Indiana forward Mackenzie Holmes of Gorham along with teammates celebrate in the stands after a 56-55 win over Princeton in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Bloomington, Ind., on Monday. Michael Conroy/Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Grace Berger scored the last of her 15 points on a spinning, tie-breaking layup with 28.2 seconds left and Nicole Cardano-Hillary added 12 points Monday night help to help third-seeded Indiana beat 11th-seed Princeton 56-55 and reach its second straight Sweet 16.

Ali Patberg sealed the win in her home finale with a steal with 3.8 seconds left and Aleksa Gulbe closed it out with two free throws.

Mackenzie Holmes, the Indiana junior and former player at Gorham High, had 10 points and eight rebounds, played tight defense and provided a strong inside presence.

After the game the players jogged into the student section and celebrated with their fans.

“I asked coach (Teri Moren) if we could go thank them and when I got there, I said ‘Screw it, I’m just going up there with them,” said Holmes, who led the Hoosiers players up the steps. “I just wanted them to know we appreciated them being here and thank them for showing up.”

The Hoosiers (24-8) have won five of their last six and swept the first two NCAA tournament games they’ve ever hosted – in front of a loud, large crowd. Indiana also has tied its single-season school record for wins.


Afterward the Hoosiers celebrated by jogging into the student section as the band played the school fight song and then lifted Coach Teri Moren. Indiana now faces second-seeded UConn on Saturday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Hoosiers advanced on a night Princeton (25-5) was trying to post a tourney record ninth victory by a double-digit seed. Instead, the Tigers had their 18-game winning streak snapped while shooting 32.8% from the field and three of its top players got into early foul trouble.

Julia Cunningham and Grace Stone each scored 13 to lead Princeton. Ivy League player of the year Abby Meyers had 11 points, going just 3 of 14 from the field and missing her first six 3-point attempts before making her last as the buzzer sounded.

The Ivy League tourney champs sure made it tough on Indiana.

After trailing 39-29 at halftime, the Tigers’ stingy defense limited Indiana to just three baskets in the third quarter as they pulled within 45-42.

And when Ellie Mitchell capped an 8-0 run early in the fourth with a layup at the 5:19 mark, Princeton led 50-49.


Cardona-Hillary’s layup gave Indiana the lead, but Princeton answered with two free throws from Meyers with 1:12 to go.

Berger tied the score by making 1 of 2 free throws with 58.1 seconds left and then broke the tie with her layup on a play called during a timeout before Gulbe closed it out.

UCONN 52, UCF 47: Freshman Azzi Fudd scored 16 points and hit two key free throws late as No. 2 seed UConn outfought No. 7 seed UCF in a defensive slugfest at Storrs, Connecticut, to advance to an NCAA record 28th straight Sweet 16.

Christyn Williams added 12 points and Paige Bueckers had nine for the Huskies (27-5), who have not allowed an opponent to score more than 51 points in their last 10 games.

Diamond Battles scored 12 points, Brittney Smith added 11 and Tay Sanders had 10 for UCF (26-4), which saw its season end along with a 14-game winning streak.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 89, KANSAS STATE 57: Kayla Jones scored 18 points to help top-seeded North Carolina State beat Kansas State at Raleigh, North Carolina, to earn a fourth straight trip to the Sweet 16.


Raina Perez and Diamond Johnson each added 15 points for the Wolfpack (31-3), who won their 12th straight game behind a dominating second-quarter performance. N.C. State shot 55% and made 9 of 19 3-pointers, romping to a lopsided win in front of a loud Reynolds Coliseum crowd for the final time this season.

By the end, all 13 players who entered the game for N.C. State had scored. And that sent N.C. State to next week’s regional semifinal against Notre Dame.

The matchup of Associated Press second-team All-Americans Elissa Cunane of the Wolfpack and Ayoka Lee of the Wildcats never truly materialized due to foul issues. But the Bridgeport Region’s headliner instead showed off its deep roster by getting production off the bench and continuing to roll anyway.

The 6-foot-5 Cunane headed to the bench less than 3 1/2 minutes into the game with her second foul and didn’t play again before the break, finishing with four points in 13 minutes.

The 6-6 Lee needed a little longer to get her second before also taking a seat early at the end of the quarter. She finished with 12 points, well below her season average of 22.3, despite playing 31 minutes.

