INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. β€” After charging ahead in the first half and then bringing the drama in the second, the Hoosiers climb one step closer to an undefeated non-conference with their 62-60 victory over Notre Dame in the 2019 Crossroads Classic. The Hoosiers are now 11-1 overall on the season and Mike Brey’s Irish now fall to 8-4.

With support from the crowd and their hometown fans, impressive performances from Indianapolis-area natives Joey Brunk, Armaan Franklin, and Trayce Jackson-Davis enabled the Hoosiers to grind down a Notre Dame team that played largely with just seven scholarship players.

First, Brunk took control of the first half with eight points and 11 rebounds in that segment alone. Then, Jackson-Davis earned most of his 14 points for Indiana during the middle portion of the contest. The most valuable player ended up being freshman guard Armaan Franklin. He finished with a career-high 17 points including his 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

Photo: IndianaHQ

Franklin sank two critical three pointers to give Indiana the edge. The first coming with less than three minutes to go in the second half to bring Indiana within one possession. The final dagger came with 15 seconds remaining, which sealed the deal for the Hoosiers at 62-60.

Indiana now leads the Crossroads Classic with a 6-3 record overall in the event, and they are now 4-1 against the Irish. Butler has an opportunity to tie the Hoosiers at 6-3 if they can defeat Purdue in the afternoon’s second event.

Mimicking Indiana’s last game against Nebraska, the Hoosiers once again recorded an early positive margin against their opponent. After both the Hoosiers and Irish teams a combined 0-6 from the floor, the Hoosiers went on a 7-0 run behind Brunk and Jackson-Davis victories in the paint and a timely Devonte Green three-point shot.

Notre Dame came back on a run of their own, which shouldn’t surprise Indiana fans β€” a familiar story that has been written over and over again. Their run was capped off with a Juwan Durham fastbreak and-one play, which got the Irish within just a single point. As a result, the score was at 16-17 entering the under-eight timeout in the first half.

Indiana went on a 10-0 immediately after and carried the margin for the remainder of the contest. Coming into today’s game as one of the best non-fouling defensive teams in the nation, Notre Dame drew fouls of their own. Both John Mooney and Juwan Durham drew three fouls a piece, which led to Jackson-Davis and De’Ron Davis‘s benching. Each had two fouls and played less than 11 minutes combined.

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Despite not having two frontcourt pieces, Indiana managed to hold their own against an undermanned Irish squad in the first half.

In Brunk’s first Crossroads Classic in an Indiana uniform β€” only the second player to play in the event with two teams, he exhibited a lot of the qualities the staff wanted from him when they recruited him as a graduate transfer. The redshirt sophomore and Indianapolis native aggressively battled under the rim offensively, using his footwork to bait defenders into the air.

Even with the number one rebounded in the nation on the floor in Mooney, Brunk played one of his best halves of basketball on the glass. His 11 rebounds ultimately help give the Hoosiers a 26-14 edge in the rebound column in the first half. Brunk individually contributed three offensive boards and eight of the defensive variety. He finished the game 14 rebounds which his a career high for both his time at Butler and at Indiana.

Brunk missed a double-double by just one point. He could not get the last and final bucket after getting nine in the first half.

But of course, games do not come without drama, especially for the Hoosiers.

The offense did not fall into place as easily in the second half as it did in the first for Indiana. The Hoosiers struggled to find any openings for the guards or the wings. Jackson-Davis managed to muscle a couple points in the paint off of slashes, but the rest of the cast did not give him much support.

And as the story goes for Indiana basketball, their opponent clawed and clawed until they finally reached within a single possession. With roughly nine minutes remaining, Archie Miller called a timeout where he was especially animated in the huddle.

Dane Goodwin gave the Irish a breathing chance in the latter period. After going scoreless in 13 minutes of action in the first half, Goodwin was the main source of the Irish offense hitting 15 points, including going 3 of 7 from behind the arc.

After back-to-back threes from Goodwin and Mooney, the Irish took the lead for the very first time with 5:00 remaining to go in the second half.

In the end, the Hoosiers were able to prevail from the help from an unlikely candidate in freshman guard Armaan Franklin. Franklin’s clutch shooting in the final minutes of the game enabled Indiana to squeeze out with another mark in the win column.

Box Scores

Source: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Number of the Night: 34 points in the paint

In a game where both teams played off of their strengths, Archie Miller and his Hoosiers understood the importance of winning the battle in the paint against one of the premier frontcourt players in the nation John Mooney. Jackson-Davis’ 14 points and Brunk’s 9 points supported Mike Robert’s efforts down low.

Mike Brey commented on the Hoosiers’ interior in the postgame availability. “We had to give looks from outside because they’re so potent inside. They’re so hard — we were helping in the post, and we’re going to have to live with some of that stuff. And to his credit, he stepped up and made some big ones. But you know, they are so physical down there that you have to go in and help, and jamming it up.”

Indiana outscored the Irish in the paint by a final tally of 34-24.

Next Up: Arkansas

Indiana will get an opportunity to rest and have time off of basketball during a brief Christmas break. Players and family have two days off before returning right back to the thick of things to prepare for their visiting SEC opponents. The Eric Mussleman-led Arkansas Razorbacks will be coming to Bloomington for the Hoosiers final matchup of the 2019 calendar year.

That game will be available on BTN on Sunday, December 29. That game has now been announced for 6:00 p.m. eastern time.

For the full Indiana basketball schedule, click here.

Featured Photo: IndianaHQ

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