Indiana had a one point lead with one minute to go over the No. 15 Wisconsin before Johnny Davis hit an unlikely layup and the subsequent foul shot to give the Badgers a 71-69 lead that they would never relinquish. It took some questionable refereeing for the Badgers to get the ball and the opportunity for an and-one, but Indiana also had chances to negate its bad luck and tie the game or retake the lead in the final minute. Instead, the Hoosiers chucked up four head-scratching threes and dropped another winnable game to the Badgers.
Here’s Three Things:
During Indiana’s current losing streak, Trayce Jackson-Davis has been criticized for not being the dominant force fans expected him to be in conference play. Starting with the Illinois game, in which he scored just six points during limited minutes due to foul trouble, Trayce had struggled to score from the field and the free throw line. Prior to last night’s game, Jackson-Davis was shooting 34.2% from the field during Indiana’s skid.
While it wasn’t enough to get Indiana the win, Trayce went off last night, scoring 30 points for the first time since losing to Syracuse on November 30th of last year. He also pulled down eight rebounds and recorded three blocks last night.
Indiana will need this version of Trayce going forward if it hopes to turn the season around and move safely off the bubble into the field of 68.
Secondary scoring, again
After the last game, I wrote about how Indiana would need somebody outside of Trayce and Race Thompson to step up on the offensive end. Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse for Indiana, as it got just 26 points from players not named Race or Trayce, compared to 31 in Saturday’s loss in East Lansing.
Individually, Trey Galloway and Parker Stewart had nice offensive nights, with seven and eight points respectively. While Indiana could definitely use his shooting in the starting lineup, Stewart gives the bench unit a nice late shot clock bailout option since he can get his shot off so quickly in such little space. Their performances were offset by a second consecutive lackluster game from Xavier Johnson, who finished with seven points and four turnovers, and Miller Kopp, who finished with just two points in 24 minutes on the floor.
Wisconsin managed to win despite getting just two points from its bench last night, so Indiana doesn’t necessarily need to look that deep in its rotation to find points. Had Johnson even hit his season average 10.3 points, last night’s game could have gone differently. The Hoosiers just need to find consistency. And fast.
Good Riddance, Brad Davison
Barring a postseason matchup, Indiana fans will never have to watch 35 year-old Brad Davison terrorize the Hoosiers anymore. In two games against Indiana this year, he scored a combined 29 points, moving his career record against the Hoosiers to 6-1. The last time he lost to Indiana was a double overtime game in Assembly Hall when Romeo Langford singlehandedly ended another miserable Indiana losing streak.
Davison may have the last laugh against Indiana, since he’s now engaged to Tyra Buss, Indiana women’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer. Still, there’s some comfort in the fact that I will never be forced to watch him play basketball again. Assuming, of course, that the NCAA doesn’t grant him lifetime eligibility.