NOTRE DAME 108, OKLAHOMA 64: Dara Mabrey scored a season-high 29 points, and No. 5 seed Notre Dame (24-8) rolled past No. 4 Oklahoma (25-9) to earn a spot in the Sweet 16.


Mabrey made 11 of 19 field goals, including seven 3-pointers. Sonia Citron scored 25 points and Maya Dodson added 20 for Notre Dame. According to Stats by STATS, Notre Dame became the first team, men’s or women’s, to beat a higher-seeded team by at least 40 points.

It’s the first Sweet 16 berth for second-year Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey. The Fighting Irish will play No. 1 seed North Carolina State on Saturday in a Bridgeport Regional semifinal.

Taylor Robertson scored 19 points for Oklahoma (25-9). Skylar Vann had 11 points and nine rebounds and Liz Scott had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Sooners. Oklahoma committed 28 turnovers and shot just 32.3% from the floor.

Notre Dame led 13-7 before Mabrey scored 12 straight to push the Fighting Irish lead to 18. She banked in her last three points during the run to put Notre Dame ahead 25-7.


TENNESSEE 70, BELMONT 67: Sara Puckett hit a 3-pointer with 17.5 seconds left to put Tennessee (25-8) ahead to stay as the fourth-seeded Lady Vols held off neighbor Belmont (23-8) to advance to their first Sweet 16 since 2016.


The Lady Vols improved to 23-1 on their home floor in the second round. They earned the program’s 29th Sweet 16 berth and will meet top-seeded Louisville on Saturday in the regional semifinal in Wichita, Kansas.

Tennessee had to scrap for this win after blowing a 14-point lead in the third quarter to lead only 48-46 going into the final quarter. The Lady Vols scored the first four of the final quarter for a 52-46 lead. The Bruins went up 61-60 on Madison Bartley’s layup with 4:07 left. Tennessee tied it at 64 on a jumper by Alexus Dye with 2:39 left. Bartley put Belmont ahead 66-64 with another layup with 2:23 remaining.

Jamilyn Kinney, who attempted only seven free throws all season, missed both tries with 25.7 seconds left. After a Tennessee timeout, the Lady Vols got the ball to Puckett in the left corner, and she hit nothing but net.

Tamari Key hit 3 of 4 free throws for Tennessee inside the final 10 seconds. Bruins guard Tuti Jones hit her first free throw with 3.8 seconds remaining, missed the second. Destinee Wells had a final chance to force overtime, but her long 3 hit off the backboard above the rim before the buzzer.

Alexus Dye led Tennessee with 20 points and 11 rebounds, her fourth straight double-double. Key finished with 18 points, and Puckett had 12 with the clinching 3 her only 3-point attempt of the game.

MICHIGAN 64, VILLANOVA 49: Naz Hillmon had 27 points, 11 rebounds and five steals to help third-seeded Michigan (24-6) pull away and beat No. 11 Villanova (24-9) in the second round.


The Wolverines earned a second straight trip to the Sweet 16 and will face 10th-seeded South Dakota on Saturday in the Wichita Region. Michigan took control with a 10-0 run over the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth, turning what was a closely contested game into a lopsided victory. Leigha Brown, who has recovered from a leg injury, had 20 points for the Wolverines.

The Wildcats led by three points after the opening quarter, but they simply could not stop Hillmon.

Villanova also struggled to overcome Maddy Siegrist being held to single digits for just the sixth time this season. Siegrist, who ranked second in the nation with 25.8 points per game, had 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting. The junior forward had fewer points just twice this season in November.


OHIO STATE 79, LSU 64: Jacy Sheldon had 23 points, eight assists and three steals, and sixth-seed Ohio State beat No. 3 seed LSU in the second round at Baton Rogue, Louisiana.

Taylor Mikesell scored 18 and Rebeka Mikulasikova had 12 points for the Buckeyes (25-6), who responded to a large, loud and hostile crowd in the Tigers’ home arena by seizing momentum in the opening quarter and putting LSU in the deepest deficit it had face all season at 24 points late in the third quarter.

LSU (26-6), which overcame a 10-point deficit inside the final five minutes of their first round game against Jackson State two days earlier, lacked the firepower to climb out of a bigger hole against Sheldon and Co.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.