INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In the final installment of the Crossroads Classic, the Indiana Hoosiers (9-2, 1-1 B1G) faced off with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-5) at the newly remodeled and renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse. After a slow start on both sides of the ball, the Hoosiers picked up their first win away from Assembly Hall, defeating the Irish 64-56.
Staying consistent, Mike Woodson kept the same starting five as he has all year. Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis took the floor first for the Cream and Crimson.
For the first 12 minutes of the game, Notre Dame was more disciplined with their shots and limited their turnovers. Indiana’s turnover problem continued early on in this game, and they finished the first half with nine, many of which were self-inflicted and resulted from carelessness with the basketball.
It was a slow start offensively for the Hoosiers all around, but more specifically for Jackson-Davis. To his credit, the preseason All-American made the necessary adjustments and finished the first half with a team-high 10 points and four rebounds.
With 7:17 left in the first half Notre Dame led the Hoosiers 24-15. That is when the Hoosiers defense came alive.
The next seven minutes were filled with six ND turnovers. Indiana made every pass difficult and forced the Irish in to three shot clock violations.The Hoosiers trailed by as many as nine points in the first half but made a big push before the break to take the lead at half.
Key three-point baskets by Stewart and senior guard Rob Phinisee got Indiana back in the game, but it was TJD who gave them the lead with 2:26 remaining the half.
Jackson-Davis was asked about his performance post-game and said, “You just have to take what the defense gives you…you can’t get too high or too low.”
At the break, Indiana led the Irish 30-27.
Indiana came out for the second half ready to go on both ends of the floor, a total 180-degree turn from the start of the game.
Head coach Mike Woodson was asked in his post game press conference how he felt his defense played, “I was pretty happy where we were defensively…the second half was even more steady.”
Indiana found success moving the ball side-to-side, inside with TJD and Race Thompson, as well as working the ball inside-out for open three-point shots.
Defensively, Indiana was on point for the majority of the second half. Notre Dame was 1-for-12 in the second half from behind the arc.
With 10 minutes remaining, Notre Dame made a push and tied the game up with just over seven minutes remaining, 46-46. What was at one point a 10-point lead was cut down when Notre Dame tied the ball game.
How did the Hoosiers respond? How about a 6-1 run the gave the Hoosiers a five-point lead. The Hoosiers never let go of their lead from that point forward and were able to capture their first win away from Assembly Hall.
Indiana was led by Jackson-Davis with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Phinisee led the team in assists with five.
Up next for the Indiana Hoosiers (9-2, 1-1 B1G) is a home matchup against Northern Kentucky for their final game before Christmas on Dec. 22 at 7:00 PM EST.