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Sara Scalia celebrates a 3-pointer during Indiana's win over Purdue on Feb. 11, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)
Sara Scalia celebrates a 3-pointer during Indiana's win over Purdue on Feb. 11, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

‘Against Purdue it just means more’: Indiana defeats Purdue 95-62 in dominant effort

Mackenzie Holmes made program history in the victory

No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball came out of a timeout with 5:25 in the fourth quarter Sunday as sophomore guard Yarden Garzon got ready to inbound the basketball. 

Garzon found senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil who brought the ball to the top of the key. Moore-McNeil moved to the left of the key and passed it back to Garzon. 

Garzon fed the ball to graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes at the low post. She dribbled with her back against her defender, turned to the left and notched a layup for two. 

With 5:15 to go, Holmes became the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,365 career points. 

For the 11th time in a row, Indiana defeated in-state rival Purdue 95-62 on Sunday in front of 13,304 fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and completed the season sweep

The 33-point victory was the Hoosiers’ largest margin of victory over Boilermakers in program history. The previous record was an 84-54 victory on Feb. 9, 1980, during the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) State Championships. 

The win also secured the Hoosiers’ ninth consecutive 20-win season. Holmes had 17 points, four rebounds and shot 7-for-14 from the field on her historic day against Purdue. 

“I’m just extremely thankful,” Holmes said postgame. “It’s a really special thing for me to wear Indiana across my chest every single day. To play in Assembly Hall has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I think I was just kind of feeling that when I saw Tyra (Buss) and Amanda (Cahill) up on the screen. It’s really amazing the culture that coach Moren has built.” 

Senior guard Sara Scalia had 19 points and four 3-pointers made, which tied her with Buss for second place in the 3-pointers made in a single season with 75. 

Sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser had 12 points, nine rebounds and shot 4-for-8 from the field. 

Moore-McNeil, who came off a triple-double performance against Michigan State, notched a new career-high 22 points against the Boilermakers. She shot 5-for-5 from the arc and 8-for-11 from the field with five assists and rebounds. 

“Against Purdue it just means more,” Moore-McNeil said. “I’m always competitive, but I think it’s just different when it’s against a rival team.” 

Both offenses started off hot in the first quarter, as Purdue shot 66.7% from the 3-point arc and 55.7% (5-for-9) from the field. Indiana on the other hand, had more attempts from the field (7-for-15) and capitalized on points in the paint with eight to keep an 18-14 lead at the end of the first. Scalia was the leading scorer with six in that quarter. Holmes only had four points at the end of the quarter, which had her 13 away from the record. 

During the second quarter, the Hoosiers continued to put in the work inside the paint by scoring 12 in there. The 3-point shooting improved from 40% in the first to 60% in the second. Bargesser was the leading scorer with six points while Garzon, Moore-McNeil and Scalia all had five points and one 3-pointer made. 

The Hoosiers entered the half with a 41-30 lead. Scalia led the Hoosiers in scoring with 11 points, shot 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-5 from outside. Holmes had six, just 11 away from the record. 

As for the Boilermakers, freshman forward Mary Ashley Stevenson had 10 points and shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. Sixth year forward Caitlyn Harper had seven points and two rebounds. 

The third quarter rolled around, and Indiana tapped into its bench and got five points out of it. Freshman guard Julianna LaMendola made a 3-point shot and freshman guard Lenée Beaumont had two points. The paint points kept coming and Indiana had 10 from it. 

After a 10-point first half, it became “The Chloe Moore-McNeil Show” as she had 12 points and shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from the arc during that third quarter. Indiana ended the third quarter with a 72-46 lead. Holmes notched five points and was six, a single-digit number away from the record. 

The Hoosiers put the final nail in the coffin during the fourth quarter by continuing to attack in the paint. Twelve points inside and 11 from the bench. Holmes became the leading scorer of the quarter with six, which allowed her to officially pass Buss as the program’s scoring leader. 

LaMendola had five points with another 3-pointer made. Sophomore forward Lilly Meister had four points in the quarter after Holmes was sent to the bench after breaking the record. Garzon and Bargesser each had three points to help secure the win 95-62. 

During the Michigan State postgame press conference, Holmes said her focus was to sweep the in-state rivals at home and not worry about the record. 

“I did it as a player back in the day,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “It’s meaningful because I'm still talking about it to this day. That’s one of the things that I’ll always remember about my time at Purdue, is that we were able to sweep Indiana. My teammates and I still cherish that.” 

Now, Holmes gets to have that memory for herself and with all of the teammates that she has played with during her five-year career. 

With the record behind her, Holmes is focused on the rest of the season with five regular-season games, a Big Ten Tournament and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament left.  

"Going into this season, I knew it was within reach for me,” Holmes said, “but I didn't come back for a fifth year to break the scoring record. I came back to win a Big Ten championship and a national championship." 

The Hoosiers are 20-3 overall and 11-2 in the Big Ten. They head on the road for a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday. 

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