BLOOMINGTON – IU logged its sixth-straight win Saturday night, in a come-from-behind 90-79 win over Marshall.
Here are three reasons why the Hoosiers secured just their third 6-0 start in 10 years:
TJD keeps IU afloat
The Hoosiers struggled enormously defending the ball in the first half. Possession after possession, Marshall players drove at — and too often past — Indiana defenders to the tune of 42 first-half points, an average of 1.14 points per possession. The Thundering Herd scored 15 bench points, 28 points in the paint and 11 points off nine IU turnovers.
Indiana’s saving grace was its most familiar face.
Love celebrating with my brothers ❤️ pic.twitter.com/gr6shhUq2f
— TJD (@TrayceJackson) November 28, 2021
Trayce Jackson-Davis exploded in the first half, dominating post defenders and spinning around single coverage down low. He scored 22 points in 17 minutes on just 14 field goal attempts. He played a significant role in stopping the 17-0 Marshall run that threatened to sink the Hoosiers in the first half, and gave his team an anchor around which it could erase a 12-point deficit.
The Hoosiers do not survive the first 20 minutes without their All-American.
Turnovers and pace
Unlike some of the other buy-game opponents Indiana has brought to Assembly Hall across the season’s first month, Marshall was happy to run with the Hoosiers whenever the opportunity presented itself. And that caused an IU team still working through its share of offensive problems considerable difficulty.
An increased pace sped the Hoosiers up, leading to rushed possessions, which in turn led to turnovers. A team that has had so much success winning with defense in the early part of the season got pulled into a track meet it wasn’t always equipped for, and it showed. Even after Indiana erased Marshall’s double-digit lead and built one of its own, the Thundering Herd refused to go away.
Experienced hands like Jackson-Davis, Xavier Johnson and Parker Stewart gave the Hoosiers a steadying presence. But overall, Indiana found itself too sped up and therefore too prone to mistakes Saturday night, a valuable lesson as the schedule turns harder.
TJD brings it home
He would get the record, his last points coming on an uncontested windmill dunk as the last minute of the game ticked down.
Jackson-Davis was at the center of everything, but he was the fulcrum of an offense that wouldn’t have been capable of giving him the room for those points a year ago, of hitting 8-of-15 3s, of scoring like it did, how it did, when it did.
Defense has been Indiana’s calling card so far this season. On Saturday night, the Hoosiers paired that to some impressive and improved offense. And got the W.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: 3 reasons Indiana basketball beat Marshall: Trayce Jackson-Davis stars