Scrappy play under the basket earns IU women’s basketball the Barn Burner trophy

Ali Patberg attempts to shoot the ball over Purdue defender

Redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg attempts to shoot the ball Feb. 3 in Mackey Arena. IU defeated Purdue 66-54. (Courtesy of Purdue Exponent: Gracie Pike)

Forwards and guards dove for loose balls and contended for positioning below the basket in a 66-54 victory for No. 18 IU women’s basketball Monday. Its second-chance opportunities and shot blocking on defense led to a third straight victory over Purdue.

IU outrebounded Purdue 38-28 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Its players secured offensive rebounds, which led to extra points and defensive rebounds prevented Purdue from getting second-chance points.

Early on, it was junior guard Ali Patberg who plowed through defenders and scored around the basket. The junior locked in on the ball as it bounced off the rim and navigated through three Boilermakers to catch the rebound and score.

Patberg finished the night with seven rebounds, tied for the second-highest tally on the floor.

Later in the first, it was senior forward Brenna Wise who boxed out Purdue’s senior forward Ae’Rianna Harris for an offensive rebound. IU was then able to take more time off the clock and set up its offense.

Wise came in from the baseline and perimeter in her various routes on offense. When the ball left her teammate’s hands, she snuck around Harris and other Boilermakers to tip the ball back to her guards or go back up with a shot.

The senior also kept Purdue from getting additional looks on 3-point shot attempts. Wise used her arms to locate her defender and her lower body to keep them away from the basket.

Combined with Patberg, Wise helped IU keep Purdue scoreless on second-chance opportunities. Purdue finished with just five on the entire night. The Hoosiers had 12 second-chance points which, along with blocked shots, helped them during their third-quarter scoring drought.

Despite knocking down its first six shots in the third, IU missed its closing seven, allowing Purdue to cut the lead from 12 to six. IU needed its defense to step up, and its guards came through.

IU junior guard Jaelynn Penn blocked consecutive shots to keep Purdue’s guards from bringing the game within two possessions.

First it was Boilermaker guard Dominique Oden — the game’s leading scorer — who fell victim to a Penn swat. Oden led the night in scoring but found an open layup ripped from her hands on the other side of a media timeout.

On the next Boilermaker possession, Harris cut to the basket for a contested layup. Penn came from behind and tipped the ball away to preserve the Hoosiers’ 10-point lead.

Minutes later, it was Patberg who earned her second block. After Purdue brought the game within single digits, Oden tore across the floor and drove down the left side of the paint. Patberg came from the opposite side and stopped Oden from cutting the lead to six.

As its shooters began connecting in the fourth, IU’s forwards continued making plays below the rim to keep plays alive. Wise saved the ball from going out of bounds, leading to a Purdue foul.

On the next play sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe boxed out Harris, got the ball off the rim and hit a layup. The basket pushed IU’s lead to nine, and the momentum shifted.

The Hoosiers went on a 7-3 run, and it was enough to hold off their conference rival and secure the Barn Burner trophy.