After an embarrassing loss in the previous contest at home against Michigan the Hoosiers (15-5, B1G 6-4) were due for a bounce-back game. Well, they got just that, as they welcomed Penn State (8-9, B1G 3-6) to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and sent them home with a 74-57 loss.
Despite concerns with the starting lineup head coach Mike Woodson kept things the same to start against The Penn State Nittany Lions. Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis got things start for the Hoosiers.
Some have begun to wonder when Trey Galloway will work his way into the starting lineup.
Things got off to a hot start to say the least for Indiana. The cream and Crimson started the game 4-of-5 from the field (2-of-2 from three-point range) and opened an early 12-0 lead against the Nittany Lions.
Xavier Johnson started the game 3-for-3 from the field (2-of-2 from three) and scored or assisted on ten of Indiana’s first 15 points scored. Woodson mentioned earlier this week that Johnson was beginning to play the way both he and Woodson wanted, and it showed in the first half of this game.
“My game is to get downhill,” Johnson said. “Coach wants me to get downhill and make plays and that is what I did tonight.”
At the first media timeout Indiana led 15-2 with 14:52 remaining in the first half.
Indiana turned things up a notch on the defensive end in the first half. Through the first eight minutes of play Penn State was shooting just 18% (2-of-11) from the field.
Indiana’s hot shooting did not slow down. The Hoosiers started the game 6-for-6 from behind the arc and finished the half shooting 75% from distance.
“I thought the ball movement was great the first half,” said Woodson. “The defense could not really catch up and we got good looks that way.”
The Hoosiers continued to shut down Penn State’s offense as they were 3-of-16 with six turnovers and trailed IU 29-8 with 8:26 remaining in the first half.
It was not all good for the Cream and Crimson.
With just over seven minutes remaining Rob Phinisee seemed to come down awkwardly on his ankle. The senior was unable to put hardly any pressure on it and had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates Anthony Leal and Michael Shipp.
When asked about his injury Woodson responded with, ” Don’t know right now. HE has to be evaluated sometime tomorrow and we have to get Khristian ready.” Lander has also been dealing with a nagging leg injury that has kept him sidelined for a long period of time.
Despite losing one of their leaders just under midway through the second half Indiana continued to dominate. This was the bounce back half that the Hoosiers needed after struggling against Michigan in their last outing.
The Hoosiers controlled this one at half as they lead 46-17. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers in points (13), rebounds (5), assists (3), and blocks (4) while Xavier Johnson pitched in 10 first half points as well.
Miller Kopp got things going on offense in the second half as he made his first three-point attempt of the half.
Indiana started the second half slow and shot just 2-6 while the Nittany Lions came out and hit a few threes to begin the half. Even with the pair of threes they still trailed by 26 at the first media timeout of the second half, 51-26
With 11:19 remaining Trayce Jackson-Davis had to make sure the fans at Assembly Hall were still awake as he cut to the basket and caught an alley-oop slam from Xavier Johnson. This one seemed a bit more emphatic than the rest.
Despite being up by at least 25 points for most of the game the starters and the normal rotation players stayed in the game for the Hoosiers.
At the under-7 timeout the Hoosiers led 67-40 with no signs of slowing down.
Penn State hit on 57% of their threes in the second half and with 3:35 remaining cut the lead to just 14 points. After being up 32 it is safe to say that Indiana’s defense took a considerable step backwards in the second half.
Indiana would go on to win the game in dominating fashion despite giving gup nearly half of their 32-point lead as they defeated Penn State 74-57 behind 19 points and six assist from Xavier Johnson and a team-high six rebounds and four blocks from Jackson-Davis.
Photo by Indian Athletics