Life truly doesn’t come easy in the Big Ten. Yet, the Indiana Hoosiers have three straight double-digit league victories.
On Sunday, Indiana (13-6, 4-4 B1G) powered past Michigan State (13-7, 5-4 B1G) at Assembly Hall, coming away with an 82-69 win. Trayce Jackson-Davis continued his scorching stretch, accumulating 31 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, and four assists in the triumph.
Mike Woodson still did not Xavier Johnson on Sunday. However, Race Thompson suited up for the first time since January 5. Thompson came off the bench to a very warm Assembly Hall ovation. Thompson played sparingly, totaling just four minutes on the day.
IU’s starting lineup of Jalen Hood-Schifino, Trey Galloway, Miller Kopp, Jordan Geronimo, and Trayce Jackson-Davis fell behind in the early going, as the Spartans scored the game’s first five points. The Hoosiers had issues containing veteran MSU forward Joey Hauser in the early stages, as Hauser collected 11 points in the first six minutes. He averaged just 7.3 PPG last season for MSU.
As has been the case during IU’s recent successful stretch of play, defense and toughness helped the Hoosiers catch up to, and pass, their opponent. After MSU led 17-8, Indiana forced five straight misses, during which time Malik Reneau and Jackson-Davis converted at the other end. TJD would catch fire, propelling IU in front of MSU.
Jackson-Davis would be IU’s go-to option all game, but Tamar Bates provided Indiana a key spark before halftime. The sharpshooter drained two shots from downtown, the first of which tied the game at 29. The second three-pointer gave IU a 34-29 lead. Bates hadn’t scored in the previous two games.
It’s no surprise that Tom Izzo would make accurate halftime adjustments, and Michigan St quickly erased IU’s five-point halftime advantage, flipping it into a 51-49 lead. Jordan Akins played a major role in MSU’s surge, scoring 10 of MSU’s first 19 points after halftime, including two three-pointers.
Bates would keep his hot shooting touch going into the second half. He picked up quickly where he left off, nailing two more three-pointers sandwiched around two Reneau free throws. IU’s bench outscored MSU’s 25-9 in the contest, a key factor in determining the game’s winner.
After Galloway converted a layup, IU had a 10-0 run and an eight-point lead with 10 minutes left.
Indiana’s stingy defense would help close the game out over the final quarter of the game. The Spartans had made 19 of their first 39 field goal attempts (48.7%). After that point, MSU made just four of their final 14 shots.
Meanwhile, Jackson-Davis, almost certainly an All-American when the season ends, eliminated any chance of a potential MSU comeback. TJD scored 10 points in the final stretch of the contest, including multiple emphatic dunks that threw the Indiana faithful into a frenzy.
When the Hoosiers held an 82-69 lead with 12 seconds to go, Woodson substituted not only Anthony Leal into the game, but also walk-ons Michael Shipp, Hogan Orbaugh, Nathan Childress, and Shaan Burke to officially get their name in the box score of IU’s fourth Big Ten win.
IU will take on Minnesota at Williams Arena on Wednesday, as the Hoosiers will look to take their winning streak to four games. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 PM ET on BTN. Minnesota lost at Michigan on Sunday.
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