Five takeaways from Indiana’s win at Ohio State

  • 02/07/2024 9:41 am in

Indiana erased an 18-point second-half deficit and beat Ohio State 76-73 Tuesday night at Value City Arena.

Here are five takeaways from the win against the Buckeyes:

Defense spearheads comeback

It was a tale of two halves defensively for Indiana against Ohio State.

The Hoosiers surrendered 41 points to the Buckeyes in the first 20 minutes as Ohio State shot 14-for-28 from the field and got to the free throw line 13 times. Ohio State had a comfortable 13-point halftime lead, mainly due to the 1.1 points per possession it scored in the first half.

Roddy Gayle Jr., in particular, was a problem for the Indiana guards to contain. The Ohio State sophomore had 15 first-half points on a perfect shooting performance from the field (5-for-5).

But the second half was a different story. Indiana’s intensity ramped up significantly.

And as the Hoosiers began to get stops, Ohio State’s confidence was shaken. After shooting 50 percent in the first half, the Buckeyes were just 8-for-25 in the final 20 minutes. The Buckeyes scored only 31 second half points and managed just .969 points per possession.

“We had a sense of urgency and togetherness out there,” Trey Galloway said. “Five guys as one. And at the end of the day, I think that was the main thing we really focused on was coming together and getting stops.”

Trey Galloway was dominant in the second half

Gayle Jr. was the best guard on the floor in the first half.

But Trey Galloway delivered his best road performance in an IU uniform in the second half.

The 6-foot-5 guard from Culver Academies scored 19 of his 25 points after halftime to propel Indiana to its second road win.

Galloway’s contributions came from all over the floor. He was 4-for-7 on 2s, 3-for-3 on 3s and 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the second half. He also dished out four assists, grabbed four rebounds and had a steal. And he played all 20 minutes.

He also served as the key playmaker on the game-winning 3-pointer from Anthony Leal. Out of a timeout, Galloway drove right, drew the defense and found Leal in the right corner to give the Hoosiers the lead for good.

“I think coach (Woodson) really trusts me with the ball in my hands,” Galloway said. “And I trust myself. I think just finding ways to get myself involved… because I can make plays for other people as well. Just being able to get the ball, make the right play, make the right read, that’s the biggest thing for me.”

In 38 minutes, Galloway finished with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and only two turnovers. Indiana was +10 with him on the floor.

Malik Reneau continues to blossom in his second season

Malik Reneau has had numerous impressive performances through 23 games of his sophomore season at Indiana.

But his work on Tuesday night in Columbus showed why he’s already one of the best frontcourt players in the Big Ten.

Just a week removed from a foot injury that forced him to miss most of IU’s win against Iowa, Reneau was indispensable for the Hoosiers.

He played 38 minutes, finishing with a game-high 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field and 10-for-15 from the free throw line.

More importantly, Reneau hit the glass hard. His 14 rebounds were a career-high and he grabbed five on the offensive end.

Indiana’s first half was one to forget

As exciting as the comeback was for the Hoosiers, the first half performance appeared to be a carryover from the second half collapse on Saturday against Penn State.

Indiana was flat, lacked fight and was on its way to getting blown out as the Buckeyes went into the locker room leading by 13 points.

The lengthy lull Indiana had on Tuesday has been an issue for much of the season. The Hoosiers haven’t been able to put together a full 40-minute performance, which is why its results have been inconsistent throughout the season.

But the second half showed how well this group can play when all the pieces are connected and working together.

In his postgame comments, Reneau said postgame that the Hoosiers can’t continue to have such a lack of focus in games.

“We gotta really focus and lock in so we won’t be in those positions like we were tonight,” IU’s sophomore star said.

Anthony Leal cements his spot in the rotation

If there was any remaining doubt that Anthony Leal should be a permanent fixture in the IU rotation, it was erased Tuesday night.

Leal came off the bench and played 26 impactful minutes on both ends. His defense in the second half was a big part of Indiana’s comeback from an 18-point deficit. He had two steals in 13 second half minutes.

The Bloomington South product also hit the glass hard and grabbed a team-high five rebounds in the second half, including three on the defensive end.

But the play that will be remembered was the corner 3-pointer that gave the Hoosiers the lead for good.

Galloway, Leal’s former AAU teammate with Indiana Elite, found him in the right corner with just under 23 seconds left. Gayle Jr. didn’t have a great closeout on the shot and Leal shot it confidently to put Indiana ahead by one.

“That was a big-time shot,” Galloway said. “I feel so comfortable playing with him since we’ve been with each other since our freshman year of high school. I trust him and he trusts me.”

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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