Indiana running back Tennessee Tech’s Mackenzie Holmes

ESPN News Services2 minute chapter

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Sydney Parrish scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers past Tennessee Tech 77-47 in the first round of the women’s NCAA 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) will face the winner of Saturday’s second game between eighth-ranked Oklahoma State and ninth-ranked Miami.

Coach Teri Moren said after the game that Holmes was available on an emergency basis and is optimistic the senior will be able to play in Monday’s second-round game as the Hoosiers chase their third straight Sweet 16 appearance.

“[Holmes] was limited throughout the week, available as needed [today]and then very optimistic, feel really good about his 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 ending the first quarter tied at 18, the Golden Eagles took a 22-20 lead on Anna Walker’s layup with 6:53 left.

Then the Hoosiers took over. Meister tied the score on a layup, Lexus Bargesser followed with back-to-back fast breaks, and when Berger made two free throws with 2:55 left in the first half, Indiana led 37-22.

Tennessee Tech never got inside the No. 1 ranking again.

Whether it was fatigue from playing seven games in 23 days, a 36½-hour turnaround from Monmouth’s game win or simply a difference in talent, the Golden Eagles’ remarkable run came to an unceremonious end. But with much of the roster returning from 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 build on this season’s momentum.

Meanwhile, the Hoosiers showed their wideout depth and how solid this overall defense can be in Holmes’ absence. While the extra rest may keep Holmes healthier in the long run, Indiana needs points, rebounds and destruction from its best player if it hopes to win a national championship.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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