all scores

Indiana’s Grace Berger sidelined after injury at maligned Vegas tournament

Indiana's Grace Berger will miss Thursday's game against North Carolina. (Rich Janzaruk/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Grace Berger won’t play in No. 5 Indiana’s Thursday night showdown against No. 6 North Carolina.

The senior guard injured her knee Nov. 25 against Auburn at the much-criticized Las Vegas Invitational, which was held in a ballroom at The Mirage hotel. While Indiana coach Teri Moren said Berger’s injury did not result from the location, she still called the tournament “a major miss” for women’s basketball.

There is no timetable for Berger’s return, but Moren called her “day-to-day” ahead of Thursday’s game. Indiana did not release specifics of the injury, but Moren said an MRI revealed the injury would not be “season-ending.”

“I know it’s killing her that she’s not gonna be able to participate tomorrow night,” IU coach Terri Moren told reporters Wednesday.

Heading into the top-10 showdown, both Indiana and North Carolina are undefeated. The Hoosiers are 7-0, with their best win coming against then-No. 11 Tennessee, while UNC is coming off a win over No. 8 Iowa State, improving its record to 6-0.

Berger’s absence will be tough for Indiana, as the fifth-year player has been a key part of the team for the last few seasons.

“She provides just wisdom and experience, and she can talk to those guys still in practice and on the bench,” Moren said.

Berger was averaging 10.3 points, 5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game for the Hoosiers during her six appearances, while boasting a 2.4 to 1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The senior’s floor presence will be missed, but Indiana has plenty of offensive weapons. Mackenzie Holmes leads IU with 20 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 76.6%, the second best mark in the country. Freshman Yarden Garzon has made big contributions in her first season, averaging 12.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Sara Scalia is the team’s second leading scorer with 12.3 points per game.