Indiana Women's Basketball wins Classic against the Oklahoma Sooners

Forward Mackenzie Holmes led all scorers with 29 points in a tightly contested game in Bloomington.

Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) blocks Oklahoma Sooners center Beatrice Culliton (0)
Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) blocks Oklahoma Sooners center Beatrice Culliton (0) / Bobby Goddin/Herald-Times / USA TODAY
facebooktwitterreddit

Mackenzie Holmes did not forget her cape. The graduate forward was determined not to repeat last season's heartbreak. Head coach Teri Moren also seemed determined to put the ball and the game in Holmes' hands. When Moren noticed that Oklahoma wasn't going to double-team her, they fed the post almost every possession.

And man, did Holmes respond. While round one's hero, Sara Scalia, hit only two shots, she came up big at the end of the game, hitting seven of eight free throws.

Give the Oklahoma Sooners credit. They had a game plan and executed it well. Head coach Jennie Baranczyk knew it would be difficult to turn the game into a track meet. The Sooners played excellent defense in the half court and used their depth to stay fresh and chase Indiana's shooters.

Defensively, the Sooners held the best two- and three-point shooting team in the country to 38.5 percent shooting from the field and 18.8 percent three-point shootingfield-goal shooting. Their rotations forced Indiana to shoot contested shots most of the night.

The Hoosiers were also outstanding defensively, limiting the Sooners to 35.1 percent from the field and 16 percent from deep.

After both teams' hot starts, the defense took over, and the Hoosiers and Sooners had difficulty scoring against one another. Oklahoma did everything it could to make sure that Sara Scalia would not do what she did to Fairfield.

It was a back and forth affair with four ties and twelve lead changes. The fourth quarter went back and forth, and it seemed as if whoever had the last possession would win the game. However, Indiana began attacking the basket late in the fourth quarter and hitting their free throws.

Mackenzie Holmes broke a 64-64 tie with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter. Indiana would not trail again.

Road Warriors

The Assembly Hall crowd did not rattle Oklahoma. After playing at Baylor, Texas, and Kansas, the Sooners had their fair share of hostile environments in the Big 12.

Indiana punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. Their reward? Undefeated #1 South Carolina.