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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Dominant showing from Mackenzie Holmes boosts No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball over Butler

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There are many reasons why No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball is as good as it is, but the primary factor is the luxury of having one of the best players in the country. Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes proved once again she is just that in Wednesday’s 67-50 win over Butler University.

Similar to Monday’s win over Morehead State University, Holmes got to work early. She scored Indiana’s first 5 points, doing so in a 77-second stretch by converting back-to-back layups — one of which an and-1. She scored one more basket in the first frame to get to seven points, but the Hoosiers clung to a four-point lead as the Bulldogs provided an early challenge.

Indiana charged ahead in the second quarter, and none other than Holmes led the way. The Hoosiers turned to the star senior right away, who converted her second and-1 layup of the game just 15 seconds into the period. With 8 points in the paint and having drawn multiple fouls, Holmes had her way inside.

As Holmes attracted the attention of multiple Bulldogs down low, the perimeter opened up. The Hoosiers capitalized by hitting back-to-back threes, one of which Holmes assisted. Missing out on the fun, Holmes stepped out and connected from deep herself — her first made three of this season.

Holmes finished the second quarter with 10 points, single-handedly outscoring Butler in the 10-minute frame. Finishing the first half with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists, Holmes had already achieved an admirable full-game stat line.

Butler slowed down Holmes and the Hoosiers most of the third quarter, but with a few minutes remaining, junior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil worked the two-man game to perfection with Holmes. The two connected with each other on three consecutive trips: Moore-McNeil found Holmes in the post on the first two possessions, and on the third, Holmes perfectly ran the give-and-go to a cutting Moore-McNeil, who slipped past the defenders who had diverted their attention to Holmes.

“I think it’s just a testament to the time Chloe and I spend together. I love playing with her,” Holmes said. “It’s a testament to the work that we’ve put in together.”

Holmes’ day was mostly finished after the third quarter, although she added an emphatic rejection to reiterate her control of the paint all game. She finished the game with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. Shooting 75% from the field and not a single turnover, Holmes’ performance was both dominant and efficient.

“We all feel better when Mack is on the floor because she’s such a threat,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said.

Holmes’ floor presence is one that few teams can boast, and when utilized, the sky's the limit for the Hoosiers. Wednesday’s outing showed that even when outside shots aren’t falling, Holmes is always reliable inside, creating for both herself and her teammates. Looking forward, this might be the biggest factor in Indiana’s postseason hopes.

Holmes and Indiana receive another break for the holidays, earning another eight days off before diving into conference play. The Hoosiers will go on the road to face Michigan State on Dec. 29.

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Sebree (@mattsebree) and columnist Matt Press (@MattPress23) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season. 
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