They had their chances.
IU and Florida State played hard on both ends and put together a highly entertaining game on Wednesday night in Tallahassee.
But someone had to lose, and for the Hoosiers, this one will sting for a while.
IU suffered their second defeat of the season, 69-67 in overtime.
Indiana (3-2) will next face North Alabama on Sunday at Noon ET in Bloomington.
This game was nip and tuck throughout.
Against a good top-20 team on the road, that is exactly where Indiana wanted to be.
“You want to battle, and you want to be right there at the end,” head coach Archie Miller said.
IU fell behind 8-2 early, but Miller called timeout and the Hoosiers responded with an 8-0 run. Things remained tight, especially after halftime.
After Race Thompson made two free throws at the 11:45 mark of the second half, neither team led by more than two points through the end of regulation.
This was a frustrating loss for Indiana, there is no way around it. The Hoosiers allowed four FSU possessions in the final 31 seconds of regulation due to their inability to get defensive rebounds. Those were all lost opportunities to score on the other end and avoid overtime.
Florida State made more plays late, but overall, the Indiana effort was strong.
This doesn’t look like a team where we will continually have to question the tenacity and energy level.
But that isn’t always enough.
“That locker room was vastly different than a lot of locker rooms that I’ve been in here,” Miller said. “That was a very, very upset team. You’re pouring your heart out and you know the things that you stress every day that have to be good for this team to be successful.”
Meet the new Hoosiers….same as the old Hoosiers?
A second watch of the game confirmed that Indiana was playing well on the offensive end — until the moment came to shoot the basketball.
The Hoosiers attacked the FSU pressure and created open looks on the perimeter and one-on-one chances in the paint. Their efforts also created 28 free throw attempts — and IU made a respectable 21 of those opportunities.
“I thought we played with confidence on offense,” Miller said. “I thought we were able to function and get some quality shots.”
IU had 7 turnovers in the first 11 minutes in Tallahassee, but then just 7 more over the last 34 minutes as the guards gained composure as the game wore on.
“I thought we handled most of their pressure pretty well,” Miller said. “Especially midway point of the first half and the second half.”
Part of that story was a change by Florida State.
In the second half the Seminoles actually scaled back their trademark pressure defense and collapsed into the paint in an effort to slow down Trayce Jackson-Davis.
That’s something we’ve seen before with recent vintage IU teams. And it was the problem on Wednesday night.
Everyone not named Jackson-Davis shot 13-of-42 on the night. As a team IU shot just 36.8 percent overall, and 26.7 from three-point range.
You can do a lot of things right — but those shooting numbers will beat you almost every time.
Indiana clearly did enough on the defensive end to win this game.
The Hoosiers held Florida State to just 36.2 percent from the field for the game, forcing FSU to take challenging shots most of the night.
“We made enough stops to have an opportunity to win this game,” Miller said. “We’re hanging our hat right now defensively.”
Indiana made those four stops over the last 31 seconds to force overtime, but it also failed to snare the rebounds that could have given them a final possession.
“If we’re able to control the backboard and get those 50-50s, we’re able to pull this one out,” Miller said.
The Hoosiers did struggle on the defensive end at times with the length of Seminole big man Balsa Koprivica. He tallied 12 points and 8 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action.
With Joey Brunk out and no frontcourt depth, Indiana could struggle with long, back-to-the-basket big men.
OTHER GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score and specialty stats
- Miller, Jackson-Davis post-game
- Rebounding sinks Hoosiers
- Hoosiers can’t close despite monster game from TJD
PLAYER OF THE GAME
This one was easy.
Sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis notched his second double-double of the season and 14th of his career with 25 points and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds.
“He was ready to play,” Miller said. “Games like this you need your best players excited and motivated. It gives everybody confidence. Our guards did a good job of finding him, and he did an unbelievable job of pursuing the ball all night. Trayce was great tonight.”
It was his third career game with at least 25 points and 15 rebounds.
After only averaging 7 rebounds per contest coming into the game, Jackson-Davis was focused on hunting down the ball in this one.
“I was struggling on the boards a lot the last three games,” Jackson-Davis said. “I knew it wouldn’t be as easy for the guards to rebound (against Florida State), so I tried to pick it up in this game.”
He connected on 8-of-15 shots from the floor and 9-of-12 attempts from the free throw line, including a pair of clutch free throws late in the overtime period.
Perhaps most encouraging for Jackson-Davis was how he scored in overtime. The Hoosier big man turned on his left shoulder and attacked right, drawing fouls both times. The book on how to stop Jackson-Davis is clearly to make him go right. If he can continue to do that he will be that much more difficult to defend.
Player of the game tracker: Jackson-Davis (3), Thompson (1), Durham (1).
Note: Redshirt senior center Joey Brunk did not play due to a sore back. The injury at this point appears to be a longer term situation.
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