Indiana men’s basketball had an amazing win against Ohio State Thursday night. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing a team hungry for vengeance bounce back from a tough loss like the one against Penn State on Sunday.
Despite Ohio State creating a run early, Indiana never buckled and kept the score close to capitalize on its lead.
Indiana’s guards were stagnant at the start of the game, fading along the 3-point line with no type of movement or screening to get high-quality shots. There was a lot of 1-on-1 play with seemingly no intentions to find easy drives and kick passes down the stretch.
To be effective on offense flow, both senior guards Miller Kopp and Parker Stewart have to learn how to level the floor for each other to get high-level shots. Kopp and Stewart were both too busy occupying one side of the court, causing the offense to look too predictable in the opening minutes of the first half.
Graduate transfer center Joey Brunk made his return to Assembly Hall on Thursday night as a key part of the Buckeye roster. He had a strong first half, putting up a season-high 6 points for the Buckeyes.
Brunk dominated the glass early, and became the perfect match for the dominating big-men of Indiana.
Junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis dominated for Indiana, collecting 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Jackson-Davis showed his skills as an incredible rim runner by spacing the floor correctly and running the offense to find open opportunities for his teammates.
Jackson-Davis showed why he is a true All-American, keeping his team from losing a highly-anticipated game to improve Indiana’s resume in closing out ranked teams. It was his duty to carry the team on his back and find an opportunity to pull away from the No. 13-ranked team in the nation, and he succeeded.
Freshman guard Trey Galloway was an important player tonight for the Hoosiers, who played for the first time in almost two months after suffering from a broken wrist. He played a tremendous 19 minutes and was aggressive on both ends of the floor, especially on defense.
Galloway contributed 8 points, four rebounds with two steals providing energy to help Indiana score 7 straight points for a 42-36 lead on Ohio State.
The defensive effort for Indiana was a disruption to Ohio State’s gameplay as Indiana remained gritty and aggressive on every possession. It caused players to dive on loose balls, communicate with each other and led Indiana to beat the Buckeyes to every spot forcing turnovers.
Indiana has to remain disciplined on the defensive end to keep itself worthy to put themselves into NCAA tournament conversations. On any given night, a team could fold under pressure, creating opportunities for Indiana to build upon.