Grace Berger finished with a season-high 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Mackenzie Holmes added 24 points as No. 2 Indiana used a late scoring run to pull away from No. 5 Iowa 87-78 on Thursday night.

The Hoosiers (23-1, 12-1 Big Ten) used a 17-7 fourth-quarter run to earn their 11th consecutive win, this time in front of a record crowd of 13,046. Indiana has broken the attendance mark three times since January and now has a 1 1/2-game lead in the chase for its first regular-season conference crown since the Big Ten’s inaugural season of 1982-83.

Caitlin Clark had 35 points, 10 assists and four rebounds to lead the Hawkeyes (19-5, 11-2), who lost for the first time since Jan. 1.

Not surprisingly, the rematch of last season’s Big Ten Tournament title game and first top-five matchup in Big Ten play in nearly 30 years lived up to the billing.

Two of the nation’s highest-scoring teams played to a 19-all draw after one quarter and a 39-39 tie at halftime. Indiana scored the final four points of the third quarter to take a 62-57 lead as the raucous fans urged them on.

Finally, in a contest featuring 11 ties and 14 lead changes, Berger and Holmes quickly turned the game in the fourth quarter by combining for nearly half the points in a 17-7 run that allowed Indiana to move out to a a 79-69 lead with 3:24 to go.

Iowa never got another chance to tie the score or take the lead.


Iowa: Clark may be one of the frontrunners for national player of the year, and there’s little doubt the Hawkeyes are among the nation’s top teams. But in a raucous environment, the Hawkeyes lost their poise by turning the ball over 18 times and going just 6 of 23 on 3-pointers. It may cost them a second straight league title.

Indiana: The Hoosiers answered any remaining doubters Thursday with a gritty and gutsy performance. They struggled, at times, offensively, and played through some serious foul trouble to put away a team that swept all three games from them last season. They are 7-0 this season against ranked foes.


Indiana did what it needed to retain the highest ranking in school history. With no game until Monday, the showdown between the nation’s only remaining unbeaten teams in No. 1 South Carolina and No. 3 LSU on Sunday could determine if Indiana gets another week at No. 2.

Iowa, meanwhile, shouldn’t slide much — if at all — after going toe-to-toe for 40 minutes at Indiana.


Iowa: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday.

Indiana: Visits No. 13 Ohio State on Monday.

For more Hawkeyes coverage, follow @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook.