Trey Galloway and Tamar Bates didn’t give Indiana much on Sunday. Three days later, they flipped that around.
Galloway and Bates shot a combined 1 for 10, including 0 for 5 from 3-point range, at Rutgers over the weekend. They weren’t the only Hoosiers to struggle in their first loss of the season, but their shooting woes were pronounced.
On Wednesday against Nebraska, the duo finished as IU’s leading scorers in its 81-65 win.
“We didn’t have a good against game Rutgers, honestly. They (Trey and Tamar) obviously took that with a little chip on their shoulder coming into this game,” Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “That’s not how we play basketball, and coach Woodson was telling us before the game we’ve got to get tougher. I think they took that to heart. They played with a chip on their shoulder this game and played with a lot of confidence. That’s what we need from them.”
Galloway, starting again in place of Jalen Hood-Schifino, scored 20 points on a 7-of-10 clip, including 4 for 6 on threes, and added four rebounds.
His confidence was evident throughout the game. His step-back 3-pointer midway through the second half provided the highlight of the game, but it was more than just that. He drove into the lane with conviction, and was Indiana’s biggest playmaker from outside. He was solid defensively as well.
“I have no problems with that kid,” IU head coach Mike Woodson said. “He works his butt off on the floor. In practice he gives you effort. It spills over in the game. Tonight, he was reckless. Defensively he was great, and he made shots, which was nice to see.”
Galloway’s outside shooting has markedly improved this season. After shooting 21.4 percent from beyond the arc last year, he’s at 46.2 percent so far this year (through six games, as he missed two with an injury).
A game like this justified the work he put in on his shot during the offseason.
“I did a lot of time just shooting because I was out with my groin injury, so I couldn’t really move much. A lot of it was just stationery shooting and repetition, the same thing over and over again, and try and shoot it the same way every time. I think just that alone really helped,” Galloway said. “Not changing much, but just doing the things I needed to do to help my shot.”
Bates came off the bench and also enjoyed one of the biggest nights of his IU career. He drained a career-high five 3-pointers on eight attempts, and shot 7 of 12 overall, for 19 points. He was especially good in the second half, going 4 for 5 (all from 3-point range) for 12 points.
When Bates gets into a shooting rhythm, he’s become quite dangerous. He’s shooting 41.9 percent on threes this season, well above his 29.8 percent clip from last year.
The big games from Galloway and Bates were particularly important for IU in this game because of its other primary guards. Hood-Schifino missed his second straight game with a back injury, and Xavier Johnson struggled. Those circumstances leave IU without a consistent playmaker at guard, and Galloway and Bates stepped up when needed here.
Galloway knew they’d be needed in a larger capacity with Hood-Schifino unavailable.
“Obviously with Jalen out it changes a lot of things. He plays a lot of minutes, so we knew we were going to have to step up a little bit and play more minutes. I think all of the guards really did a great job of stepping in there and playing a high role,” Galloway said. “I think with those extended minutes, we’ve got to keep our intensity, the same focus the whole time at the defensive end.”