Career-night from Trey Galloway not enough as IU falls to Kansas

  • 12/16/2023 7:20 pm in

Indiana’s struggling backcourt has been under the microscope this season. The injury to Xavier Johnson, who missed his fourth consecutive game Saturday, has played a factor in that, but the offensive play from Gabe Cupps and Trey Galloway had been subpar.

So, heading into the matchup against No. 2 Kansas, Indiana needed a stellar backout performance. Galloway delivered. The senior put together the best performance of his time in the cream and crimson— scoring a career-high 28 points in 38 minutes while shooting 12-for-17. But it wasn’t enough for the Hoosiers to pick up their biggest non-conference win of the Mike Woodson era as they faltered late and lost 75-71.

Galloway came into the game shooting 3-for-22 from the perimeter but knocked down two huge 3-pointers. One came with less than a minute to go and cut the Jayhawks’ lead to two. Then, on the very next possession, the Culver, Indiana, product found himself open on the right arc and hoisted a three with 23 seconds left for the lead. It rattled off the rim, and barring some missed free throws, the game was over.

“I thought it was good,” Galloway said postgame. “I mean, not all shots fall. Next opportunity I get, I’m going to shoot it again and make sure I make it.”

“I got to keep trusting my work ’cause I work hard for this. I know I’m going to be able to make shots. Next one I get, I’m going to make sure I knock it down.”

It’s as simple as that; it just didn’t go in.

Galloway was forced to foul, his fifth, with seven seconds left to extend the game, and despite the game nearly being sealed, an anxious Assembly Hall applauded him on his way off the floor.

His performance might get lost in the totality of the season, and how despite leading for 35 minutes, Indiana couldn’t hang on. But for Galloway and the type of season he had been having, it could be the game that propels his season forward and helps him regain confidence.

It was a frustrating opening month for the 6-foot-5 senior; he had only eclipsed double-figures four times and was shooting 44 percent from the field. Galloway’s more prominent role was expected coming into the winter, but he looked like he was pressing and trying to do too much. Johnson’s injury created some unfamiliarity for Galloway as he went from playing with his co-captain and sixth-year point guard to playing with a freshman in Cupps.

With a struggling shot, Galloway took what Kansas was giving him. He got out in transition a pair of times early and it started his scoring. The lane was open several times on dribble handoffs and end-arounds, and instead of trying to make things complicated, the senior just drove to the basket. His signature floater made a return, and he was able to use the glass when he couldn’t find an angle on the rim. Galloway saw the ball go through the net at the beginning of the game, bolstering his confidence on the perimeter.

“He had a good game,” Woodson said. “It was good to see because he’s had his ups and downs this season. But tonight he had a solid basketball game. It just hope he can build on that.”

After only sitting for two minutes in the first half and playing the entire second half, you could tell Galloway was exhausted.

“I thought fatigue set in. I played Cupps and Gallo the whole second half. I thought fatigue set in,” Woodson said. “Gallo had about three turnovers coming down the stretch and ended up with five turnovers. That’s normally not him.”

Galloway did finish with five turnovers, but he wasn’t using being tired as an excuse — saying that, the Kansas starters played most of the game, too.

It was understated how big of a growth period Galloway would need in a score-heavy role. So, it took about a month, and Kansas’ seventh-best defense in the country had no answer for him. He was a shot away from etching his name in Indiana basketball lore.

Galloway does a lot of little things for this Indiana team, and the load he’s had to carry this season has been far from what he expected. But the captain didn’t back down from the challenge and his performance was almost enough for the Hoosiers to beat Kansas.

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