No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball jumped out to an early lead and never trailed Sunday on its way to an 86-66 win over No. 20 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes scored the first 6 points of the game on her way to finishing with a career-high of 30 points on the night. In the process, she became the 30th player in program history to score 1,000 points.
Holmes said she didn’t go into the game focused on reaching the benchmark, she just wanted to focus on helping her team win. She also credited her teammates for helping her get the milestone.
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“I just was myself out there, I didn’t want to think about it too much or overthink anything,” Holmes said.
The Hoosiers scored 56 points in the paint, largely thanks to Holmes’ offense, and they held the Buckeyes to 18 paint points, largely thanks to Holmes’ defense. While Holmes led the way Sunday, she credited her guards for her sustained success as a Hoosier.
“Most of every point I get is off of a pass from our guards and I believe I have the best guards in the country on my team,” Holmes said. “They’re always looking for me and they’re just great teammates and selfless and at the end of the day I just want to win, and that’s the most important to me.”
The Hoosiers have struggled at the beginning of recent games, forcing them to fight back in order to compete, but on Sunday they came out focused and controlled the game from the start.
Holmes said the team doesn’t specifically concentrate on how they start each game, they just focus on the specific game plan for each team separately.
“We just need to be us every time we come out on the court — know our game plans, know where we’re going to have advantages, know where we’re going to have to disadvantages and just play off of that and be confident in what we do,” Holmes said.
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Indiana held Ohio State scoreless for more than five minutes to start the game and built a quick 10-0 lead, never giving it up. Indiana’s defense never allowed Ohio State to build momentum, forcing 17 turnovers and holding Ohio State to 36% shooting on the night.
Head coach Teri Moren said getting a conference win over a ranked team on the road is important for building momentum and competing later in the season. She said teams that are tested and win on the road tend to succeed more often in the postseason.
“I hope that this is a sign for what we can expect from our group when we go away from Assembly Hall, away from Hoosier nation, that we can still lock-in and have the energy that we need in order to win games on the road,” Moren said.
Indiana has a break for this upcoming finals week and will play next at 1 p.m. Dec. 19 against Western Michigan University in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.