Indiana finally snapped its seven game losing streak to rutger with a gritty 66-60 victory in Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers have now won seven of their last eight and are tied with rutger for second in the Big Ten.
rutger clawed its way back from down 14 points in the first half to tying it at 38 early in the second half and refused to go away whenever Indiana built a comfortable lead. The Scarlet Knights have the second most efficient defense in the country, per Kenpom, and at one point kept Indiana from scoring a field goal for over eight minutes down the stretch.
Predictably, it was Trayce who snapped the scoring drought to give Indiana the boost it needed to put the game away. With 48 seconds left, Trey Galloway also came up with a huge hustle play, snagging a rebound in traffic and making the put back lay up.
It wasn’t the strongest performance Indiana’s had over this hot streak, but it was enough to beat a ranked opponent and snap one of its ugliest losing streaks.
Here’s Three Things:
Trayce Jackson-Davis eclipsed the 2,000 point mark tonight with a 20 point performance that put him past Yogi Ferrell as the sixth highest scorer in program history. Trayce needs just 58 points now to pass Mike Woodson for sole possession of fifth place.
Trayce also grabbed 18 rebounds tonight, including 12 on the defensive end, limiting the Scarlet Knights to just 11 offensive boards as a team. rutger had 17 offensive rebounds when it beat Indiana earlier this season.
Significantly, Trayce led all scorers with six assists tonight, three times as many as he had in the first matchup. He had better help tonight, but there were still a few missed layups from his teammates that kept him from being in triple-double contention.
In case his spot in Indiana history wasn’t clear enough, Trayce became the first player in program history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career. And don’t forget, he’s first in program history with 242 blocks.
Is Miller Kopp a rutger Killer? It’s starting to look like it.
Kopp has only scored more than 15 points in a game twice this year, both against the Scarlet Knights. He led the charge in December with 21 points in Indiana’s loss and then followed it up with 18 tonight to be the Hoosiers’ second leading scorer.
As was the case last game, rutger collapsed the defense around the ball every time it went into Trayce, leaving Miller wide open on the perimeter. And like last time, Miller knocked them down.
Kopp went 4-6 from 3-point range tonight, accounting for 80% of Indiana’s made threes tonight. Tamar Bates was the only other Hoosier to see one go down.
rutger is far from the only team in the conference to send extra defenders to Trayce, so it’s not entirely clear to me why Miller seems to get better looks against rutger than seemingly any other team. It would definitely be nice to count on this on a more regular basis .
Either way, Kopp having nights like tonight affirm that he is a threat when he’s open and his pure shooting numbers will force opposing coaches to account for him whenever he’s on the court.
Progress, as a Program
One of the hallmarks of Indiana during the Archie era was the way the program would completely collapse at the first sign of adversity. Whether it was an injury, bad call, or cold shooting night, the smallest thing seemed capable of sending the team into a complete spiral that erased whatever momentum the team had.
Woodson hit a similar tough spell in the beginning of February last year, losing seven of the last nine games in the regular season before the Big Ten Tournament run that launched the Hoosiers into the tournament. After the two injuries this year, it appeared as though the early three game skid could spiral out of control.
Indiana still isn’t completely healthy, but its appeared to have found some consistency and toughness this year that its lacked over the past few seasons. It can win big games like Saturday’s upset over Purdue and follow it up with a midweek win over a rutger team that’s had its number for the last four years.
While the Purdue losing streak stung more and probably cost Archie his job (along with the aforementioned midseason skids), the rutger losing streak was probably more emblematic of the team’s identity crisis through the whole era. The Hoosiers were often the more talented team, but never had the mental toughness to eke out a win.
Tonight was a big step forward and an end to the last of the Archie-era losing streaks. The Hoosiers had a chance to fold, but got enough help from Tamar Bates, Malik Reneau, and Jalen-Hood Schifino to hold off the No. 24 Scarlet Knights.
Best of all, Indiana didn’t respond to a clear cheap shot from rutger in the final seconds, as Paul Mulcahy appeared to try to trip Trayce as time expired. When all else failed, rutger turned into the dirty team it is and Indiana refused to stoop to its level.
Between that and last year’s punch, Mulcahy has as many clear flagrants against the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall as points scored tonight.
New York is not the Midwest
yeah that’s it, that’s the fourth thing