Indiana’s basketball schedule says that the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten contest takes place Dec. 23 vs. Northwestern. However, for 45 physical, hard-fought minutes in Tallahassee on Wednesday night, IU’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge game against Florida State had quite the Big Ten feel.
In a rematch of last year’s tilt in Bloomington, albeit with significantly different rosters, the No. 20 Seminoles (2-0) knocked off the Hoosiers (3-2), 69-67, in overtime, to drop IU to 0-2 against Top-25 opposition this season. FSU freshman Scottie Barnes, a five-star, 6-foot-9 ball-handling guard, used the “Eurostep” move to win the game for his team with 2.2 seconds to go. It was IU’s first loss in the all-time series against Florida St. in six tilts.
A few minutes before tip-off, senior guard Al Durham warmed up with the team and Archie Miller inserted him into the starting lineup. The unit of Rob Phinisee, Armaan Franklin, Durham, Race Thompson and Trayce Jackson-Davis began the game for the Hoosiers, marking the third time in four contests that Miller used that group.
The Seminoles jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the opening moments of the game. Junior forward Raiquan Gray and 5-star freshman guard Scottie Barnes combined for all eight FSU points. After a Miller timeout, IU settled down and got themselves back even with FSU, and a Jackson-Davis bucket capped off an 8-0 run to give the Hoosiers a 10-8 advantage.
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Jackson-Davis led the way all night for Indiana. He led the Hoosiers with eight points in the first half, and he also brought down four boards before the break. Franklin led IU with six rebounds at the intermission, even though he battled some foul trouble.
Speaking of foul trouble, Florida St. had a tough time on both ends of the floor with that aspect of the game. They committed nine fouls to IU’s seven in the first half, with Gray and Barnes both picking up two. After halftime, center Balsa Koprivica, who had eight points and seven boards at halftime, picked up his fourth foul with 16:13 left in the game. For the game, FSU committed 22 fouls to IU’s 17. They also shot a putrid 11-of-21 (52.4%) from the free throw line in the contest.
After the break, Phinisee gave Indiana it’s first lead, 39-38, since the early portion of the game with a three-pointer that had been originally ruled a two-point basket. IU led for just 12 seconds in the first half; the second stanza and overtime were more of a back-and-forth affair.
Down the stretch, both teams ramped it up defensively in an already-tough contest. A crucial sequence happened at the end of regulation. After Phinisee split a pair of free throws to tie the game with 51 seconds left, Florida St. had *four* chances at the game-winning basket in regulation. Indiana struggled on the defensive glass, conceding 19 offensive rebounds while grabbing just 29 defensive ones.
Franklin stole an inbounds pass on the fourth try, but as he was falling out of bounds, the referees did not grant him a timeout that would have given the Hoosiers an extra possession with :4.4 left. Gray missed a buzzer-beating attempt, and the game went to overtime.
In the extra period, the Hoosiers jumped out to a three-point lead thanks to a Jackson-Davis bucket that drew a Florida St. foul. The three-point advantage was IU’s largest of the game. The Seminoles bounced right back. Barnes knocked down a three, then Koprivica made two free throws to give FSU a two-point advantage. Jackson-Davis knocked down two free throws to tie the game with eight seconds left, before Barnes received the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast to win it six seconds later. Jackson-Davis finished with his 14th career double-double, ending the game with 25 points and 17 rebounds. IU did not make a field goal the final 4:35 of overtime.
The defeat was the Big Ten’s fourth of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with six wins on the board. IU has not won on the road in the annual interconference series since 2011 at NC State.
Up next: The Hoosiers’ next game comes Sunday at Noon EST vs. North Alabama, who hail from the town of Florence. The Lions are 2-0, but both wins have come against non-Division I opponents. BTN will televise the action from Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Featured Image: Christian Daniels