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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Indiana men’s basketball does just enough to escape Minnesota with a 61-57 victory

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Indiana men’s basketball was down to the wire, desperate for a score against a Minnesota team that was shorthanded. Minnesota had taken the lead with three minutes and 20 seconds left, and Indiana was at risk of snapping its three-game winning streak. 

But the defense stood tall, not allowing the Gophers to score again down the stretch. And senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis stood taller, flying through the lane for a dunk then rebounding a free throw over his defender's back and scoring the layup to put Indiana up for good. 

Despite ugly play, and subpar performance from Hoosiers not named Jackson-Davis, Indiana escaped with a 61-57 win. 

“We had a gameplan coming in, and we just stuck to the gameplan,” associate head coach Yasir Rosemond said after the game. “I just kept telling them, ‘We’re going to pull this thing out. We’re going to have to pull it out defensively because our shots weren’t falling.’” 

Without head coach Mike Woodson, who missed the game as he recovers from COVID-19, Indiana played a game far from its prettiest performance. After energetic play guided Indiana in a win over Michigan State on Sunday, Wednesday was more of a sloppy, defensive battle. The Hoosiers shot 41% from the field and shot just 4-for-14 from beyond the arc, but the Gophers shot worse — 34% from the field and 5-for-25 from deep.  

“We work on defense every day,” Rosemond said. “We weren’t going to change anything that Coach Woodson has already been saying. It’s just what we’re built on.” 

Jackson-Davis put up yet another performance in which he carried the brunt of Indiana’s offense, scoring 25 points, grabbing 21 rebounds and blocking six shots. His first block was the 228th of his career, passing Jeff Newton for first all-time in program history. 

The Hoosiers did just enough to pull out a victory Wednesday as the defense tightened up around Minnesota’s shooters. The Gophers missed their last 11 shots of the game after taking the lead, opening a window for Indiana to work its way back for the win. 

“It was a group effort,” Jackson-Davis said. “I thought we were together, and we never folded, especially when we got down.” 

Indiana’s offense was quiet outside of Jackson-Davis in the second half, combining to go 3-for-16 from the field. But as has often been the case this season, Jackson-Davis' performance made it difficult for Indiana to lose, and Minnesota had no answers for Indiana’s big man. 

The first half, however, included contributions from more of the team. Freshman forward Malik Reneau had 10 points and senior forward Miller Kopp made three 3-pointers. Reneau played less than a minute in the second half and Kopp scored just two more points to finish the night with 11 points. 

Minnesota had one last chance late, driving into the lane looking for a layup to cut the deficit down to one possession with seconds left on the clock. Instead, the shot found the hand of Jackson-Davis, who swatted the attempt into the crowd, icing the game by doing what he’s best at — taking Indiana’s fate into his own hands and blocking shots. 

“At the end of the day, we found a way to win,” Jackson-Davis said. “It helps our confidence a lot, especially in close games like this.” 

Follow reporters Evan Gerike (@EvanGerike) and Emma Pawlitz (@emmapawlitz) and columnist Bradley Hohulin (@BradleyHohulin) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball season. 
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