Hey, I think we’ve got something here. Indiana claimed its third straight double-digit Big Ten win on Sunday with a strong effort against Michigan State.
Indiana fell behind early 17-8, and again by nine at 25-16. But a 10-0 IU run changed the game, and the Hoosiers carried a 37-32 lead into halftime. The Spartans rallied and took a 51-49 second half lead with 13:34 left in the game — only to be met immediately with a second 10-0 IU run. This time the Hoosiers never looked back.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers won 82-69 with another edition of The Report Card.
Indiana (13-6, 4-4) will next travel to Minnesota for a 9 pm tip on Wednesday evening in Minneapolis.
IU Coach Mike Woodson talks about being an inside-out team, and they truly were on Sunday, with dominant efforts from both Trayce Jackson-Davis in the paint, and Trey Galloway and Tamar Bates on the perimeter.
Jackson-Davis said Galloway and Bates’ 8-of-9 combined effort from three made life easier for him.
“In the second half they spaced the floor and allowed me to go one-on-one,” Jackson-Davis said after scoring 18 in the second. “I feel like there’s not a person in the country that can honestly guard me. So when we hit shots, and everything is clicking, we’re a great team and we’re tough to beat.”
Michigan State didn’t fully double-team Jackson-Davis, but they did throw extra bodies in his direction and try to dig the ball out at times. It was almost like the Spartans were torn on which way to defend him, and chose a hybrid route. There were no good answers with IU making 9-of-15 Threes on the day. Those were important makes, because IU converted at just a 42.5 percent clip from 2-point range.
“You can maybe understand why sometimes pick not to double or not to dig,” Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said. “It just depends which way you want to go.”
The way IU wanted to go and went was Diagonal with its passes out of the post, as Michigan State was out of rotational Defenders on the weak side. Those passes created some of the open threes.
The Hoosiers helped themselves considerably with a 21-of-24 day at the free throw line and nine Offensive rebounds that led to nine second chance points. And they only turned the ball over nine times.
IU scored 1.22 points per possession, their best effort this season against a high major foe.
Michigan State came out hot, making 7-of-11 to open the game. Indiana looked a step slow, almost like they weren’t ready for a noon tipoff.
“They made some shots,” Woodson said. “(Joey) Hauser made some tough shots off the bounce as well as post-up play. Trayce gave up a couple of buckets Underneath on post-up plays. So those are things I was screaming about the rest of the game.”
MSU made just 13 of its next 37 shots (35 percent) going into the final four minutes of the game, so the screaming from Woodson worked.
IU was clearly determined to limit good looks from three after Michigan State entered the game with three very good shooters. MSU got up just 14 attempts from long range and made just four. The Spartans also had just six assists for the game, as IU was largely able to turn them into a one-on-one dribble drive team. That’s something Indiana likes with its back end rim protection waiting.
But as has been the case for much of the season, Indiana fouled way too much, and Michigan State capitalized with 28 free throw attempts. For a second straight game, IU was fortunate that an opponent did not make the freebies as MSU missed nine.
The Spartans scored 1.02 points per possession, although that number was a bit inflated by them scoring 12 in the final five minutes after the margin had swelled.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
Trayce Jackson-Davis (A) He started slow from an efficiency standpoint but finished strong. Jackson-Davis’ rebounding, shot-blocking and free throw shooting were exceptional. His passing was exquisite. If there’s any knock, Jackson-Davis’ post defense was lacking at times.
Jordan Geronimo (B-) After multiple strong outings, Geronimo could not stay on the floor due to foul trouble. They did make another three, but this wasn’t an exceptional day for the starting forward.
Miller Kopp (B-) He made a Bizarre move with an early flagrant foul, and had another day where he couldn’t get anything going offensively, save for a baseline dunk. Kopp was pretty good running MSU’s shooters off the arc.
Jalen Hood-Schifino (B-) Obviously an off day for the freshman guard, who seemed to suffer a thigh bruise in the second half. Hood-Schifino just never looked comfortable in this one.
Trey Galloway (A) Exceptional effort from Galloway, who played 35 minutes without a turnover and made all of his threes and free throws. And he led the team for much of the second half as Hood-Schifino struggled with his injury. He was efficient on offense, facilitated, and was locked in on the defensive end.
Tamar Bates (A) With MSU playing three guards, this looked like a game where IU would need Bates — and he shined. He was equally as impressive as Galloway, with an efficient day and improved play on the defensive end. This was coming off two straight games with zero points, so a much needed rebound effort.
Malik Reneau (B+) Reneau continued his trend of exhibiting great effort, even diving on the floor for a loose ball. IU made a positive turn each time he entered the game. The Lone knock continues to be his excessive fouling.
Race Thompson made a brief return from his knee injury. CJ Gunn also played, along with a host of players who came in during the last minute.
In total, Indiana had 12 Scholarship players healthy and available on Sunday. Xavier Johnson (foot) was unavailable.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”