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No. 14 Indiana falls to No. 12 Iowa in Big Ten Tournament Championship game

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the first time in twenty years, the Indiana University women’s basketball team played their way into the Big Ten Tournament title game.

The No. 5 Hoosiers fell 74-67 to the No. 2 seed Iowa in the championship game Sunday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Grace Berger led the Hoosiers in scoring with 20 points and seven rebounds.

After the game, Berger commented on her team’s resiliency over the last few weeks.

“That shows how good of a team we are and [are] led by a great coach, obviously, and we have a lot of great veteran leadership on our team. So, no matter what’s thrown at us, I think we’ve shown that we can kind of kind of push through that,” Berger said.

Indiana closed out the regular season with three straight losses, but, by winning three straight games in Big Ten Tournament play, they have drastically improved their NCAA Tournament position.

“We don’t let a little adversity bring us down and we’re just going to continue on,” guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary said. “We’ve got a lot of basketball left and that’s what we’re going to do, whether there’s adversity or not.”

Head coach Teri Moren says the team had “every reason” to come to Indianapolis and fold, but instead, they looked at it as a new season.

“You want to peak right now in March. I felt we were starting to do that today; we didn’t. But, nonetheless, [I’m] really proud,” Moren said.

While the Hoosiers ultimately came up seven points shy of holding the Big Ten Championship trophy, Moren used the emotional moments postgame to send her team a message. She gathered her players on the floor as Iowa’s confetti fell around them.

“I reminded our kids [that] we are still one of the best women’s basketball teams in the country,” Moren said. “It’s not the end for us. We’re going shut this door and we’re going move on, you know, to the NCAA tournament and look forward to hosting in Bloomington.”

Moren says she believes this veteran team has both the talent and experience to make a deep run this March, where just last year, they shocked the nation by dancing into the Elite 8.

The Hoosiers now await their path in the Big Dance. The women’s bracket will be released on Selection Sunday, March 13, at 8 p.m.