Indiana completed its largest comeback in a game since 1998. Was it the comeback that saved a season? Only time will tell, but it was a game fans will remember for a long time.
A back and forth first half quickly turned into a double-digit Ohio State lead when Indiana went to the bench midway through the first stanza. The Buckeyes led 42-29 at the break, and stretched their advantage to 49-31 with 17 minutes remaining. But that’s when everything changed. Indiana outscored Ohio State 45-24 the rest of the game, including 23-8 in the final 7:42.
Let’s take a deeper look at how IU won 76-73 with another edition of The Report Card.
Indiana (14-9, 6-6) will next travel to Purdue for a Saturday evening matchup.
With just 16 points through the first 13 minutes of the game, Indiana had nothing going on the offensive end early. They still had just 31 points 23 minutes into the game when Trey Galloway decided to take over. He scored nine points in four minutes to ignite the rally.
The Hoosiers caught a bit of a break at the 14:21 mark of the second half when Ohio State’s Felix Okpara picked up his fourth foul. That’s when Malik Reneau hit turbo, with 11 points over the next six minutes.
The Galloway/Reneau duo scored 35 of IU’s 47 second half points. As a team, the Hoosiers shot 55 percent from the field in the second half, 67 percent (4-of-6) from three, and 11-of-14 from the free throw line. After an eight turnover first half, Indiana had just three after the break, against eight assists. IU also crashed the second half glass, with seven offensive rebounds and 11 second chance points. It all translated to 1.57 points per possession after the break.
IU would score 45 points over the final 17 minutes after the sluggish start. The defense helped the cause, forcing seven OSU second half turnovers that led to 10 points for the Hoosiers.
For the game, Indiana’s 55.4 percent free throw attempt rate (FTA/FGA) was their highest in a Big Ten game this season. That highlights their aggressive approach. They made 21-of-31 free throws (67 percent) on the night.
Indiana stepped up its game in the second half, and especially in crunch time. After allowing the Buckeyes 65 points over the first 32:18, OSU scored just eight in the final 7:42.
“Our defense was solid in the second half,” IU coach Mike Woodson said. “To hold this team to 31 points in the second half, that was the difference in getting back into the ball game.”
Indiana’s offense put the defense in binds with eight first half turnovers that led to 16 Ohio State points going the other way. The Buckeyes also got Kel’el Ware in foul trouble. He sat for the final 9:22 of the half with two fouls, which took away IU’s rim protection and turned out to be a questionable decision by Woodson. OSU outscored Indiana 22-14 the rest of the first half. OSU also picked on freshman guard Gabe Cupps at times, who struggled to guard their bigger and more experienced backcourt. He got in foul trouble as well.
But with Ware on the floor in the second half and an overall tighter rotation, the tide turned.
One major reason Indiana was able to rally — the Hoosiers kept Ohio State off the offensive glass. The Buckeyes grabbed 22 offensive boards in the first meeting, but just seven on Tuesday evening.
Overall Indiana held OSU to 1.04 points per possession. Some of that was a byproduct of a 24-of-27 day at the line by Ohio State. Obviously the fouls were within IU’s control, but not the 89 percent rate from the line. Ohio State’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was the third-highest Indiana has allowed all season.
After allowing Penn State to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 68.5 percent, IU held the Buckeyes on the road to 46.2. OSU was just 5-of-17 from three.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Indiana’s resolve finally pays off with win over Ohio State
- “I trust him, he trusts me” — long time teammates connect for game-winner
- Watch: Galloway, Reneau and Leal discuss win over Ohio State
- Watch: IU basketball coach Mike Woodson discusses win over Ohio State
- IU basketball: Indiana 76 Ohio State 73 — Three keys, highlights, final stats
*Trey Galloway (A) For several games we’ve written Galloway did everything but make shots. This is what it looks like for Indiana when the shots fall. He did everything for the Hoosiers on both ends — facilitated, rebounded, defended. This was an elite effort.
*Mackenzie Mgbako (C) Mgbako continues to struggle with offensive efficiency. And he had his share of defensive mistakes, especially in the first half. But he also had plenty of positive contributions on both ends, and his presence helps spread the floor for IU’s offense.
*Malik Reneau (A) Even as Reneau picked up a technical foul, you may have found yourself nodding your head in approval. He is a competitor. He wants to win. He’s passionate. That may not always manifest in productive ways, but his 26 points and career high 14 rebounds were certainly quite positive. His footwork on the block continues to expand.
*Kel’el Ware (C) What a strange game for Ware, who scored off the opening tip and then only produced four more points from there and had just one rebound. He’s not always the same player when going up against fellow big men who can operate in his rare air, but IU was better with him on the floor, because his presence alone makes an impact.
*Gabe Cupps (C) Cupps is being targeted by opposing offenses and that has led to foul trouble. He was better facilitating the offense in this game, but he needs to stay on balance when shooting jump shots off the dribble.
Anthony Leal (A) He’ll be remembered for making the game-winning three, but Leal did so much more in this game. He was tough, physical, aggressive and smart on the defensive end, and he rebounded at a high rate. He’s making a case to enter the starting lineup.
C.J. Gunn (D) Gunn appeared sped up on the offensive end and had two turnovers in just seven minutes. He did deliver a steal on defense.
Anthony Walker (B) Walker has seen his role reduced recently, but he gave Indiana some positive contributions.
Payton Sparks also appeared in the game.
Kaleb Banks did not play, coach’s decision.
Xavier Johnson (elbow) was out. Jakai Newton (knee) is out long-term.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”