BLOOMINGTON, Ind — On Tuesday night in Indiana’s first contest of the post Romeo Langford era, the Hoosiers overcame a close first half battle to defeat the Gannon Golden Knights 84-54 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis won the tip for the Hoosiers and the team got things started right away. Indiana got the ball out in transition which led to baskets by Armaan Franklin, Damezi Anderson, and Jackson-Davis. Indiana jumped out to a 12-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest bringing the Hoosier crowd into it.
Indiana’s offense worked the ball inside throughout the first half using their size in the post with De’Ron Davis, Joey Brunk and Jackson-Davis extending their lead to 22-12 at the 10:33 mark in the first half.
From that point on Indiana stalled offensively, limited player movement and turnovers caused the Hoosiers to lose momentum as the half dwindled down. Gannon took advantage of Indiana’s miscues and took the lead 27-26 with 2:52 remaining in the half.
Indiana was not down for long as a couple of baskets and then a three-point jumper by Rob Phinisee aided in the Hoosiers going on a seven-to-zero run to go into the half up 37-29.
Offensively, Indiana shot 47 percent from the field and 25 percent from the three-point line, but it was 22 points in the paint that helped keep them in the lead by half.
Indiana’s three-point defense kept Gannon from doing damage from behind the arc during the first half. The Golden Knights were held to just 14 percent from the three-point line, shooting one-for-seven.
Archie Miller’s team came out of the locker room for the second half and extended their scoring run to 15-0 just under three minutes into the new period. Quick baskets from the Indiana offense led them to starting off fast just like in the first. However, this time the Hoosiers did not take their foot off the gas pedal.
Jackson-Davis erupted the Indiana faithful when he slammed down a dunk while being fouled on the play. His free throw was successful and the Hoosier lead extended to fourteen with over 16 minutes to play. The former McDonald’s All-American finished with 12 points while adding seven rebounds and three blocks to the stat sheet.
Indiana went on another scoring run in the second half at 14-0 leading to a 74-45 lead with under six minutes to play. The defense held Gannon scoreless for almost five minutes starting at the 10:31 mark
The Hoosiers never looked back and cruised to win in considerable fashion with regular season play beginning next week.
The tale of two halves.
The Hoosiers had a slow start to say the least. Indiana shot 25% from behind the arc and 46.9% on the floor. After a shocking moment when Gannon University took the lead at 29-28, the Hoosiers strung together a number of impressive plays going into halftime and they finished with a final first half point total of 37.
In the second half, Indiana dialed up the both defensively and offensively. Indiana held Gannon to just 25 points while shooting 63.6% on the floor and 42.9% from behind the arc. Whatever Archie Miller said to the team at half woke up the team substantially.
Freshman Armaan Franklin impresses with his extended minutes on the court.
Franklin, who played extended minutes this evening due to a shortened bench for the backcourt, showed his ability to impact the game right away. The freshman finished the game with the most minutes among all players from both squads. For the majority of the evening, Franklin comfortably ran the offense and his ability to make an impact defensively with his three steals.
The Indianapolis native recorded 12 points on five-of-ten shooting from the field with seven rebounds and a made three-point jumper.
While he still made typical freshmen mistakes that included four turnovers, he will be an exciting player to watch and grow for the Hoosiers.
Jerome Hunter is back! But he’s still rusty.
Indiana redshirt freshman Jerome Hunter got an opportunity to play for the first time in a non-Hoosier Hysteria setting in front of Indiana fans. The second highest ranked recruit from the 2018 recruiting class gave Indiana fans optimism that they may see him for games to come – a promising sign that he could have his share of minutes this evening.
That being said, Jerome Hunter also hasn’t played a full game in over a year, and that rust showed this afternoon. Despite some flashes of athleticism, Hunter struggled shooting missing all four of his three-point attempts. Hunter picked up his fifth and fouled out in the second half.
Free-throw percentage and free-throw rate.
With Indiana’s improved size, the Hoosiers free throw rate and percentage are going to be two important metrics to track with this team. Archie Miller wants to instill a mentality to attack and get to the line, and the Hoosiers did that this evening.
Indiana reached the bonus with 12 minutes left to go in the second half. On the night, the Hoosiers had 30 attempts at the charity stripe, compared to Gannon’s 23. Indiana finished with a 70% free-throw percentage largely on the back of Justin Smith who hit 8 of 9 this evening.
Indiana begins the regular season Nov. 5 against Western Illinois in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on BTN Plus.