Holmes and Scalia conclude their collegiate careers with 79-75 loss in Sweet 16

ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Sydney Parrish (33) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)

by Skip Daley, South Central Indiana News Network

It didn’t take long for #1 South Carolina to wreak havoc on the #4 Indiana Hoosiers, sinking 2 triples on their first 2 possessions, and stopping IU on Defense 2 of the first 3 trips down the court. After just 2 minutes of play, the Gamecocks managed an 8-point advantage.

The Round of 16 match-up featured South Carolina and Indiana in Albany, New York. The tip-off was just after 5pm on Friday evening.

Indiana has been to the Round of Sixteen 3 times in the past 4 seasons, last year experiencing an upset early exit at the hands of Miami.

South Carolina has made 12 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, winning 2 of those (2017, 2022). This season, they are 34-0 walking into the Sweet Sixteen.

The early game would become a 3-point shoot-out, as the Hoosiers were trying to keep up with South Carlolina’s high powered offense, but Indiana was not maintaining pace. IU found themselves down by 8 points on 3 separate occasions in the opening quarter of play, and then the Gamecock lead grew to 11 just before the 1st buzzer sounded.

South Caolina had 8 players contribute offensively in the first 10 minutes, to grab the 26-15 advantage.

Indiana’s challenges were more than the score, as All-American Forward Mackenzie Holmes picked up a pair of first quarter fouls, forcing Head Coach Teri Moren to play Sophomore Lily Meister.

“[Meister] is going to have to put on her ‘big girl pants’,”said Coach Moren about her back-up big needing to play some added time for the foul-trouble Holmes.

A 15-4 run to cap off the first half put South Carolina up 49-32.

Indiana had no answer for the Gamecock multi-pronged approach to offense. Whether they drove the lane, dumped in the paint, or banged it from the perimeter, South Carolina demonstrated why no one has been able to touch them all season.

The closest Indiana could come to momentum in the third was an 8-0 midway run, orchestrated by Senior Guard Sydney Parrish. Parrish dropped a pair from beyond the arc and added a field goal in just under two minutes.

The Hoosiers have proven time and time again that they never give up, but if they would mount a comeback, this would be the most uphill battle to date.

And just like that, Indiana willed themselves back into the game, ending the third quarter with a 15-4 attack on their undefeated rival.

With 3:19 left in the game, Indiana was down by 5, after a triple by Parrish. The Hoosiers had forced a timeclock violation, but couldn’t capitalize. The opportunities were being created to make this a very close game in the final minutes.

A dish into Holmes and a successful layup brought Indiana within 2 points with just over a minute remaining in the game. South Carolina called timeout with 58 seconds to go. From a 22-point deficit, Indiana was all of a sudden back in the game.

With 16 seconds to go, the Gamecocks had possession and a 3-point lead. South Carolina was in the bonus, so IU would work for a quick turnover followed by a potential foul, if unsuccessful.

SC split their free-throws and maintained a 4-point lead until the final buzzer.

The effort for Indiana was outstanding, making this a one-possession game in the final seconds, against the nation’s best team. But this time, the fight would come up short. South Carolina advances to the Elite Eight by a score of 79-75.

This would be the final court time in the collegiate careers of both Holmes and Graduate Guard Sara Scalia, but they definitely went down fighting in a manner that would make Hoosier Nation proud.

6’7” South Carolina Center Kamila Cardoso was on fire throughout the game, hitting 10-12 from the field and 2-4 from the stripe for 22 points. She pulled down 7 rebounds and assisted 4 times. All 9 Gamecocks scored in the match-up, with South Carolina knocking down 50% of their shots from the field and from beyond the arc, as well.

South Carolina won the rebounding battle, but more importantly, successfully contained Holmes, keeping her to 12 points. The Gamecocks have so many tools, and are coached by

Indiana had 4 others in double digits, being led by Parrish, who put in 21. Garzon had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Chloe Moore-McNeil put in 12 and assisted 8 times. Scalia added 12 points.

South Carolina advances to take on #3 Seed Oregon in the Round of Eight, who upset Notre Dame earlier in the afternoon.

ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Chloe Moore-McNeil (22) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Sydney Parrish (33) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Sara Scalia (14) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Yarden Garzon (12) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 29: Indiana Hoosiers guard Yarden Garzon (12) during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game against South Carolina on March 29, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Indiana University Athletics)

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