Quick thoughts on a 66-63 loss to Rutgers:
How it happened: It was a strong offensive start for Indiana in its final home game. The Hoosiers led Rutgers 14-6 by the 14:33 mark after a second chance bucket from Race Thompson. Trayce Jackson-Davis was dominant early with nine of Indiana’s first 14 points. The Scarlet Knights, also on the NCAA tournament bubble, answered with six straight points to cut the lead to two at the 13:13 mark. Indiana was able to stretch its lead to 10 late in the half on a Jordan Geronimo jumper, but Geo Baker answered with a 3-pointer and the Hoosiers settled for a 32-25 cushion at intermission. Rutgers had seven turnovers in the first half, which led to nine Indiana points. The Hoosiers outscored the Scarlet Knights 16-10 in the paint in the first half. Free throws were also a factor, as Rutgers was 0-of-4 from the stripe compared to 6-of-7 for Indiana.
The Hoosiers were stagnant offensively against the Rutgers zone to start the second half. The Scarlet Knights were able to take advantage of IU’s turnovers early and scored six points off of the first four turnovers from the Hoosiers. Rutgers took its first lead since early in the first half on an Aundre Hyatt layup that made it 38-37 with 15:32 to go. Mike Woodson took a timeout and Indiana got a bucket from Thompson and a 3-point play from Xavier Johnson to lead 42-38 with 14:40 to play. Johnson followed that up with a steal and a dunk in transition to give IU a 44-38 lead. Johnson’s 3-pointer gave IU a 47-40 cushion ahead of the under-12 media timeout.
By the under-eight media timeout, Indiana led 52-47, but Rutgers closed to within 52-50 with 6:06 to play after a Cliff Omoruyi dunk and a Paul Mulcahy free throw. The Scarlet Knights tied it at 52 on a Geo Baker layup with 5:30 to play. Indiana regained the lead at 54-52 on a Jordan Geronimo jumper. Caleb McConnell tied the game at 54 with 3:49 to play, but Johnson gave IU the lead back at 56-54 with a jump shot at the 3:16 mark. Rutgers took the lead back on a Geo Baker 3-pointer with 2:34 to play. The Scarlet Knights extended the lead to three on a pair of free throws from Omoruyi with 1:48 to play.
The Hoosiers got within one on a pair of Jackson-Davis free throws with 1:28 left. Baker missed a 3-pointer on the next possession, but Indiana could not score on its ensuing possession despite getting two looks. Omoruyi then made two free throws with 41.5 seconds to play to make it 61-58. Rob Phinisee missed a layup on the next possession. Mulcahy was ejected for a flagrant two with 19.2 seconds to go after a Johnson foul. Aundre Hyatt made both free throws and then Miller Kopp made a pair from the line to make it 63-60. Parker Stewart missed a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to go, but Indiana retained possession and Stewart knocked in a 3-pointer to tie it at 63. Ron Harper Jr.’s 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds to go won it for Rutgers.
Standout performer: Jackson-Davis finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes.
Statistic that stands out: Parker Stewart and Miller Kopp combined to shoot 3-of-16 from the field and 3-of-14 from behind the 3-point line.
Final IU individual statistics:
Final tempo-free statistics:
Assembly Call postgame show:
Filed to: Rutgers Scarlet Knights