In front of a packed Cross Insurance Arena crowd of 5,983, the University of Maine almost pulled off its biggest upset in more than 20 years.

But Indiana, led by Gorham’s Mackenzie Holmes in her homecoming game, proved to be too deep, too quick and too talented. After trailing the scrappy Black Bears for most of the game, the 17th-ranked Hoosiers pulled away in the fourth, taking a 67-59 win.

Holmes led Indiana (6-1) with a team-high 22 points, shooting 9 for 11 from the floor. She grabbed seven rebounds and had two blocks.

“I’m just extremely grateful we had this opportunity. Just to be able to come back here and play, probably my last game ever in the Cross Insurance (Arena), was just incredible,” Holmes said.

Maine Coach Amy Vachon thanked Indiana for making the trip, and her team enjoyed the challenge of playing against Holmes and one of the top teams in the country.

“That kid is just a tremendous basketball player. It was great to play against her. We battled. Just an amazing game,” Vachon said. “This has to be a springboard forward. You have to play this way every day. It can’t just be because we’re playing Indiana.”


When the game started, it was as if Cross Insurance Arena was in Bloomington, Indiana, not downtown Portland. Fans decked out in Hoosier maroon outnumbered fans in University of Maine blue. They were there to see Holmes, the All-American forward for Indiana, play at home, and gave her a rousing cheer during the pregame introductions and with every basket she scored.

“Half of them were for Maine, and half of them were for Mackenzie. What a great environment for women’s basketball,” said Teri Moren, Indiana’s coach.

Holmes said before the game, Moren told her to take a deep breath and relax.

“That was really helpful for me to hear. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself a lot of the time. For her to say that, knowing my teammates have my back … it kind of took some of the pressure off of me,” Holmes said.

As Maine (4-4) took and built the lead in the first half, the crowd flipped, getting behind the Black Bears.

Holmes was the toast of Portland on Thursday. A few hours before the game, the Portland Sea Dogs announced they’ll honor Holmes with a bobblehead on Thursday, Aug. 22, as part of the team’s Women in Sports Night at Hadlock Field when they host the Somerset Patriots. Holmes said the Sea Dogs reached out to her a few weeks ago.


“I’m excited to see the prototype, the first draft of it to see what it looks like,” Holmes said.

Indiana closed the game with a 15-5 run to take the win. Sydney Parrish’s bucket and free throw gave the Hoosiers the lead for good, 57-54, with 4:39 left in the game. After going scoreless in the first half, Parrish scored 17 points in the second half to lead Indiana’s comeback.

As good as Holmes is, the best player throughout the bulk of the game was Maine’s Anne Simon.

A senior guard and the 2022 America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Simon scored a career-high 34 points, 25 coming in the first half to help the Black Bears build a 10-point lead.

Simon also had five steals and 10 rebounds.

“We showed the crowd we were in this game. I don’t think a lot of people believed we had a chance to actually win this game,” Simon said. “I didn’t shoot the ball well when we were in Iowa, and it was just kind of frustrating. They just trusted me every day. I just took the shots I thought were good for me.”


The Black Bears led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter, and increased the lead throughout the second.

Late in the quarter, Simon scored back-to-back layups on back-to-back steals, pushing Maine’s lead to 37-27, its largest of the half. A Holmes layup with 13 seconds left stopped Maine’s 8-0 run and sent the Hoosiers to the break down 37-29. But after shooting 51.7 percent (15 for 29) in the first half, Maine went cold in the second, making just 7 of 26 shots.

Adrianna Smith added 14 points and 13 rebounds for Maine. Windham’s Sarah Talon scored six points for the Black Bears.

The game was a showcase for women’s basketball, and Vachon reminded her team that many girls in the crowd were attending their first college game.

“They’re going to leave this game with you as their idols and role models,” Vachon said.

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