Mackenzie Holmes Leaves No Doubt She Is Greatest Player In #IUWBB History As She Breaks All Time Scoring Record Against Purdue
Hoosiers Dominate Boilers 95-62 As Indiana-Purdue Basketball Rivalry Remains Lopsided To One Squad Or The Other
Assembly Hall Where IU Pulled Out A 95-62 Win Over Purdue On Sunday
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Bloomington-Mackenzie Holmes left no doubt that she is the best player in the history of IU women’s basketball.
It was an easy argument to make already as she was the winningest player the program had ever seen. Now, Holmes left little argument that she is indeed the greatest as she broke the all-time individual scoring record on Sunday.
The crowning moment came in the fourth quarter as Holmes scored her 17th point on a layup as the second-largest regular-season crowd in program history of 13,334 erupted. By then, the game was long decided as Holmes finished her career with a perfect record against arch-rival Purdue in a 95-62 final.
When the buzzer sounded, Holmes was doused with water by her teammates and honored with a special video. She then waved to her supporters one last time before heading to the locker room.
In Holmes’ five seasons in Bloomington, she has taken the program to new heights. Tyra Buss put the key in the door and had the old record leading the team to an NCAA Tournament appearance and an NIT Championship from 2014 to 2018.
However, Holmes cracked the proverbial door wide open to a whole new world IU fans knew existed but assumed was a fantasy for this program. Buss’ career was already better than the vast majority of those before her as she pulled Indiana from a bottom feeder to very competitive. It is Holmes though that has made them amongst the best in women’s college basketball.
This is no more evident than IU spending four weeks in the top 25 before Holmes’ arrival on campus and none of those were during Buss’ career. Since Holmes came to Bloomington, the Hoosiers have spent every single minute of her time here in the AP poll during her 4.5 seasons. She has also led the squad to the NCAA Tournament every single year during her career outside of when COVID hit, and that squad was bound for March Madness before it was canceled. Since then, they have been to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 after never getting out of the first weekend previously. Also, the first conference title in 40 years has occurred on Holmes’ watch. Finally, the third straight year of hosting games in Assembly Hall to begin the NCAA Tournament is likely.
Every one of these previously unthinkable accomplishments has occurred during Holmes’ time on campus. Now with the scoring record, it further solidifies her as the GOAT of Hoosier women’s basketball.
Holmes said while she is proud of the record, her success is much bigger than herself.
“I am just extremely thankful,” Holmes said. “I’ve played with some really amazing people and it is just a really special thing to wear Indiana across my chest every single day. Playing in Assembly Hall has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. It is really amazing the culture that Coach (Teri) Moren has built and everyone is supportive of each other and everyone is happy for each other.”
Moren said there was no better time than now for Holmes to get the record.
“Such a special day that Mack could become our all-time leading scorer here at home in front of her fans and against our arch-rival as well,” Moren said. “I am so happy for Mack.”
Going back to the 1990s and 2000s, it was current Boiler head coach Katie Gearlds and assistant Kelly Komara among others, who had Purdue as the premier women’s squad in Indiana when they were players in West Lafayette. They constantly ran circles around the Cream and Crimson with one victory after another. Now, Holmes and the team from the southern half of the state have taken over the series and state with their 11th straight victory over the Boilermakers and 15th in 16 tries.
While Holmes was the focus, Chloe Moore-McNeil also had a career day with 22 points and a perfect 5-5 from long range. IU finished 13-21 from behind the arc as Purdue chose the poison pill of double and triple teaming Holmes, leaving the Hoosiers’ shooters open most of the afternoon.
Moore-McNeil said while she always is at her best, playing hated opposition brings extra juice to her.
“I mean I think against Purdue it just means more,” Moore-McNeil said. “I am always competitive but I think it is just different when it is a rival team.”
With the victory, No. 13/14 Indiana improved to 20-3 overall and 11-2 in the league and tied for second with Iowa a game behind Ohio State. This trio is three and four games respectively clear of fourth place as they continue to run away from the rest of the conference.
The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes have the game of the year in Bloomington ten days from now to help sort out the league race with all 17,222 seats already sold in Assembly Hall. Before that though, IU needs to avoid slipping up on the road against struggling Wisconsin on Wednesday (8 pm on Peacock), and floundering Illinois eight days from now (2 pm on FOX).
Indiana used Sunday to prove they are the queens of their state with the best player the program has ever seen. Now they are out to prove they are the best in the Big Ten for the second year in a row as they chase their first Final Four as a sendoff to Holmes’ decorated career.
The Doing The Work postgame show with Jeff Marlow and Kathy Amos can be seen below: