#19 Excel H Sports Ranked Indiana Women’s Basketball Beats Princeton to win the Fort Myers Island Division Tip Off Tournament

#19 Excel H Sports Ranked Indiana Women’s Basketball Beats Princeton to win the Fort Myers Island Division Tip Off Tournament
By Nick Jenkinson\Excel H Sports
The #19 Excel H Sports Ranked Indiana Hoosiers held off the Princeton Tigers 72-63 Saturday Morning at the Sun Coast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers Florida. The Hoosiers will head back to Bloomington winning both its games in the Island Division and improve to 5-1 on the season with a trip to Portland Maine Next Thursday to face the Maine Black Bears at the Cross Insurance Arena as a homecoming game for IU Grad Student Mackenize Holmes who is from nearby Gorham Maine just outside Portland. “It’s really exciting and a lot of people that will see will Indiana Women’s Basketball for the first time in person and arena that is very special to me winning two state championships there and playing all my state tournament games there” Mackenize Holmes said after the game. “Home is very important to me, and I talk about Maine a lot so I always represent Maine the best way so it will be a lot fun” Holmes said.
For the many Hoosier fans that were in attendance they were given a special treat as Chuck Crabb who served as the Public Address Announcer at Indiana University Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games for 45 seasons announced the starting lineup for the Indiana before the game and to Hoosier Nation it was the first time since he retired from IU in January of 2022 that he has announced the Hoosier Lineup and Hoosier Fans give him a huge round of applause. “I was pretty honored that John Vittas who was the Public Address announcer the game asked me to help out and be included, it was a special opportunity that doesn’t come along very often” Chuck Crabb said. Crabb and his wife retired and move to Fort Myers area in 2022 and he now serves as the Public Address Announcer for Florida Southwestern State College Men’s and Women’s Basketball in the very the arena that these two games took place. “Chloe and Mackenize who the only two I had announced, and it was a real treat to introduce the current starting five. There were some butterflies, and it has been a while since January of 2022 that I introduce my last Indiana Starting lineup” Crabb Said. He was excited to see so many faces that he did for many many years in Bloomington ‘’I miss so many people in Indiana and to announce five names and the head coach its reliving special part of my life. Crabb added “It’s not often that Indiana teams come down but it’s nice and special to see them when they do”.
Sara Scalia scored a career high 28 points going 5-9 from three-point range and 10-17 from the field along with 3-3 from free throw line. Mackenize Holmes scored 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Holmes became the second player in Indiana Women’s Basketball History to go over 2,000 career points joining Tyra Buss who scored 2,364 points from 2014-2018. Chloe Moore-McNeil scored 9 points, Yarden Garzon added 8 points, and Sydney Parrish scored 7 points for the Hoosiers. Indiana was 28-54 from the field for 51%, 9-18 from three-point range for 50% and 7-9 from the free throw line for 77%.
Princeton who is 4-2 on the season and face their third top 25 opponent in as many games falling to UCLA and Indiana and beating Oklahoma in Fort Myers on Thursday. The Tigers Head Coach Carla Berube knows they can compete with these teams. “We don’t care about seeding; this gets us ready for the NCAA Tournament in March and we want the recognition that we can compete with these top 25 teams” Berube said after the game. Kaitlyn Chen scored 16 points and Ellie Mitchell had a double-double with 11 points and 16 Rebounds along with 11 points from Sophomore Madison St. Rose. Chen and Mitchell played against Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Bloomington in 2022 in which the Hoosiers won by one point. “We are a new team” Kaitlyn Chen Said after the game. “Most of them watched that game at Indiana and we talk about that game, but we are focused on us and getting to tournament in March” Chen Said. Ellie Mitchell added “Coach prepares us for a tough non-conference schedule, and we want to show that we can play with the best teams in the country, and it gives us confidence”.
Indiana led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. Sara Scalia opened the game hitting two three pointers to give the Hoosiers a 6-0 lead as the Hoosiers jumped out 11-2 with 5:39 left in the first quarter. The Hoosiers outscored the Tigers 25-13 in the second quarter to lead 41-24 at the break. Princeton outscored the Hoosiers 21-15 in the third quarter and 18-16 in the fourth quarter as the Tigers outscored the Hoosiers 39-31 in the second half. Princeton got within six points with 8:00 minutes left in the game, and they fought to the end. “That’s a fantastic Princeton team and they will be ranked, they were not going away quietly, and they didn’t.” Indiana Head Coach Teri Moren said after the game. “Sara had a special game and really happy for our kids and We know what a special shooter she is” Moren said.
There were 511 fans in attendance at the Sun Coast Credit Union Arena Saturday Morning and Coach Moren and the players always feel their energy. “Hoosier nation never disappoints weather its Florida or in Chicago and it is great that we can give Hoosier Fans Indiana Women’s Basketball that can’t make it to Bloomington and grateful for them and their support” Moren said. Mackenize Holmes knows the trip will home be special for her and knows the task at hand. “I am looking forward to it and Maine is historically a good team in the America East and we going to get back to work and prepare for them next week” Holmes Said.

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