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Holmes bounces back, powers No. 11 Hoosiers to runaway win at Wisconsin

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Sophomore forward finishes with 23 points to lead Hoosiers to 7th straight win over the Badgers

Indiana v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Mackenzie Holmes endured a single-digit scoring night last week against Illinois, then experienced another merely days later against Michigan. Against Wisconsin on Wednesday, she wasn’t about to go through a third.

Holmes was back to producing like her usual self in No. 11 Indiana’s 77-49 rout of Wisconsin, going off for 23 points and just missing a double-double with nine boards.

“It was so great for her just to see the ball go in,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “She got off to a rocky start. We’ve been talking to her about all the doubles she’s going to see, and I thought she took two shots that were either rushed and/or forced. But after that, I do think she settled in.”

Holmes didn’t drain her first field goal until nearly three minutes into the second quarter, finishing the day 8-for-14 from the floor. The sophomore also went 7-for-7 at the line, aiding her on her way to her seventh 20-point performance of the season.

“Our ball movement generated some energy there and she got some easy pitch ins with some single coverages that she was able to capitalize (against),” Moren said. “She got some offensive rebounds and I think that helped her. But no doubt, she needed a game like this.”

For IU, Wednesday’s win was the team’s 13th Big Ten victory of the season, tying the program record set last winter. Not only did the Hoosiers complete the season sweep of the Badgers, they won their sixth in a row and 10th game in their last 11 opportunities.

Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and Ali Patberg each supplied 14 points, while Grace Berger added eight rebounds and three assists.

Defensively, IU allowed just one Wisconsin field goal over the final 4:16 of the first half. The Hoosiers outscored their hosts 40-26 over the final two periods, and outrebounded Wisconsin 50-22.

“We kept our foot on the pedal,” Moren said. “Give our kids credit for finishing the job that they had to do. I thought we were great.”

So great, in fact, that Wednesday provided an opportunity for several of IU’s reserves to get some extended run. Notably, Keyanna Warthen scored six of her season-high eight points in the fourth quarter. Hannah Noveroske added five points and two rebounds, and Chanel Wilson and Grace Waggoner each posted two assists.

“We got to play everybody which is always a fun thing for us to be able to do,” Moren said. “We are excited to be leaving here with a victory.”

Indiana travels to No. 15 Ohio State on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network.