Indiana Daily Student

‘Cheat code’ Mackenzie Holmes leads Indiana women’s basketball past Western Michigan

Indiana junior forward Mackenzie Holmes listens to head coach Teri Moren during an exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis on Nov. 5, 2021, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Holmes scored 17 points and pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds against Western Michigan University on Sunday in Bloomington.
Indiana junior forward Mackenzie Holmes listens to head coach Teri Moren during an exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis on Nov. 5, 2021, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Holmes scored 17 points and pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds against Western Michigan University on Sunday in Bloomington.

Before the tip off of its game Sunday afternoon, Indiana women’s basketball honored junior forward Mackenzie Holmes for scoring 1,000 career points. Once the game started, she quickly continued adding to that total, making a cut to the paint and scoring a layup off a pass from graduate student guard Ali Patberg less than a minute into the game.

By the end of the game, Holmes had scored 17 points to help lead No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball to a 67-57 win over Western Michigan at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“We call her the ‘cheat code’ every now and again because we feel like every time the ball goes into her, something good is likely to happen,” head coach Teri Moren said at the postgame press conference.

Holmes leads Indiana in scoring this season and has led the team in each of its last six games. Across the last six games, she is averaging 20.8 points per game. Even though she is the team’s top scorer, Holmes gave the guards on her team credit for setting her up for success.

“I have great guards so that helps, they feed me the ball and they have confidence in me,” Holmes said. “My coaches all the way through to all the players all have confidence in me so that helps me when I get the ball in the post.”

Holmes said she has focussed on staying consistent throughout the season and not beating herself up when she makes mistakes during the game. Not overreacting to the good or the bad moments allows her to stay concentrated and avoid distraction throughout the season, she said.

Senior guard Grace Berger said working the ball inside to post players like Holmes is a point of emphasis for the team’s offense. That strategy, Moren said, is a big part of Holmes' success, but so is her effort.

“If we can run our stuff and execute at a high level — which we have before — we’re going to keep getting good looks for Mackenzie,” Moren said. “But Mack also creates her own shots because she’s willing to run, she’s committed to transition offense.”

In addition to her scoring contributions, Holmes also led the Hoosiers in rebounds, pulling down a career-high 19, including six on the offensive glass. She also finished the game with 4 blocks on the defensive end.

“As coach Moren would say: ‘Do the work’ and I’m doing it every day,” Holmes said. “I’m not really changing anything about who I am or what I’m doing.”

Holmes and Indiana take on Wright State University in the team’s next matchup. The game will take place on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Assembly Hall.

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