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The Indiana Daily Student

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Trey Galloway’s trust in Anthony Leal helps seal Indiana’s comeback win over Ohio State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — All game long, he’d been the hero. When Indiana men’s basketball trailed Ohio State 73-71 with just over 20 seconds remaining Tuesday night, all eyes turned toward Trey Galloway. 

The senior guard — who’d scored 25 points to bring the Hoosiers within striking distance of a once-inconceivable victory — had a trio of Buckeyes hounding him as he slashed toward the rim.  

In the game’s tensest moment, and one that could determine Indiana’s fate, Galloway opted against a heavily contested layup. Instead, he kicked it to senior guard Anthony Leal, who had only 1 point to his name at the moment. 

RelatedIndiana men's basketball storms back late, defeats Ohio State 76-73 Reneau and Galloway combined for 51 points Tuesday night.

Wide open in the corner, Leal rose for the momentous shot, stoically held his follow-through and saw the ball swish through the hoop. The triple pushed Indiana ahead 74-73, and ultimately sealed its 76-73 road triumph. 

3️⃣ with the late 3️⃣‼️@anthonyl3al x @IndianaMBB

?: Peacock pic.twitter.com/VODzfgEyXx

“It’s a big time shot,” Galloway said postgame. “I feel so comfortable playing with him. I trust him. He trusts me. I think that combination, that trust we have for each other is special.” 

Trotting into the tunnel after the game, Galloway wore heavy emotion. Eyes locked on the ground, he pumped his fists and roared an expletive. 

For Galloway, who forged a formidable scoring tandem with sophomore forward Malik Reneau in the second half, seeing the comeback fulfilled spoke to the Hoosiers’ resilience. Leal shared a similar sentiment and said he knew the Hoosiers would never waver. 

The backcourt pair, both natives of Indiana and stars for their respective Indiana high school squads, came to IU together in 2020. Galloway was a highly touted prospect from Culver Academies, and Leal garnered 2020 Indiana Mr. Basketball honors as a standout for Bloomington High School South. 

Galloway and Leal developed a rapport through the AAU circuit dating back to their freshman year of high school. While Galloway blossomed from a sparse contributor to an indispensable option, Leal took a back seat. 

Until Jan. 30 against Iowa this season, Leal had never logged double-digit points in a game. For a player with the talent Leal possesses, transferring would have been an easy option. 

Instead, he stuck it out. 

“I’m just glad he’s really stayed with it all this time,” Galloway said. “He could’ve easily just gave up and quit when he wasn’t getting minutes. But the way he’s fought and the way he’s stuck his nose in there and kept competing and kept being a great teammate — it’s paid off.” 

While Leal struggled to create much offensively for most of Tuesday night’s contest, Galloway completely took over when Indiana needed it most. He notched 6 points in the first half and poured in 19 in the second while shooting 7-of-10 from the field and draining three triples. 

He was aggressive in getting toward the rim and dished out brilliant assists when needed. Virtually every possession was guaranteed Galloway would be a focal point of the offense and be tasked with creating something. 

RelatedTrey Galloway looking to cement legacy 'as a winner' with Indiana basketball Galloway hopes to take another huge leap in his senior season.

Even one of Galloway’s lone blemishes led to success. With 8:30 left to play and the shot clock winding down, Galloway chucked a cross-court pass directly into the hands of Ohio State senior forward Jamison Battle. 

A few moments later, Galloway smacked his hands on his head. Shortly thereafter, though, Galloway converted a pair of free throws. About 30 seconds later, he knocked down a transition 3-pointer on an assist from Leal. 

For Leal, associate head coach Yasir Rosemond preaches a mantra that held especially true for Galloway’s performance. 

“Coach Ya says all the time that senior guards win games,” Leal said. “Trey stepped up big time for us.” 

As Galloway and Reneau continued to chip into the lead and build momentum, the opportunity to complete the comeback grew. After Woodson called a timeout with roughly 30 seconds left, the ball was in Galloway’s hands. 

The play was for Galloway to either take it to the rim himself, find sophomore center Kel’el Ware for a potential lob opportunity or kick it out to one of Leal or freshman forward Mackenzie Mgbako. 

While Ware was draped by a defender and Mgbako’s positioning would’ve made for a near impossible pass, Leal stood alone in the corner. Though his minutes this season had been slim — he’d only eclipsed 20 once until Tuesday night — he was entrusted with helping close the game. 

For Woodson, Leal being on the floor for that moment was an ode of confidence. 

“Confidence level is he’s on the floor playing during crunch-time,” Woodson said. “He had a wide-open shot; he took it and he delivered for us.” 

Following a defeat in which Indiana totally unraveled in the second half against Penn State on Feb. 3, Tuesday’s win, and the fashion in which it occurred, spoke to the mettle Galloway and Leal alluded to. 

After being one of the heroes Indiana needed to dig out of a desolate hole, Galloway trusted Leal with the biggest shot of the game. If given that situation again, Galloway’s mind would already be made. 

“I want him to shoot that 10 times out of 10,” Galloway said. “I’m glad he made it. It was a big shot for us to help us win the game.” 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Press (@MattPress23) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball season. 

For more from Woodson, Galloway, Leal and Reneau, visit IDS Sports on YouTube

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