BLOOMINGTON, Ind – The Indiana Hoosiers (6-4, 1-2 B1G) returned to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall to face off against the Penn State Nittany Lions (3-4, 0-3 B1G) as both teams looked to pick up their first conference victory of the season.
For the second straight game head coach Archie Miller went with a starting five that did not include junior guard Rob Phinisee. Freshman Trey Galloway started in his place, along with Trayce Jackson-Davis, Al Durham, Race Thompson, and Armaan Franklin.
During half number one Indiana’s offense looked significantly better than it has in their previous games. The Hoosiers found success early with driving the ball to the basket and finishing or going to the free throw line. After the first ten minutes of play IU found themselves up 18-13
The contest started fast for Indiana on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Hoosiers defense looked great in spurts throughout the first half. They were able to force nine turnovers, block shots, and match the rebounding intensity that Penn State brought.
The Hoosiers defense at times looked great and at other times looked tired and worn out. The Cream and Crimson did not get back in transition, which led to easy baskets for Penn State and kept them in the game in the first half. Add that to seven first half turnovers and you find yourself in a B1G battle.
The scoring for the Hoosiers was well spread out as seven players were able to contribute. Senior Al Durham led the way for IU with 12 points on 4-5 shooting while Jackson-Davis poured in 8 more points on 3-4 shooting. IU shot 54% from the field and 75% from the foul line at the break
Indiana led at half 38-33.
The second half started out faster than the first. Penn State forward Seth Lundy hit two three-point shots in the first three minutes to bring the Nittany Lions within two, 43-41.
Indiana’s offense remained constant as the second half began but their defense did not. Penn State was able to get whatever shot they desired and were knocking them down at a high rate. Izaiah Brockington made his first four shots that he attempted for PSU after the break.
Indiana did a great job in the second half, along with the first, at responding to runs made by Penn State with runs of their own. IU went on a 9-0 run after PSU pulled to within striking distance. Following the run IU was up 68-57 with just over eight minutes remaining.
Both teams went back-and-forth as Penn State made a late game push and brought their deficit to just one point with 2:06 left in the game.
With just one minute remaining in contest Jackson-Davis missed a runner and gave Penn State the opportunity to take the lead with less than 30 seconds left and they did just that.Jackson-Davis got his chance at redemption to win the game with two free throws at the end of regulation. He hit one of the two, sending the game into overtime tied up at 80 a piece.
Overtime was a back-and-forth battle that saw lead change after lead change. Indiana then went on a scoring drought that lasted more than three minutes. That’s when TJD chose to assert dominance. With 1:03 remaining, Jackson-Davis hit a spinning and-one and converted at the foul line. Giving IU a two point lead.
After the Nittany Lions tied the game with two free throws, Rob Phinisee hit a jumper with 14 seconds remaining to give IU the lead. Indiana then got the game-winning stop they were looking for and walked away with an 87-85 OT victory.
IU was led by Jackson-Davis who had 21 on 8-13 shooting. The Hoosiers had four other players score in double figures. Durham (18) and a career high four threes made, Franklin (16), Phinisee (11), Galloway (10).
FINAL BOX SCORES
Up next for the Hoosiers is another home matchup against the Maryland Terrapins (6-3, 1-2 B1G) on Monday Jan. 4 at 8 P.M. EST one Big Ten Network.
Featured Photo: Christian Daniels / Indiana University Athletics