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Culture Shock

IU Men's Basketball Completes Miraculous Comeback over Michigan, Advances in Big Ten Tournament

Indianapolis, IN– With a trip to the NCAA tournament on the line, the Hoosiers were able to make a furious comeback and win after being down as many as 17 points in the second half Thursday afternoon.

 

Indiana defeated Michigan 74-69 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse. A historic run fueled the Hoosiers for their biggest comeback in Indiana postseason history.

 

Indiana came into today projected by almost everyone as firmly on the bubble. However, even with that in mind, the Hoosiers came out flat leading to a 41-28 deficit going into halftime. Although there were many times this season when Indiana was unable to finish games, that was not the case today.

 

“This is probably the biggest win for our program in such a long, long time,” coach Mike Woodson said. “I've got to give my staff and the guys in that locker room that wear that uniform a lot of credit, man, because this team, they just won't quit.”

 

The Hoosiers came out with more energy in the second half, but Michigan kept hitting big shots to prevent a big run. When it looked like all hope was lost and the Hoosiers would miss the NCAA tournament for the 6th straight year, they came back from 17 points with 12:52 remaining in the second half courtesy of a huge 28-4 run that spanned from 11:09 to 1:42 in the second half.

 

“I just feel like we locked in,” Xavier Johnson said. “With the last 12 minutes, Coach said we've got to get a stop. It's all about getting stops. We're scoring, we just can't get a stop.”

 

The Hoosiers held the Wolverines to just 28 points in the second half. Michigan also only had 9 points in the last 12 minutes of the game. A big reason? In the first half Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson was dominating while Hoosiers center Trayce Jackson-Davis struggled. But in the second half, it was the opposite as Jackson-Davis scored 19 points in the second half and ended with 25 points for the game. As for Dickinson he only attempted 3 shots and scored only 2 points for the half.

 

“Basically for me just struggling, even this game in the first half, not having it go my way, you can't get too down on yourself, you've got to keep playing,” Jackson-Davis said. “And then my guys were always picking me up.”

 

Not only was Jackson-Davis a force on the offensive end, but he protected the rim in the second half including 4 blocks. For the Hoosiers, the comeback started on the defensive end, and they were able to force 10 second half turnovers from Michigan. However, another key part for the Hoosiers was staying out of foul trouble. Both guards for Indiana Rob Phinisee and Xavier Johnson were in foul trouble in the first half and most of the second half. But head coach Mike Woodson trusted Johnson to play most of the second half, and it paid off, as he scored 9 points and 7 assists. He also had the team high for 3 pointers made with three.

 

“Well, I like to think he's grown as a player,” Woodson said. “From the time we started to where he is today, he's put a lot of work, you know, on the court and off the court in terms of watching film and just learning. I'm not the easiest to deal with and him being the point guard is probably the toughest position for me as a coach.”

 

Indiana’s next opponent will be Illinois in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Illini are ranked as the number 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The game is set to tip at 11:30 AM. The game can be heard on WIUX 99.1 FM and online HERE with Griffin Epstein and Zak Ibrahim on the call from the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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