BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Grace Berger scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 7 Indiana past Michigan State 76-58 on Saturday.
“She was cooking,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “I didn’t think they had an answer for her in the second half. That was just, as I say, Grace being Grace.”
Berger scored 21 points in the second half, including 17 in the third quarter to top Michigan State’s entire total. Indiana (18-3, 10-1 Big Ten) led 32-27 at halftime before outscoring the Spartans 30-14 in the third quarter.
“I just came out really aggressive,” Berger said. “We just all came out with an aggressive mindset and I think I benefited from that.”
The Hoosiers senior shot 9 of 17 overall and made all 11 of her free throws.
Aleksa Gulbe had 13 points for Indiana. Ali Patberg and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary each added 12 and Chloe Moore-McNeil had 10.
Michigan State (13-11, 7-6) was led by Alisia Smith’s 12 points and Nia Clouden’s 10.
Indiana shot 43.6% from the field, including 7 of 20 from 3-point range. Michigan State shot 38.9%, making 4 of 13 from 3-point range,
The Hoosiers were able to shut down Clouden, who entered the game averaging 21.3 points. She shot 3 for 12 and spent the majority of the game in foul trouble.
“She’s fantastic,” Moren said. “We obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for her and we thought that would be the key today. All five of us had to guard Nia Clouden today.”
Michigan State: The Spartans couldn’t ride the momentum from an upset over No. 4 Michigan earlier in the week.
Indiana: The Hoosiers had one of their best quarters of the season to pull away in the second half. They shot 69% percent and didn’t have a turnover.
Indiana won its fourth straight game and maintained their hold on first place in the Big Ten after Michigan lost its second conference game of the season.
HOLMES NEARING RETURN
Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes, who hasn’t played since Jan. 5 with a knee injury, dressed for the Hoosiers and warmed up but did not play. Moren said after Indiana’s last game Holmes should be returning to the lineup soon.
Michigan State plays at Wisconsin on Wednesday night.
Indiana plays at Nebraska on Monday night.
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