Ideas on the 81-79 win towards the Musketeers:
Indiana survives the evening in a hostile street surroundings, displaying sufficient grit and braveness to drag off a hard-fought victory towards a great group. There’s lots to wash up and room for enchancment. However victories like these are removed from straightforward and by no means assured.
A victory is a victory, Indiana is the primary this manner in 20 years🇧🇷 Hats off to Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers.
Indiana was rocked early, the Cintas Heart crowd and Xavier’s protection getting the higher of the Hoosiers early. The ghosts of Indiana’s previous arrived rapidly. Trayce Jackson-Davis remoted the fitting block and doubled, his teammates failing to land kicks round him because the Musketeers utilized stress. Indiana’s bench, which regarded so sturdy and united towards lesser opponents, crumbled tonight within the first half, and Woodson rightly shut down the experiment. Indiana’s dominant protection confirmed cracks as Xavier warmed up from the surface and received the battle from the underside.
With Jackson-Davis below stress and pictures not coming down, Indiana turned to a well-known if inconsistent spark plug: Xavier Johnson. Johnson had but to start out offensively this season, however his play tonight was pivotal. IU’s level guard helped stabilize the Hoosiers’ offense within the first half when he broke the protection to his personal buckets and helped Jackson-Davis pick-and-roll.
So regardless of an Indiana begin again, the Hoosiers trailed by simply two at halftime. And because the second half started, Indiana started to seek out its method. The protection caught and pissed off Xavier. Indiana asserted themselves extra on offense, forcing the difficulty and committing a number of early fouls to seek out themselves within the bonus earlier than the under-12 timeout.
As within the first half, Johnson and Jackson-Davis made the distinction within the final 20 minutes. The duo added 25 factors on 9-of-12 capturing within the second half. With Indiana down two with 6:49 to go, Johnson drilled a 3-pointer. Simply over a minute later, he was fouled and made two free throws. On Xavier’s subsequent possession, he stole the ball on a poor cross by Adam Kunkel and scored on the opposite finish for 2 to place Indiana up 5 with 5:13 to go. Malik Reneau, Indiana’s different star of the second half, scored on IU’s subsequent possession to place Indiana up eight with 4:11 to go.
After an icy begin, Miller Kopp hit a 3-pointer from the left nook after a double-team Jackson-Davis cross got here his method. This gave Indiana an eight-point lead with 2:25 to go.
However the closing two minutes and the change was tough.
Johnson threw a foul cross to Jackson-Davis, who wasn’t even trying. Colby Jones simply stole it, took it to the court docket and scored with an e-1 as well, Johnson committing the foul after his turnover. Souley Boum drilled a 3-pointer to shut Indiana’s one-point lead with 56 seconds left. Reneau misses two free throws with 12 seconds left and Indiana nonetheless has a one-point lead.
The Musketeers had no extra timeouts on the following possession, Kunkel narrowly missed a layup with 4 seconds to go, a Johnson rebound clinching the win for Indiana.
Johnson, Jackson-Davis and Reneau scored 35 of Indiana’s 43 factors within the second half because the Hoosiers wanted every to carry on.
Indiana passes its first take a look at of the season, beginning 1-0 on its robust four-game non-conference slate, with North Carolina, Arizona and Kansas nonetheless on deck.
“The schedule is what it’s,” Woodson stated after the sport. “We will not get away from it.”
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