals by Indiana. Three came from Cardaño-Hillary in the first half.

“What Nikki provides for us is what she does defensively,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “She creates havoc for other point guards. She disrupts them. She doesn't make anything easy when she's on the ball.”

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