BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)Trayce Jackson-Davis walked off Indiana’s home court for the final time a winner.
Yes, it took a furious charge in regulation, five extra minutes and some help from two other seniors, but the Hoosiers managed to give their captain a celebratory send-off.
Jackson-Davis added to his growing legacy by finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists Sunday, combining with Race Thompson and Miller Kopp to score all of Indiana’s overtime points as the 15th-ranked Hoosiers rallied to beat Michigan 75-73.
“It’s been a long four years, guys, a long four years,” he told the cheering fans afterward. “But as coach (Mike) Woodson was saying, ‘Gentlemen, there’s a lot of ball still to be played.'”
Then, pointing to the school’s Big Ten and national championship banners, Jackson-Davis added: “We’ve got to get one of those (Big Ten title) and then we’ve got to go get No. 6.”
The victory gives the Hoosiers (21-10, 12-8 Big Ten) a double bye into Friday’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
They wouldn’t be there without Jackson-Davis, the first player in school history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Despite announcing recently this would be his final college season, fans chanted “one more year” as Woodson pleaded with him to return.
But after the Hoosiers blew a 14-point, first-half lead, Jackson-Davis needed help to rally Indiana from a 12-deficit in the final 12 1/2 minutes of regulation and everyone pitched in.
Jalen Hood-Schifino’s 3-pointer with a minute left in regulation finally tied the score at 69. Thompson then grabbed Hunter Dickinson’s errant 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds to go and after a timeout inbounded the ball to Jackson-Davis, whose half-court heave barely bounced out.
Dickinson led the Wolverines (17-14, 11-9) with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Kobe Bufkin added 19 points, but they still lost their second straight overtime game.
“We’re playing so hard out there, you almost feel like you deserve one of these,” Dickinson said. “But that’s the way basketball goes. Today, they just made a couple more plays than we did.”
Thompson broke the tie on his first shot in overtime, Jackson-Davis followed that with two free throws and Kopp knocked down a long jumper with his foot on the 3-point line to make it 75-69 with 2:22 left.
Indiana didn’t score again but all Michigan could muster was one 3 from Dickinson and Bufkin’s single free throw – he missed the second intentionally – with 6 seconds to go before the Hoosiers forced a turnover on Michigan’s final possession to seal the win, followed by Jackson-Davis’ farewell speech.
“I thought everybody was making plays and the two steals Race made at the end were the two biggest plays of the game,” Woodson said. “But I can’t say enough about Trayce Jackson-Davis. He’s had a stellar, stellar career here, but he still has a lot of basketball left.”
Thompson had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Schifino-Hood added 13 points.
Michigan: The Wolverines seemed to be closing the regular season strong. Then came this week. After winning six of their previous eight, they lost Thursday in double overtime at Illinois and now in overtime at Indiana. They may need another win or two to solidify an NCAA Tournament bid.
Indiana: Woodson called Tuesday’s 90-68 home loss to Iowa, Indiana’s most lopsided in years, the worst day of the season for his team. The Hoosiers bounced back Sunday. When they rebound and play defense the way they did down the stretch, they’re tough to beat. More teams may find out over the next two weeks.
Yes, the most recent victory should help Indiana recover some momentum in the poll after an embarrassing loss to Iowa. But it won’t be completely forgotten. Expect the Hoosiers to slip a few spots Monday.
Kopp joined the record-breaking club at tip-off when he appeared in his 99th Big Ten game, breaking a tie with Jordan Bohannon of Iowa and Trent Frazier of Illinois for the most in league history. He also tied Butler guard Eric Hunter Jr. for the most all-time conference games in Division I history. Hunter played previously at Purdue.
Michigan: Will wait to find out Thursday’s matchup in Chicago.
Indiana: Will find out their seeding and opponent on Friday later.
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