BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)Mackenzie Holmes scored 23 points, including a go-ahead layup with 37 seconds left, and No. 5 Indiana got past Illinois 65-61 Sunday in their Big Ten opener.
Indiana (9-0) had not trailed in the second half of any game this season before going back and forth in the closing minutes with Illinois (3-7).
Makira Cook scored 33 points to lead the Illini.
The Hoosiers were coming off an 87-63 win over No. 6 North Carolina.
”This was a game that we certainly had to fight, claw and scratch just to get to the end and get to a victory,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. ”They all can’t be like the North Carolina nights where everything goes in for us. You’ve got to find different ways to score the ball, but also get grimy and hope that your grit shows up.”
Cook shot 12 of 25. The guard was 3 of 4 on 3s and had five rebounds.
”They required double coverage from us, especially with Cook,” Moren said. ”She was really good tonight. She was cooking.”
”Any time you have a number by your name, that’s your opponent’s biggest game,” she said. ”We better get used to this territory – everybody’s coming after you.”
Sydney Parrish had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers. Chloe Moore-McNeil scored 13 points.
Indiana led 34-32 at halftime, then needed an 11-0 run keyed by Holmes and Yarden Garzon to take a 45-44 edge into the fourth quarter.
After Holmes’ basket made it 62-61, Parrish made one foul shot and Sara Scalia added two more to seal the win.
Illinois: The Illini dropped to 7-2 despite the upset effort.
Indiana: The Hoosiers stayed unbeaten, even with the absence of star graduate guard Grace Berger. She’s been out with a knee injury.
Illinois hosts Rutgers on Wednesday.
Indiana travels to Penn State on Thursday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25