Indiana Daily Student

Indiana men’s basketball’s 15-0 run a microcosm of what went right in victory over Ohio State

<p>Freshman forward Malik Reneau rebounds a ball Jan. 28, 2023, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The Hoosiers beat Ohio State 86-70.</p>

Freshman forward Malik Reneau rebounds a ball Jan. 28, 2023, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The Hoosiers beat Ohio State 86-70.

For the first 15 minutes of Indiana men’s basketball’s game against Ohio State on Saturday night, the two teams exchanged blows and looked like they were settling in for an evenly-matched dogfight.  

But for the last five games, Indiana hasn’t been evenly matched with anybody — it’s been better. During the last media timeout in the first half, the Hoosiers remembered how good they’ve been when the defense is making stops. 

Four minutes later, the halftime buzzer was barely audible over the cheers of the Hoosier faithful as they rained support down towards their team. 

For that final segment, Indiana was unstoppable and unable to make mistakes. It scored 15 straight points to end the half, and in its 86-70 victory, the run was a microcosm of everything that went right. 

“Our defense stayed solid, and then that three-minute mark of the first half is when we made our run,” head coach Mike Woodson said after the game. "That's basically, I think, what sealed the game for us.” 

The run started the same way everything has for Indiana amid its current five-game winning streak: through senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. 

After averaging roughly 30 points and 15 rebounds over his last three games, Jackson-Davis had a more pedestrian 18-point, 10 rebound night Saturday, but added six assists along the way. 

“Trayce slowed himself down,” Woodson said. “He's the one that missed a lot of chippies around the rim, but when you look at the stats, he had 18 and 10 rebounds. That's a man's game, I think.” 

Tied at 29, Jackson-Davis cut to the basket for an easy dunk on an assist from freshman forward Malik Reneau, opening an Indiana lead that it wouldn’t relinquish again. 

After Ohio State junior forward Zed Key made a free throw, Indiana’s run began.  

During the media timeout with four minutes remaining in the half, Woodson reminded his team to make defensive stops after the Hoosiers had spent much of the first half trading buckets with the Buckeyes. 

“I came out of the time-out, I'm like, ‘Guys, we're just sitting here trading buckets, and we can't trade the rest of the game,’” Woodson said. “We came out of that time-out, I talked about getting three or four stops, and we got a lot of stops.” 

Ohio State missed all seven of its shots during the run on the way to shooting just 44% from the floor on Saturday.  

Reneau made a second chance layup to put Indiana up by three, a key for him throughout his 15-point, eight-rebound night. Reneau had four offensive rebounds, working the glass for easy putbacks as part of Indiana’s 23 second-chance points. 

“(Reneau) did have a lot of cleanups where Trayce missed some monies, and he was able to tap them back in,” Woodson said. “Malik has got a big body, and I'm on him a lot about using his body because he is talented enough to do that.” 

Indiana followed Reneau’s basket up with two exceptionally assisted buckets. Jackson-Davis dumped the ball off to junior guard Trey Galloway, who was cutting and made an under-the-basket layup. After another Ohio State miss, freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino dished a no-look pass to Jackson-Davis for a dunk. 


Two possessions later, with the Hoosiers now up 9 points, Jackson-Davis grabbed an offensive board and found a wide-open Hood-Schifino, who sank his sixth 3-pointer of the night. Hood-Schifino's six triples, all coming in the first half, were a career-high, and each was essential in Indiana’s first half. 

Despite battling a stomach bug, Hood-Schifino finished the night with 24 points.  

“You've got to play when you're sick,” Woodson said. “I told him right before the game, I said, ‘Hey, I've had some of my best games when I've been sick, so hell, I can't feel sorry for you, you've got to strap them up and go play.’” 

After another Reneau bucket, Indiana’s end-of-half run finished with a fast-break layup from freshman forward Kaleb Banks following a Jackson-Davis steal. 

Banks played 12 minutes, his second-most this season and more than he had in Big Ten play combined entering tonight. Banks finished with 5 points and seven rebounds. 

“It definitely was a challenge,” Banks said about sitting out. “It was hard, but I stayed ready, just stayed the course, and eventually like tonight I got a chance. I think I contributed well.” 

From there, it was smooth sailing for Indiana. The Hoosiers entered the break with a 46-30 lead and matched the Buckeyes with 40 second half points. Ohio State never pulled the game closer than an 11-point deficit, and the halftime run proved to be the difference. 

Behind that run, the Hoosiers extended their winning streak to five games. Indiana will return to the road at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the XFINITY Center to play Maryland in College Park. 

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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