Thoughts on an 81-79 win towards the Musketeers:
Indiana survives tonight in a hostile street atmosphere, exhibiting simply sufficient grit and moxie to drag out a tough-fought win towards an excellent staff. There is loads to wash up and room for enchancment. But victories like these are removed from straightforward and by no means assured.
A win is a win, Indiana’s first on this style in 20 years. Hats off to Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers.
Indiana was shaken early, the Cintas Center crowd and Xavier’s protection getting the better of the Hoosiers early. The ghosts of Indiana’s previous arrived shortly. Trayce Jackson-Davis remoted off the proper block and double-teamed, his teammates failing to hit pictures round him as the Musketeers utilized strain. Indiana’s bench, which regarded so robust and collectively towards lesser foes, crumbled tonight in the first half, and Woodson rightly pulled the plug on the experiment. Indiana’s dominant protection confirmed cracks as Xavier received scorching from outdoors and gained the battle down low.
With Jackson-Davis below strain and the pictures not falling, Indiana turned to a well-known, if inconsistent spark plug: Xavier Johnson. Johnson had but to get it going offensively this season, however his play tonight was important. IU’s level guard helped regular the Hoosiers’ offense in the first half, as he broke down the protection for buckets of his personal and assisted Jackson-Davis in the decide-and-roll.
So regardless of a begin with Indiana again on its heels, the Hoosiers trailed by simply two at halftime. And by the time the second half received going, Indiana started to search out its approach. The protection picked up and annoyed Xavier. Indiana asserted itself extra on offense, forcing the situation and selecting up a number of early fouls to search out itself in the bonus earlier than the below-12 timeout.
Like the first half, Johnson and Jackson-Davis have been the distinction over the remaining 20 minutes. The duo mixed for 25 factors on 9-of-12 taking pictures in the second half. With Indiana down two with 6:49 to go, Johnson drilled a 3-pointer. Just over a minute later, he was fouled and made two free throws. On Xavier’s ensuing possession, he stole the ball on a foul go by Adam Kunkel and scored at the different finish for 2 to place Indiana up 5 with 5:13 to go. Malik Reneau, Indiana’s different second-half star, scored on IU’s subsequent possession to place Indiana up eight with 4:11 to go.
After beginning ice chilly, Miller Kopp knocked in a 3-pointer from the left nook after a Jackson-Davis skip go out of a double staff got here his approach. That made it an eight-level lead for Indiana with 2:25 to go.
But the remaining two minutes and alter proved tough.
Johnson made a foul go to Jackson-Davis, who wasn’t even wanting. Colby Jones stole it simply, took it down the court docket, and scored with an and-1 in addition, Johnson committing the foul after his turnover. Souley Boum drilled a 3-pointer to shut it to a one-level Indiana benefit with 56 seconds left. Reneau missed two free throws with 12 seconds left and Indiana nonetheless clinging to a one-level benefit.
The Musketeers had no timeouts left on their ensuing possession, Kunkel simply lacking a driving lay-up with 4 seconds to go, a Johnson rebound securing the victory for Indiana.
Johnson, Jackson-Davis and Reneau scored 35 of Indiana’s 43 factors in the second half, as the Hoosiers wanted each single one to hold on.
Indiana passes its first take a look at of the season, beginning out 1-0 in its powerful 4-recreation non-convention slate with North Carolina, Arizona and Kansas nonetheless on deck.
“The schedule is what it’s,” Woodson stated submit-recreation. “We cannot run from it.”
Filed to: Xavier Musketeers