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Mackenzie Holmes runs up the floor during Indiana's win over Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9, 2023. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)
Mackenzie Holmes runs up the floor during Indiana's win over Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9, 2023. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

Indiana escapes upset against Maine with fourth-quarter rally 

Missed layups, fouls and poor defensive focus contributed to the lackluster performance

No. 17-ranked Indiana women’s basketball escaped a road trip upset with a 67-59 win against the University of Maine on Thursday night. 

Indiana graduate student forward and Gorham, Maine native Mackenzie Holmes had a performance to remember playing in front of 5,983 fans that included friends and family in her home state at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The AP Preseason All-American notched 22 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and shot 9-for-11 from of the field. 

“To be able to come back here and play, it's just incredible,” Holmes said. “Seeing everyone there means a lot to me, and I’m very blessed to have such a great support system.”  

The Hoosier defense struggled, as the Black Bears outscored them throughout the first three quarters. The Black Bears were led by an All-American performance from graduate student guard Anne Simon. Last season’s America East Player of the Year scored a career-high 34 points with 11 rebounds and five steals on the night against the Hoosiers. 

Maine junior forward Adrianna Smith also had a quality performance with 14 points and 13 rebounds.  

Missed layups, suboptimal fouls and a struggle to focus on defense put Indiana down to Maine by as many as 10 with under a minute to play in the second quarter. A last-second bucket from Holmes kept Indiana’s deficit lower than 10 before entering the locker rooms at half 37-29. 

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Sydney Parrish brings the ball up during No. 2 Indiana's win over No. 12 Michigan on Feb. 16. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

“I think sometimes when our shots aren’t falling it affects us defensively,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “That can’t happen.” 

The Hoosiers cleaned up the first half mess with a clutch second half performance from Indiana senior guard Sydney Parrish. Despite a scoreless in the first half, she came alive in the second half with 17 points to give Indiana a 56-54 lead going into the fourth quarter. She also had 10 rebounds to secure her first double-double of the season. 

Indiana senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil had six assists while simultaneously hitting clutch shots in the stretch to rack up five points and get the team’s offense going late. Indiana held Maine to 22 points in the in the second half to win Holmes’ homecoming game by eight. 

Indiana is now off to a 6-1 start on the season. The next game will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday against Stetson University at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on BTN+. 

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