LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The NCAA Tournament history of the Indiana University women’s basketball program is tucked on page 141 of the team’s media guide. Only one page is required.
Seven appearances. Three wins. No trips to the Sweet 16.
Better add more pages and a splash of history. Coach Teri Moren and former Sacred Heart High School star Grace Berger took care of that Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas.
The No. 12 Hoosiers (20-5) rolled to the Indiana’s first Sweet 16 appearance by dispatching Belmont, 70-48, in the second round of the NCAA Mercado Region at St. Mary’s University.
"That's why we came to Indiana, to do something special," Berger said. "Hard work and believing in that vision we could do something that's never been done before."
After the game, the IU players soaked Moren with water in a joyous locker room celebration. "Wet hair, wet pants, but just to see the pure joy these kids have is well worth it," Moren said.
Berger was outstanding, showing the ability to shoot, drive, rebound, defeat pressure and feast at the foul line.
She finished with 17 points, making half of her 12 field-goal attempts as well as 5 of 6 free throws. Credit Berger with six rebounds, three steals and three assists. She played 37 minutes without a turnover or committing a personal foul.
"I'm an upperclassman," Berger said. "I just tried to be solid, when they were pressuring us, not to lose my cool."
Berger has been a foundational piece of Moren’s program the past three seasons. A 6-foot guard, Berger leads the nation with three triple-doubles. Averaging 15.5 points and 6.7 rebounds, Berger is considered the best WNBA prospect in program history.
"She's an excellent ball-handler, she has an excellent mid-range game and how competitive she is," Moren said. "When she called me to commit we knew she was going to be an important part of taking this program to new heights."
IU, the No. 4 seed, will play top-seed North Carolina State in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
In two NCAA games, the Hoosiers have allowed 32 and 48 points. Their average winning margin has been 26.5 points.
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