COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — For Mackenzie Holmes and No. 2 Indiana, this season has been all about confidence.
“Everyone was bought into the game plan so all we had to do was just go out there and play hard and the rest would take care of itself,” Holmes said.
Holmes scored a career-high 33 points and Sara Scalia made six 3 pointers as Indiana extended its winning streak to 12 games with an 83-59 win over No. 13 Ohio State on Monday night.
The Hoosiers (24-1, 14-1 Big Ten) shot 74% in the first half and never looked back, pulling away from Ohio State after the score knotted at 6.
Scalia scored 24 points, and Grace Berger added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“Had things really going well for us in the first half offensively,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “I thought really what we did on another level tonight was really get out to a fast start offensively, get a lot of points on the board.”
Cotie McMahon’s 22 points led the Buckeyes (21-5, 10-5), who shot 46% from the field and 20% from 3-point distance.
Holmes scored 18 points in the first half on 9-of-11 shooting, and Scalia went 5 of 6 from long distance and had 17 points in the first two quarters. Indiana led by as many as 27 points in the first half and 54-29 at halftime.
Indiana’s 54 points in the first half were its highest of the season.
The Buckeyes rallied in the third quarter, outscoring Indiana 24-14. McMahon and Taylor Mikesell had 10 points apiece in the period, and Eboni Walker made a long jumper to make it 60-50 with 2:11 left.
Scalia and Berger stopped the comeback, each making a 3-pointer and preventing Ohio State from getting within single digits in helping the Hoosiers close on an 8-3 run.
Indiana held Ohio State to six points in the fourth quarter and finished with 60% shooting.
“We played hard and competed, and I think played the right way in the third quarter,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “But we just put ourselves in too big of a hole, obviously, and then we kind of had a letdown and they continued to play well in the fourth.”
Ohio State was without starters Jacy Sheldon and Rebeka Mikulasikova due to injuries.
“Day to day,” McGuff said. “Hopefully sooner rather than later.”
UP IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Holmes surpassed Ali Patberg and moved into No. 9 among Hoosiers’ all-time scoring leaders. She has 1,768 points through three-plus seasons.
Indiana: The Hoosiers beat a ranked team for the eighth time this season, extending their program record, and currently have their longest winning streak under Moren.
“One of the things I talk to these guys about is never getting too high and never getting too low,” Moren said. “I think that we realize, though, we still have three games ahead that are not easy, with Michigan and Purdue and then a trip to Iowa. We knew that this ending of our conference season was going to be difficult, and we’ve just maintained a one-game approach.”
Ohio State: Injuries have plagued Ohio State during its recent slump. The Buckeyes were missing two starters in Mikulasikova and Sheldon against the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes have lost five of their last seven after beginning the season 19-0.
Indiana: Hosts Michigan on Thursday.
Ohio State: At Penn State on Thursday.