Mackenzie Holmes’ 27 points leads No. 6 Indiana past Memphis
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mackenzie Holmes continued her strong play in the Las Vegas Invitational with 27 points and five rebounds to lead No. 6 Indiana to a 79-64 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.
Holmes totaled 53 points and 17 rebounds as the Hoosiers went 2-0 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. She made a combined 22 of 25 shots, including 12 of 15 against Memphis (4-3).
“Something I pride myself in is being efficient when I get the ball,” Holmes said. “Getting shots that are good for me, shots that I practiced, the moves that I make in games that I practice day in and day out so that I have confidence in them. I try my best to take good shots and try to be efficient every time I’m on the court.”
The Hoosiers (7-0) are off to their best start since opening 10-0 in the 2018-19 season. They have won every game by double digits.
Four players scored in double figures against Memphis. In addition to Holmes, Yarden Garzon scored 17 points and Sara Scalia 16.
Indiana’s school-record three-game streak of at least 90 points, however, ended.
The Hoosiers again were without senior point guard Grace Berger, who was injured less than two minutes into Friday’s 96-81 victory over Auburn. She was on crutches Saturday with a brace on her right knee, and will undergo an MRI on Sunday night in Indiana.
“Walking with crutches, but she doesn’t need crutches,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “This is a big hotel and takes a little bit of time to get from place to place. It’s more a precautionary thing, but I am optimistic because I need to be for her, and I think she’s optimistic as well.”
Indiana took the lead for good with a 15-1 run in the second quarter to go up 40-28. The Hoosiers outscored Memphis 30-12 in the second.
Memphis went 0-2 in Las Vegas, losing to St. John’s 61-57 on Friday.
Jamirah Shutes led the Tigers with 15 points and was the only Memphis player in double figures.
“I think that if you intend to grow your program, you’ve got to play the top teams in the country to figure out what that looks like,” Memphis coach Katrina Merriweather said. “I think it helps you to actually play this competition rather than just watch it.”
INJURY DELAYS TIP-OFF
This game was delayed by about an hour and 22 minutes because of an injury in the preceding game. Auburn freshman Kharyssa Richardson fell hard to the floor with 4 minutes left against Colorado State and appeared to bang her head. Because no paramedics were on site, there was a 50-minute wait for EMT personnel to arrive. Richardson was carted off the court and transported to a Las Vegas hospital. Auburn tweeted she was alert, and a team spokesman said he didn’t have a further update. Tournament director Ryan Polk said Richardson was moving her hands and feet. Auburn won 74-73.
THE BIG PICTURE
Indiana: The Hoosiers, even without Berger running the point, had 19 assists. They are averaging 20 a game, a first for Moren in her nine seasons at Indiana. The school record for assists is 564, set in the 2016-17 season when Indiana averaged 16.6. Chloe Moore-McNeil had nine assists against Memphis, but two other players each had four.
Memphis: Merriweather is in her second season of another building project.. Last year, she led Memphis to its first 15-win season since 2015-16. Merriweather previously coached Wright State to its only NCAA Tournament victory and all three of the school’s Horizon League championships.
Indiana: The Hoosiers return home for a top-10 matchup against No. 8 North Carolina on Thursday.
Memphis: At South Carolina on Saturday.
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