Indiana men’s basketball junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis set a new career-high and broke the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall scoring record with 43 points Saturday night, propelling the team to a 90-79 win over Marshall University. Indiana moved to 6-0 this season with the win.
Jackson-Davis broke the previous record, a 42-point performance by former Hoosier guard Steve Alford in 1987, on 18-24 shooting from the field and 7-9 from the free-throw line. He also secured five rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals within 37 minutes of play.
“A few times in timeout, I asked him was he okay and he said, ‘Hey, I'm good, let me go,’” head coach Mike Woodson said at the postgame press conference.
Of his 18 made shots, Jackson-Davis threw down nine slam dunks, including a windmill dunk to give him the scoring record. Jackson-Davis’ 43 points are the 10th-most by a Hoosier in program history, a list which includes a 48-point effort from Woodson.
After the game, Jackson-Davis said he took what Marshall’s defense gave him. Senior guard Xavier Johnson said he was surprised Marshall didn’t start double teaming Jackson-Davis until the end of the first half.
“I believe he’s the best player in America, so I'm like ‘Go get 40, brother,’" Johnson said after the game. “That's disrespectful to us and to him as well.”
Jackson-Davis led the charge in the second half as the Thundering Herd led the Hoosiers 42-41 at halftime. The Hoosiers came into the game allowing 52.8 points per game, but the Herd was 10 points off that mark 20 minutes into the game. The Herd scored 28 of their 42 first-half points in the paint.
Indiana shot 64.3% from the field in the second half, including 5-9 from 3-point range. The team’s defense also improved in the second half as it forced Marshall to shoot 40.6% after it put up a 57.6% mark in the first half.
“They hit a few shots coming down the stretch, but for the most part we were pretty solid in the second half,” Woodson said. “I know they made the one run, but we were able to answer that run and get the cushion that we needed to win the game.”
Senior guard Taevion Kinsey and junior guard Andrew Taylor led Marshall with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Kinsey and Taylor combined for all 13 of Marshall’s free throws in the game. Sophomore forward Obinna Anchili-Killen scored 16 points off the bench for Marshall as well, shooting 8-11 in the game.
Senior guard Xavier Johnson posted his highest point total at Indiana on Saturday night with 20 on 7-12 shooting. Like Jackson-Davis, Johnson’s effort on both sides of the ball helped the Hoosiers secure a win. He totaled seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals. The Hoosiers outscored the Herd by 27 points when Johnson was on the floor.
Senior forward Race Thompson scored 8 points and pulled down a team-leading 10 rebounds in the win. Guards senior Parker Stewart and freshman Tamar Bates each knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 6 points each in the win.
Woodson said Indiana’s shooting will be key this season and said Jackson-Davis’s ability to find open shooters when he’s trapped has grown.
“We're starting to make shots, you know what I mean, our 3-point shooting tonight was pretty good again,” Woodson said. “We are going to need that as we continue this journey as a team. It can't just be Trayce and Race inside. We've got to have guys making plays on the perimeter as well as at the rim.”
Indiana faces another nonconference test against Syracuse University in its first game away from Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse is 3-3 this season and lost its last game against No. 19 Auburn.