SYRACUSE, NY – In what was Indiana’s first road game of the 2021-22 they traveled to Syracuse, NY to face off against the Syracuse Orange in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. It was the first matchup between the two teams since the 2013 season when the Orange defeated the Hoosiers by 17 points.
This time? The Hoosiers and the Orange put on a Big Ten/ACC double overtime classic that ultimately saw the Hoosiers fall 112-110.
Indiana and head coach Mike Woodson ran out the same starting five that they have for every other game this year thus far against Syracuse. Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis got things going for the Hoosiers in the Big Ten/ACC challenge.
Things started off slow for the Hoosiers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim combined to score the first 13 points for Syracuse as the Orange jumped out to an early 13-5 lead.
Jackson-Davis got things going early and was able to score eight points in the first nine minutes of the game. The preseason All-American was held scoreless the rest of the first half.
With 6:58 remaining in the first half, the Hoosiers were outscored by the Boeheim brothers 21-18. Jimmy Boeheim finished the first half with 11 points while Buddy Boeheim had 14. The brothers combined to shoot 55 percent from three (5-of-9). Over that stretch the Orange led 29-18.
All season long head coach Mike Woodson has preached for the Cream and Crimson to hold their turnovers to less than 12 per game. In the first half they had 13. Most of which were self-inflicting and uncharacteristic from some players.
If there was any positive when looking at the first half it had to be Indiana’s performance at the charity stripe. For a team that struggles to shoot 60 percent from the line, the Hoosiers ended the first half at 91 percent (10-of-11).
At halftime the Hoosiers trailed 49-33. Miller Kopp led at the break with 10 points while TJD was right behind him with eight.
The second half opened with a Buddy Boeheim layup to give the Orange their largest lead of the night, up 18.
Then the Hoosiers caught fire.
Parker Stewart was doing all that he could to bring the Cream and Crimson back in the game. Stewart hti three three-point shots to bring the Hoosiers to within seven points with 16:09 remaining in the game. Indiana opened the second half on a 12-3 run.
With 10:04 remaining in the game the Hoosiers took their first lead off a Miller Kopp three. Kopp finished the game with a career-high 28 points on 4-of-9 from long distance.
Even with a comeback, Indiana could not stop turning the ball over and that was what ended up being their downfall. IU finished the game with 25 turnovers, a season high. With just over four minutes remaining, what was once a one-point lead had turned in to a nine point deficit.
“The first thing that I told these guys is that you can’t turn the ball over,” coach Woodson said. “You have got to give yourself opportunities to score the ball.”
Then the air was taken out of the Carrier Dome as TJD went down with an apparent knee injury. He was unable to walk off the court under his own power but after resting for what seemed like two minutes he returned to the game to make a huge difference.
Jackson-Davis ended up informing the media that he just bumped knees with another player and needed to walk it off.
The Hoosiers found themselves down by four with just thirty seconds remaining. After a Parker Stewart three, the Hoosiers only trailed by one. After a made free throw from the Orange the Hooseirs were down by three.
The Orange then fouled Khristian Lander and sent him to the line for two free throws, down by three.
Lander made the first, then missed the second on purpose. Jackson-Davis secured the offensive rebound, was fouled, and made both free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime.
One overtime was not enough to finish this one, however. In double OT, preseason All-American Buddy Boeheim, who finished with a game-high 27 points for Syracuse, took over and showed the Big Ten why he is considered an All-American.
Despite coming back from an 18-point deficit in the second half, turnovers and sloppy defense late in the game allowed the Hoosiers to fall to Syracuse in the Big Ten / ACC challenge in double overtime, 112-110.
“Everyone in that locker room wanted to win this game, we are hurt,” said Jackson-Davis. “At the same time we can’t let this dwell on us because we have a game against a Nebraska team that is hungry and we have got to be ready for them.”
The Hoosiers will look to quickly forget about this one and shift their focus to Nebraska as they face the Cornhuskers in their first Big Ten conference game of the season on Saturday at Assembly Hall.
Photo by Indiana Athletics