The Minute After: Michigan

  • 02/11/2023 9:23 pm in

Thoughts on a 62-61 win against the Wolverines:

No Race Thompson. The Hoosiers barely getting anything on offense outside of Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Turnovers on 18 percent of their possessions, while scoring just .93 points per trip.

This is not the recipe for a Big Ten road victory. And it’s especially not the recipe against the surging and desperate Michigan Wolverines at the Crisler Center, a venue the Hoosiers haven’t won inside since February of 2016, just over seven years ago.

And yet, when the final buzzer sounded, the score read in favor of Indiana. It’s now eight wins for the Hoosiers in their last nine. Tonight’s victory puts them in sole possession of second place in the Big Ten standings.

Indiana was sloppy in the first half, coughing up unforced turnovers. On the other end, Michigan got it rolling offensively. Kobe Bufkin was driving and scoring at will (14 first-half points) while Jett Howard wasn’t far behind (nine points). It felt like so many Michigan-Indiana games of late, the Hoosiers having little in the way of answers for the Wolverines’ superior athleticism on the perimeter. Indiana trailed by as much as 11 at the 6:27 mark. They still trailed by nine with 4:26 to go in the first half, but closed the half on a mini-run to pull within four as the buzzer sounded, 37-34. (Had Tamar Bates not missed two layups in the final minute of the first half, the Hoosiers might have even pulled it even.)

Considering how things looked for much of the half, Indiana could more than live with the result.

In the second half, this one felt a little like the Maryland game, as the home team let Indiana hang around. Michigan did punch out the lead to seven with 11:34 to go, but it was a toss-up pretty much the rest of the game as the teams traded leads. And down the stretch, it felt like neither team could grab the bull by the horns. After a Hunter Dickinson layup with 5:12 to go, Michigan didn’t score a point the rest of the game. The Wolverines missed their last six shots. Credit Indiana’s defense, which came up big on the last possession, forcing a contested Jett Howard 3-pointer, which he air-balled. Trey Galloway also snagged a huge steal with 1:21 to go when Hunter Dickenson had an advantage in the post against Miller Kopp.

Indiana was better, but not by much. After a Jordan Geronimo dunk with 6:55 to go, Indiana only got one more basket the rest of the contest, a dunk by Jackson-Davis with 3:40 remaining. The Hoosiers turned it over on back-to-back possessions with around two minutes left. And with a chance to get the lead to two or three with 12 seconds left on a 1-and-1 opportunity, Jackson-Davis missed the first free throw well short, giving the ball back to Michigan with a shot to win the game.

But Hood-Schifino also made 4-of-4 at the line to help the Hoosiers to victory over the final minutes. That included two on a shooting foul which gave Indiana the lead for good with 2:58 to go at 62-61, the eventual end score for the ball game.

Indiana’s freshman rebounded from a slow start to score 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

“I started off a little slow, missed a couple of shots, but I’m not the type of person that’s ever going to lose confidence,” he said. “I’m gonna always shoot the ball… Mentally, I told myself just to stay in it.”

Jackson-Davis played the entire game and had 28 points (11-of-23) and 11 rebounds. The rest of the Hoosiers combined to go just 4-of-15 from the floor.

Bit of a weird one tonight in Ann Arbor. But weird road wins are still road wins.

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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