No. 6 Indiana holds off Auburn in Las Vegas Invitational

Nov 25, 2022, 6:48 AM | Updated: 10:27 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mackenzie Holmes had a perfect shooting night Friday and scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half to lead No. 6 Indiana to a 96-81 victory over Auburn in the Las Vegas Invitational.

Holmes, who also had 12 rebounds, made all 10 of her field goal attempts and all six free throws as one of five Hoosiers (6-0) in double figures. Her performance helped make up for the loss of point guard Grace Berger to an apparent knee injury less than two minutes into the game.

“Grace does so much for us on both sides of the ball,” Holmes said. “Having her go down early in the game was difficult, but we knew we had to rally around each other at that moment and do what’s necessary to get a win.”

Berger was injured when she collided with an Auburn player, falling to the floor and grabbing her right knee. Berger, who entered the game averaging 12 points, six rebounds and 5.8 assists a game, was helped off the court and into the dressing room.

Indiana coach Teri Moren became emotional when talking about Berger’s injury.

“Certainly, I’m concerned,” Moren said. “With the fact she didn’t come back in is always a concern. I knew she was hurt because of the look on her face when I got to her, and that’s hard. But what I do know about Grace is she’s resilient, she’s tough, and we’ll get her back to Indiana as quickly as we can and evaluate here. She’s our leader.”

To help make up for Berger’s absence, Indiana relied on Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil and to share point guard, and each player had six assists. Garzon also made 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 21 points, and Moore-McNeil produced 15 points.

Indiana’s more even scoring overcame a 22-point effort each from Auburn’s Honesty Scott-Grayson and Aicha Coulibaly. Scott-Grayson had 20 of those points through the first three quarters before fading in the fourth.

“I think she tired out,” Auburn coach Johnnie Harris said. “They started mixing up man and zone (defense) and kind of threw her off a little bit.”

Auburn (3-2) hung tough with the Hoosiers for the most part, trailing only 30-29 early in the second quarter. Sparked by Garzon’s back-to-back 3-pointers, Indiana then went on an 11-point run and kept a double-digit lead the rest of the half.

If Garzon got the Hoosiers going early from outside, the 6-foot-3 Holmes dominated inside in the second half.

“We felt like we were going to find holes inside of their defense,” Moren said. “Mac does a great job of being where she needs to be in terms of movement, also being around the rim a lot. She’s long, and she has exceptional footwork.”


This is Indiana’s best start since the 2018-19 season when that team began 10-0. Indiana advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament that season. The Hoosiers also have scored at least 90 points in three consecutive games for the first time in program history.


Indiana hasn’t relied on its zone defense much this season, but the Hoosiers went to it often against Auburn, rotating between the 2-3 and man-to-man. Moren said she expected to use the zone in this game, but went to it more than she anticipated. With Berger possibly out for an extended period of time, the zone could become even more important for the Hoosiers as they move around pieces.

The game got away from Auburn at the end, but the Tigers were largely competitive. Playing top competition is helping the six Tigers freshmen to grow up quickly. Three are in the starting lineup as Harris, now in her second year, tries to build a program that hasn’t had a winning season since going 22-10 in the 2018-19 season.


Indiana: plays Memphis on Saturday for its second game in Las Vegas Invitational. The Tigers (4-2) lost to St. John’s 61-57 on Friday.

Auburn: faces Colorado State.


AP women’s college basketball: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
21 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
21 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
21 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
21 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
21 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
21 days ago
No. 6 Indiana holds off Auburn in Las Vegas Invitational