Indiana shrugs off slow start to thrash Miami | Indiana University Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — True or false, when you’re the No. 12 team in the country, just winning is the minimum standard.

Indiana managed in the first half in the style point test against a young team from Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks didn’t beat a Division I opponent, but held out against a Hoosiers team that hadn’t gotten started.

It’s also true though, when you’re the No. 12 team in the country patience is usually required as superior talent almost always comes out in the wash.

That’s how it went for Indiana on Sunday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Hoosiers finished the first half on an 11-0 run and were safe in the second half en route to an 86-56 win in Indiana’s first three-game competition, the Hoosier Classic.

Trayce Jackson-Davis was Mr. Reliable again for the Hoosiers with 17 points and 16 rebounds. It was an even performance everywhere else in the rating column. Jalen Hood-Schifino had 12 points and seven other Hoosiers had at least seven points.

“I thought it was a great job on our part to handle the short turnaround,” said Indiana coach Mike Woodson, referring to the 48-hour gap between Sunday’s game and the 81-79 win Hoosiers at Xavier on Friday.

“The way the schedule is set up, it’s set up like playing at a tournament. I think that’s good for us,” Woodson added.

The numbers were all looking good in a game that turned into the defeat everyone expected, but the Hoosiers struggled through a sluggish game in the first half.

Indiana (4-0) also played without substitute Trey Galloway, who was an important cog from the bench.

“He just has a crush. He twisted his knee the other night and we were careful to make sure he was okay,” Woodson said.

Given Xavier’s brief turn to Miami, perhaps fatigue played a role in a slow start for Indiana. Though Indiana started with a 6-0 lead, the Hoosiers faltered and Miami eventually led through the less than 12-minute media break.

“The preparation is enormous when it comes to a short processing time. You see it in the NCAA tournament, so it’s huge to experience it now,” said Indiana guard Miller Kopp.

The rescue of the Hoosiers? Indiana rarely let Miami (1-4) get into any rhythm. Miami made just 26.5% of its shots in the first half, even though six of the nine shots the RedHawks made were 3-pointers.

With only a 21-20 lead and 7:43 left at halftime, the Hoosiers began to unravel as they effectively shared the ball. Malik Reneau fed Jackson-Davis and Tamar Bates for a pair of buckets, and then CJ Gunn found Jackson-Davis, who converted a traditional three-point play to make it 28-20.

The gap was six with 2:53 at the half, but the Hoosiers finished strongly. Two of the three field goals Indiana scored in the 11-0 halftime run came from second-chance opportunities the far more athletic Hoosiers got against the comparatively static RedHawks. Indiana’s halftime lead increased to 43-26.

The second half was not a competition. Indiana gasped with a 16-8 run to start the halftime.

“Once everyone understands what they’re doing and gets into the game, our defense is relentless, so we think it just keeps getting better as the game progresses,” Kopp said.

Game 2 of the Hoosier Classic takes place on Wednesday at 6:30pm when Little Rock visits Simon Skjodt’s Gathering Hall. The final game will be on Friday when Jackson State stops by Bloomington to attend the event for the second straight year.