Jackson-Davis dominates again, Indiana third in a row | ie

BLOOMINGTON β€” As of Sunday afternoon, no one in Indiana history has parried more shots than Trayce Jackson-Davis.

The 2019 Indiana Mr. Basketball beat Michigan State’s five tries at Assembly Hall and propelled him to the top of the IU career list with 227 rejections in the last four seasons with Jeff Newton.

And it probably wasn’t Jackson-Davis’ most impressive performance of the day.

The previous season’s Big Ten Player of the Year scored 31 points, his second straight game over 30, and added 15 rebounds and four assists to help his team to an 82-69 triumph over Michigan State, leading the Hoosiers her longest Big Ten win in Jackson-Davis’ career (three games).

Jackson-Davis has 66 points and blocked eight shots in the last two games.

“You’re looking at a complete player, man, four years he’s done it at a high level,” Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson said of Jackson-Davis.

“You add his rebound, his ability to block shots, his assists, his ability to handle the ball and push it up to initiate the break, I mean there’s nothing the guy on the basketball floor can’t do … He’s a beautiful player to watch and I’m just glad he’s in our ball club, to put it that way.”

Indiana (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) won its third straight win since a three-game losing streak. The Hoosiers got 17 points each from guards Trey Galloway and Tamar Bates, who went 8 to 9 combined from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers went 9 for 15 from deep and 21 of 24 at the free throw line. Jackson-Davis made 11 of 13 foul shots and went 10 for 20 off the field.

Jackson-Davis missed a few short hook shots — “bunnies,” as he called them — in the early stages, part of a 4:39 stretch without a point for IU that saw the Hoosiers miss seven straight and Michigan State ( 13-7 , 5-4) took the lead with a 10-0 run to 17-8.

Indiana later responded in the first half with a 10-0 run of their own, the climax of the spurt being a fast break that saw Bates throw a high-arc outlet at Jackson-Davis, who landed a long-armed one-handed dunk to the head by Joey Hauser of Michigan State and stared down at Hauser after the play. Bates added two free throws less than a minute later to put IU at 26-25 and the Hoosiers was 37-32 at halftime.

The Spartans took a 44-42 lead after a 7-0 run that saw IU’s defense briefly falter and the visitors scored three easy goals on the edge. Teams then traded baskets until a 10-0 string in Indiana with two Bates 3s – both assisted by Jackson-Davis – gave Indiana a 59-51 lead with 10-41 left.

Bates grabbed a career-high five 3-pointers on six tries after going scoreless in 44 minutes in IU’s last two games.

“The way Trayce plays, (Indiana’s guards) knew we had to stay ready to shoot or drive, but more so to be defensively ready because we knew that (Michigan State) played three guards,” said Bates, who added a steal to his state line. β€œOur guards had to be able to make amends for whatever they bring on either end of the floor. We were all definitely ready to go.”

Bates put Indiana in double figures with a 25-foot-3 pointer from the left wing with 6:23 left. Michigan State didn’t get any closer than 10 points down the line.

Hot shooting from Bates and Galloway opened up room for the post for Jackson-Davis, especially after halftime.

“In the second half we shared the ground and that allowed me to go one-on-one,” Jackson-Davis said. “I feel like there is no one in the country who can honestly protect me. So that’s how it is when we shoot and everything clicks. We are a great team and hard to beat.”

Indiana broke 80 points for the 12th time in 19 games this season, after just five times in 35 games last year.

Bates played 27 minutes off the bench because Indiana point guard Jalen Hood-Schifino hobbled slightly after a second-half collision. The five-star rookie sat more than 11 minutes after the injury and finished the field just 1-6 for two points. He played most of the final 3:39.

“It’s all about trust,” Woodson said. β€œTamar, he’s been struggling the last few games and he performed and played tonight. … The trust factor is there. Jalen took a big hit and he was kind of limping around so damn I didn’t think he had a lot in the tank at the time so I rolled with it (Galloway and Bates).”

Six-year-old Indiana forward and captain Race Thompson played four minutes, committed three fouls and made a steal. He had been out since suffering a knee injury against Iowa on Jan. 5.

Notes: Michigan State was without senior Malik Hall (foot, 9.9 points, 4.8 rebounds per game). Also, Spartans guard Tyson Walker, their top scorer with 14.6 points per competition, has been ill for the past two days and it was unclear on Sunday morning if he would be able to play. He had eight points in 4-on-7 shooting. … Starting supervisor Xavier Johnson, whose foot is still in a shoe after his injury on December 17 against Kansas, was absent for Indiana. … Indiana forward Miller Kopp picked up a blatant first-half foul for a blue play against Michigan’s Mady Sissoko. Sissoko took offense and he Kopp had to be separated. “[Sissoko]was clocked pretty well…which I thought was BS,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said of Kopp’s hard foul.

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