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Indiana Women's Basketball Ballin' in the Bahamas on Turkey Day

Hoosiers Now on FanNation logo Hoosiers Now on FanNation 11/24/2021 Haley Jordan
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The Indiana women's basketball team is soaking up some sun in the Bahamas over the holiday, but there is also plenty of important basketball, too, starting with a matchup against reigning NCAA champion and No. 7-ranked Stanford on Thanksgiving Day.

When most everyone will be between bites of turkey and stuffing on Thursday, the No. 4-ranked Indiana women's basketball team will be playing some serious basketball in the Bahamas for the inaugural Pink Flamingo Championship.

Indiana (4-0) tips off against the reigning NCAA champions and No. 7-ranked Stanford Cardinal, starting at 1:30 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day.

The Hoosiers are coming off a fabulous NCAA tournament run themselves, making it all the way to the Elite Eight and knocking off No. 1 seed N.C. State in the process. But now, Indiana coach Teri Moren's intentional tough schedule will be tested against a 3-1 Stanford team that returns all five of its starters.

"I'm a coach that loves to watch and play — I call it pretty basketball — and they are so good at running their offense,'' Moren said. "They play the game in such a pretty way with all their cutting, their spacing and their back cutting.''

Sophomore guard Haley Jones and senior guard Lexie Hull, a pair of All-Americans for Stanford, are both averaging double-digit points per game this season along with 6-foot-4 sophomore Cameron Brink.

The Cardinal are shooting 42.8% from the floor and averaging 36.3 rebounds per game. 

"They run their offense really well," Indiana guard Ali Patberg said. "There's a lot of different looks they have. They play well together. We are looking at all the players and studying them and understanding what they like, what they don't like."

Not only is the Cardinal roster stacked, but the winningest coach in collegiate women's basketball, Tara VanDerveer, is behind all the success Stanford has seen since her start in 1985. 

VanDerveer, a 1975 basketball graduate from Indiana, has won three NCAA championships at Stanford — in 1990, 1992 and of course, in 2021 where the Cardinal defeated Arizona 54-53 to claim another title. Arizona knocked off the Hoosiers in the Elite Eight.

"They bring a lot of talent off their bench in terms of playing nine or 10 guys, which is a little different than we do," Moren said.

Moren is in her eighth season as Indiana's head coach and also returns all five of her starters. Junior guard Mackenzie Holmes leads the team with 18 points per game, and is one of five players averaging double figures.

Moren said that depth was an issue with her team last year, and now she hopes some of the younger players like Chloe Moore-McNeil and Kiandra Browne can come into the games and make plays.

"We need those kids to come off the bench and have an impact," Moren said. "It does not have to be in the way of scoring, but it has to be in the way of being sound defensively and give the Grace Bergers, the Ali Patbergs and the Nickys a much-needed break."

The face of Indiana women's basketball, Patberg was just named to the Big Ten Player of the Week honor roll for her two-game performance against Norfolk State and Quinnipiac.

Patberg scored a total of 29 points in those last two games and continues to show her veteran leadership on the court and in practices. Moren once said she's like another coach. 

This Thanksgiving, Patberg is thankful for this:

"That I'm playing," Patberg said. "That I'm here." 

The Hoosiers come to the Bahamas well-equipped as one of the nation’s leaders in field goal and free throw percentage. They have shot 50.8% from the floor, which ranks sixth nationally, and their success at the line (87.9 percent) ranks third in the country overall.

Yes, it is a business trip, but the players do have a chance to catch some rays and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with their basketball family.

"I would imagine if Coach Moren wandered out by the pool, I would probably see a lot of our guys out by the pool enjoying some sun," Moren said. "Don't worry. We're having fun."

The Hoosiers' other game in Nassau will be against Miami on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.

How to watch Indiana in the Bahamas

  • Who: Indiana Hoosiers (4-0) vs. Stanford Cardinal (3-1)
  • When: 1:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, Nov. 25
  • Where: Baha Mar Convention Center, Nassau, Bahamas
  • TV/Streaming: FloHoops
  • Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM
  • Who: Indiana Hoosiers (4-0) vs. Miami Hurricanes (4-0)
  • When: 8:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 27
  • Where: Baha Mar Convention Center, Nassau, Bahamas
  • TV/Streaming: FloHoops
  • Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM

Related stories on Indiana women's basketball

  • INDIANA BEATS QUINNIPIAC IN THRILLING ROAD GAME: After another slow start, Indiana came alive in the third quarter and kept that momentum going until the final whistle. Grace Berger led the Hoosiers with 17 points in their 67-59 win over Quinnipiac and even cashed in on another buzzer beater half-court shot. CLICK HERE.
  • HOOSIERS START ROAD TRIP AT QUINNIPIAC: No. 4-ranked Indiana is off to a 3-0 start this season, but now they head out of state for the first time, starting with a matchup with Quinnipiac on Saturday in Connecticut. The Hoosiers are looking to limit turnovers after a sloppy win on Tuesday. CLICK HERE.
  • INDIANA TAKES DOWN NORFOLK STATE: The Hoosiers started off with a slow first quarter, but Mackenzie Holmes and Aleksa Gulbe both lit up the floor to bring the Hoosiers to another victory. CLICK HERE.
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