ESPN News Services2 minute read
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –Sydney Parrish scored 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers past Tennessee Tech 77-47 in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament on Saturday.
All-American center Mackenzie Holmes cheered on her Indiana teammates from the bench while resting a sore knee. Grace Berger had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks and Lilly Meister added seven points and three blocks in her first career start.
Indiana (28-3) faces the winner of Saturday’s second game between eighth-seeded Oklahoma State and ninth-seeded Miami.
Coach Teri Moren said after the game that Holmes was available in case of an emergency and she’s optimistic the elder will be able to play in Monday’s second-round game when the Hoosiers continue their third straight Sweet 16 appearance.
“[Holmes] was limited throughout the week, available if needed [today]then very upbeat, I feel really good about myself on Monday,” Moren said.
Maaliya Owens had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Tennessee Tech (23-10), which had won its previous eight games.
After finishing the first quarter tied at 18, the Golden Eagles took a 22-20 lead over Anna Walker’s layup with 6:53 left.
Then the Hoosiers followed their lead. Meister tied the game with a layup, Lexus Bargesser followed with back-to-back layups on fast breaks and when Berger made two free throws with 2:55 left in the first half, Indiana led 37-22 .
Tennessee Tech was never under single digits again.
Whether it was the fatigue of playing seven games in 23 days, the 36½ hour turnaround after their win over Monmouth, or simply the disparity of talent, the Golden Eagles’ remarkable run came to an unceremonious end. But with much of the roster for a team that made its first NCAA tournament appearance in 23 years and won its first tournament game in 33 years, coach Kim Rosamond can leverage the momentum of this season.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers showed their expansive depth and how well that all-around defense can play in Holmes’ absence. While the extra rest can keep Holmes healthier in the long run, Indiana needs its best player to score points, grab rebounds and wreak havoc in the position if they hope to win a national championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.