Trayce and Race Show advance IU to 2nd round as Kent State can’t handle the Bigs of Hoosiers
ALBANY, NY – Friday night turned into Saturday morning before Indiana secured their place in the Round of 32 here in upstate New York thanks to a 71-60 win over Kent State. Trayce Jackson-Davis’ 24 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five assists led.
Here are three reasons why #4 Seed IU moved on:
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Big Ten teams have taken advantage of the Hoosiers’ (23-11) propensity to play two thoroughly great men at times this season, whether it be Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson or a combination of Malik Reneau and Jordan Geronimo the Bank.
Kent State is not in the Big Ten.
The 13th-seeded Golden Flashes tried creative doubles against Jackson-Davis, which was unsurprising given its quality. But their lack of robust secondary post defenders left Thompson feasting in the first half. He scored 13 goals in the first 20 minutes on Friday night, surpassing the space offered by the Jackson-Davis attraction.
Insider:Race Thompson sacrificed so much for IU. He took something back in the Kent State win.
Kent State (28-7) couldn’t help but adapt, which reopened things for the all-American forward from Indiana. A hard finish and four free throws got him 10 at the break. As is his habit, Jackson-Davis added seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the trouble.
Despite some foul problems in the backcourt, the Hoosiers held Sincere Carry and Malique Jacobs off the ground for a combined 5-of-17 in the first half. Kent State snagged too many offensive rebounds, but IU limited turnovers against a team known for forcing them. The higher-seeded team was value for money for their 35-27 halftime lead.
The legacy of TJD?“He really wants to be a player who brings Indiana basketball back.”
Banner night of the race
This hasn’t always been the easiest season for Thompson.
Indiana’s sixth-year forward has been dealing with multiple injuries. Living in Jackson-Davis’ ever-growing shadow, Thompson’s role diminished as Jackson-Davis rose to become the Hoosiers’ MVP.
No one was taller than the Minneapolis native on Friday night. He finished hard around the edge. He fought for rebounds against a scrappy rebounding team. He ate the opportunities presented to him by Kent State’s insistence that Jackson-Davis was not going to win the game.
When he returned to college for a sixth year, this will have been the type of play Thompson described as the main reason for doing so. He excelled on Friday (and Saturday, considering when the game ended). He finished a team-high with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Trayce turns it on
Kent State found a handful of good shots in the second half. After Indiana extended the lead to double digits, timely 3s and a few turnovers let more as the Hoosiers give away in the first half, the Golden Flashes ramping up and getting back into the game.
Each time IU had an answer. Damn almost every time carried answer #23.
Kent State threw everything they could at Jackson-Davis, trying to take the Hoosiers All-American forward out of the game. That opened a window for teammates, several other Indiana players, to score in double digits against a defense that was Kent State’s calling card.
But eventually the Golden Flashes ran out of ideas. Jackson-Davis turned it on, quenching Kent State’s ruffled hopes with a series of impressive post moves, nifty transition baskets and loud slam dunks. Kent State managed to keep the door open for much of the second half, albeit just barely.
When the time came, it was the best player on the floor — perhaps the best player left in the tournament — who slammed it and sent the Hoosiers through to the Round of 32.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.
Indiana 71, 60 Kent St
KENT ST. (28-7): Davis 4-9 0-0 10, Thomas 2-10 1-1 6, Hornbeak 0-2 0-0 0, Carry 5-18 4-4 15, Jacobs 3-11 1-3 8, Sullinger 3-9 0-0 8, Payton 5-10 0-0 10, Gillespie 0-0 2-2 2, Odusipe 0-0 1-2 1, Rollins 0-0 0-0 0. Total 22-69 9-12 60.
INDIANA (23-11): Jackson-Davis 10-17 4-5 24, Kopp 4-9 2-3 13, Thompson 8-11 2-3 20, Galloway 1-3 0-0 2, Hood-Schifino 4-11 0-0 8, Bates 0-6 0-0 0, Reneau 2-4 0-0 4, Geronimo 0-1 0-0 0, Banks 0-0 0-0 0, Leal 0-0 0-0 0. Overall 29- 628-1171.
Halftime – Indiana 35-27. 3-Point Goals_Kent St. 7-21 (Davis 2-4, Sullinger 2-4, Jacobs 1-2, Thomas 1-5, Carry 1-6), Indiana 5-15 (Kopp 3-6, Thompson 2- 3 , Galloway 0-1, Hood-Schifino 0-2, Bates 0-3). Rebounds_Kent St. 36 (Jacobs 9), Indiana 39 (Jackson-Davis 11). Assists_Kent St. 11 (Jacobs 7), Indiana 14 (Jackson-Davis 5). Total fouls_Kent St. 12, Indiana 13.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IU Basketball vs. Kent State: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson Star