Indiana Women’s basketball came back to defeat the Maine Black Bears.
Five thousand nine hundred seventy-nine fans packed Cross Arena in southern Maine to watch their favorite daughter, Mackenzie Holmes, and the Indiana Hoosiers play the Maine Black Bears in non-conference action. It was the perfect storm for everyone involved. Maine has played its first game in Cross Arena since 2018. For Holmes, the arena was a familiar place; she led her high school team to three state titles, all played in that arena.
The crowd in Portland, Maine, was also the largest crowd to watch a women’s basketball game in the arena’s history. Neither Holmes, the Hoosiers, nor the Black Bears disappointed the crowd. Holmes filled the stat sheet with 22 points, seven rebounds, a steal, and two blocks.
Indiana Women’s basketball was down early, trailing by eight points at halftime. Teri Morin’s squad buckled defensively, holding Maine to 22 second-half points. Indiana also began to be more efficient offensively. Coach Moren rotated guards Yarden Garzon and Sydney Parrish in the middle of Maine’s 2-3 zone.
That forced Maine’s undersized team to rotate to the ball, which gave Holmes a 1-on-1 matchup in the low post. When Maine would turn to Holmes, Garzon and Parrish were open for the mid-range jump shots, which they made.
Despite the loss, Mained showed they will be a force in the America East conference. Their best player, Anne Simon, scored a career-high 34 points against the Hoosiers.
Holmes gets a sweet surprise.
Mackenzie Holmes knew family and friends would be in Portland to watch her play on Thursday night. Her hometown, Gorham, Maine, is about 30 minutes from the arena. She did not know that her brother, Cam, would be there to watch her play. A graduate assistant for the Illinois State women’s basketball team, he was supposed to have a game.
Cam, who is Mackenzie’s biggest supporter and practice player, surprised her and showed up on the sidelines during the game.