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Recap: Holmes, No. 2 Indiana control game against tough opponent yet again

The Mackenzie Holmes and Chloe Moore-McNeil show was primarily the Mackenzie Holmes show, as the senior led her Indiana Hoosiers to a comfortable win over the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines.

Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) plays against...
Mackenzie Holmes
Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Mackenzie Holmes (27 points, five rebounds, five blocks, two steals) continued to influence winning to a degree that only the upper echelon of players in the country can Thursday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Her No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers went on a 12-0 run to lead the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines 34-19 at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter and led by at least 10 the rest of the way en route to a 68-52 victory that clinched a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

The run began when Holmes recorded her fourth block of the game, which led to a Grace Berger take to the rim in transition. Berger made one of the two free throws she was awarded on the play. Yarden Garzon followed with a three before Berger made a nice hesitation move for a layup that made it 28-19. Berger wasn’t done wowing the home crowd as she made an incredible move in the post before readjusting and making a contested layup that made it 30-19. Chloe Moore-McNeil then closed the run with a pick-6 and a block that led to a Lilly Meister layup.

Moore-McNeil made her first three treys and finished with 13 points, three assists and three swipes.

A Jordan Hobbs three ended the long scoring drought for the Wolverines and cut it to 34-22. Emily Kiser followed with a contested scoop layup and Michigan later cut it to 10 again on a Maddie Nolan steal-turned-layup. However, Nolan thought she deserved an and-1 opportunity and got called for a technical, leading to two Sara Scalia free throw makes for the Hoosiers.

Michigan then closed the first half in sloppy fashion, throwing the ball away to Indiana (25-1, 15-1 Big Ten) in transition at 12 seconds remaining and then fouling Holmes at the buzzer. Holmes cashed in at the stripe, making it 42-28 at the break.

Moore-McNeil hit threes at 8:39 and 8:04 in the third to make it 47-28 and 50-28, respectively, and the rout was on. Meister went on a 5-0 individual run later in the third that took the score to 59-37. She finished with seven points (3-of-3 from the field), three rebounds and a steal in just six minutes of play.

Berger dished out six helpers, while Garzon was good for seven points and eight boards.

For the second quarter in a row, Michigan (20-6, 10-5 Big Ten) threw the ball away to Indiana in the final seconds. Meister registered the steal at three seconds remaining before the fourth and it led to a Lexus Bargesser layup at the buzzer that made it 61-37 for the Hoosiers’ largest lead of the contest. The Wolverines turned the ball over 21 times on the night compared to Indiana’s 13 miscues.

Michigan opened the fourth with an 11-0 run that cut it to 13, but would get no closer. Holmes went on a 5-0 individual run to push the lead back to 18 and exited at 2:18 remaining to a standing ovation.

With the score sitting at 9-8 Michigan, Garzon ignited a 10-0 run with a turnaround inside make. Holmes followed with a similar score to make it 12-9 Hoosiers and Berger got a steal on the ensuing possession, which led to a Holmes 3-point play. Moore-McNeil was given space on the perimeter and buried a three to cap the run and make it 18-9.

The Wolverines answered with an 11-4 run that cut it to 22-19 twenty-eight seconds into the second. A difficult layup made by Kiser to cut it to 18-13 and a Hobbs three to cut it to 22-17 highlighted the run.

Michigan scored first, but its every basket was answered by Indiana until it was 8-8.

Kiser had to work hard for her Michigan-leading 12 points. She also had three rejections and two steals. Wolverine leading scorer Leigha Brown (17.9 points per game) was held to nine points. She added eight boards and three assists.

The Wolverines were without second-leading scorer Laila Phelia, who missed her third game in a row with a leg injury. They were also without Greta Kampschroeder, who is a member of their rotation. The nature of Kampschroeder’s injury has not been revealed.

Indiana was a No. 1 seed in ESPN’s Feb. 14 Bracketology; Michigan was a No. 3 seed.