Holmes, unbeaten No. 5 Indiana women get past Cook, Illinois

Dec 4, 2022, 12:28 AM | Updated: 2:58 pm
Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) fights for a rebound with Illinois guard Genesis Bryant (1) i...

Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) fights for a rebound with Illinois guard Genesis Bryant (1) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Indiana won 65-61. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

              Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) shoots over Illinois guard Jayla Oden in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Indiana won 65-61.(AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Indiana guard Sydney Parrish, center, goes after a loose ball between Illinois defenders Adalia McKenzie, left, and Makira Cook in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Indiana won 65-61. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Illinois guard Makira Cook (3) shoots over Indiana guard Sara Scalia (14) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Indiana won 65-61.(AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Illinois guard Makira Cook (3) shoots over Indiana guard Chloe Moore-McNeil (22) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
            
              Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) fights for a rebound with Illinois guard Genesis Bryant (1) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. Indiana won 65-61. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Mackenzie Holmes scored 23 points, including a go-ahead layup with 37 seconds left, and No. 5 Indiana got past Illinois 65-61 Sunday in their Big Ten opener.

Indiana (9-0) had not trailed in the second half of any game this season before going back and forth in the closing minutes with Illinois (3-7).

Makira Cook scored 33 points to lead the Illini.

The Hoosiers were coming off an 87-63 win over No. 6 North Carolina.

“This was a game that we certainly had to fight, claw and scratch just to get to the end and get to a victory,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “They all can’t be like the North Carolina nights where everything goes in for us. You’ve got to find different ways to score the ball, but also get grimy and hope that your grit shows up.”

Cook shot 12 of 25. The guard was 3 of 4 on 3s and had five rebounds.

“They required double coverage from us, especially with Cook,” Moren said. “She was really good tonight. She was cooking.”

“Any time you have a number by your name, that’s your opponent’s biggest game,” she said. “We better get used to this territory — everybody’s coming after you.”

Sydney Parrish had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers. Chloe Moore-McNeil scored 13 points.

Indiana led 34-32 at halftime, then needed an 11-0 run keyed by Holmes and Yarden Garzon to take a 45-44 edge into the fourth quarter.

After Holmes’ basket made it 62-61, Parrish made one foul shot and Sara Scalia added two more to seal the win.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: The Illini dropped to 7-2 despite the upset effort.

Indiana: The Hoosiers stayed unbeaten, even with the absence of star graduate guard Grace Berger. She’s been out with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Illinois hosts Rutgers on Wednesday.

Indiana travels to Penn State on Thursday.

___

AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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