Mackenzie Holmes ends stellar career at Indiana with loss in the Sweet 16 to South Carolina

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-30 19:57:17-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mackenzie Holmes’ stellar career at Indiana is over after a loss to top-seeded South Carolina in the Sweet 16.

She finished as the winningest player in school history and the all-time leading scorer.

“Mackenzie Holmes has been one of our greatest players ever to put on an Indiana uniform and will go down in history as one of the greatest,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “So I’m sad for her.”

Holmes, a third-team All-American, gave the Hoosiers a chance to pull off a monumental upset of the undefeated Gamecocks, scoring six of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a layup that cut the deficit to two.

It just wasn’t enough.

“I mean, obviously anyone who knows me knows how much I love being a Hoosier,” Holmes said while holding back tears. “I just pray that any high-schooler that is looking at colleges that they pick a school that they feel the same way that I have felt about Indiana.”

Holmes had a tough first half. She missed her first five shots before scoring in the final minute. But she stepped it up in the second, and there was no panicking from the Hoosiers, who were down by as many as 22 points in the third quarter.

“I think that we knew we were capable of coming back. We saw Tennessee do it in that SEC Tournament semifinal. We just had to stay the course,” Holmes said. “Like coach said, we battled our butts off tonight the entire third and fourth quarter whether shots were falling or not. We kept getting back on defense, keep getting stops, kept making plays on the other end.”

Holmes finished her career with 2,530 points and a school-best field-goal percentage of 63.9%. She had 990 rebounds, which is fourth best all-time at Indiana.

“Accomplishments aside, I’ve met friends that have turned into family here at IU, people that I’ll have with me for the rest of my life,” Holmes said. “I think that’s the greatest accomplishment of all is the experiences, the moments and the people that I’ve spent five years here with.”