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Photo by Kallan Graybill.
Photo by Kallan Graybill.

Indiana defeats Maryland on senior day but Mackenzie Holmes exits with injury

Holmes's backup Lilly Meister also suffered an injury, leaving their statuses unknown heading into the Big Ten tournament.

Indiana’s women's basketball team finished the regular season with an undefeated 15-0 record at Assembly Hall after defeating Maryland 54-71. Sara Scalia scored 19 points during the senior day matinee but Indiana fans were also left with an unanswered concern: will Mackenzie Holmes be OK?

Holmes and Lilly Meister both suffered injuries that left their statuses unknown leading into the Big Ten tournament later this week.

Holmes’s injury occurred with minutes left in the third quarter. Holmes landed oddly and then paused to limp to the bench, in need of assistance. Trainers then walked Holmes to the locker room.

Indiana coach Teri Moren later confirmed Holmes's injury was to her left knee. Holmes previously injured the knee in 2022.

“[Holmes] certainly has had some bad luck, especially in late February,” said Moren. “You know, we're going to be hopeful and optimistic that you know, it'll turn out the way that we want it to. Mack is a very, very resilient, tough kid.”

Holmes’s backup, center Lilly Meister, suffered an injury soon after Holmes. In the fourth quarter, Meister went down on the ground, hugging her leg closely to her body and motioning for the training staff. Trainers picked the sophomore off the ground and took her to the bench, where she remained for the rest of the game.

“I think we’ll have a better idea as we go into the week,” said Moren. “To know what is going on and who is available for the Big Ten tournament.”

That now leaves both players' availability up in the air for future games until trainers observe Holmes and Meister this week.

The injuries created a range of emotions on senior day. Over 12,000 dedicated Indiana fans lined the perimeter of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall to see the last regular-season home game for Holmes, Scalia and Arielle Wisne.

Each graduating player had her moment. Scalia received a standing ovation from the crowd when the P.A. announcer listed the numerous accolades Scalia achieved during her two years at Indiana. Notably, Scalia was praised for making the most 3-pointers in a single season.

Holmes, the program's all-time leading scorer and an All-American, received an even grander ovation from the crowd. During her career as a Hoosier, the history-breaker has impacted the team, her coaching staff and Indiana University.

Wisne even began the afternoon with a surprise performance of the National Anthem, capping off her five years at IU.

“She's been so special and she is the greatest teammate and I can't overstate it enough," said Moren. “You can sense and tell the excitement for her teammates just by how they reacted, you know how much she means to them.”

Despite the injuries that Indiana suffered, the Hoosiers found a way to close out the win.

In the first half, Indiana fought to find a rhythm against an aggressive Maryland team. Moren described the Terrapins going back and forth in their zone. They were big and they kept Indiana on its toes.

Chloe Moore-McNeil took over for IU. She got rebounds and made free throws for the Hoosiers as they broke away early on, leaving the Terrapins facing a 10-plus-point deficit.

Yarden Garzon was a big contributor to Indiana’s offensive success. Garzon lit up Assembly Hall with back-to-back 3-pointers to provide Indiana with stability.

Scalia and Garzon both finished the half scoring in double digits and the team’s field goal percentage was 54 percent overall.

“I know the coach has confidence in me, so when I was open, I took the shots and I’m really glad I did,” said Garzon.

Indiana’s entire team, both starters and bench players, made appearances due to the injuries. Moore-Mcneil, Garzon, Scalia, Sydney Parrish helped the Hoosiers hold onto their lead without Holmes.

Maryland’s Faith Masonius and Bri McDaniel committed five and four fouls, respectively, which limited their playing time and contributed to the Terrapins's defeat.

The Big Ten tournament is around the corner. Indiana now looks forward to a "new season," according to Moren.

“We’re preparing for two teams, this league has been really good and anything can happen in tournament play," said Moren. "It’s a whole new season, it’s a whole new opportunity.”

With the regular season now concluded and with two players' availability in question, it will be a “day-to-day” prep for IU as Moren and her staff await updates on Holmes and Meister.

The Hoosiers will travel to Minneapolis for the Big Ten tournament, which begins Wednesday, March 6. Indiana is the No. 3 seed in the tournament.

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