Indiana opens Mike Woodson era with tight win over Eastern Michigan
Indiana opened its season with a game that probably felt a little too close for comfort, but a win is a win. The Hoosiers dispatched Eastern Michigan 68-62 Tuesday night in coach Mike Woodson’s first game on the sideline.
Woodson, the 5th-leading scorer in program history and a leader on the Big Ten title-winning team of 1980, was finally unveiled to fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. In doing so, he became the first IU graduate to begin a season as head coach since Lou Watson in 1965, according to the Indiana Daily Student.
As for the competition, the Hoosiers were up big at the half, 36-19, but Eastern Michigan came roaring back in the second half and outscored Indiana 43-32 over the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles trailed 56-42 with 7:21 to play after two free throws from Tamar Bates. Over the next 5 minutes, though, the Eagles were soaring. A 16-3 run made it a 1-point game, 59-58, with 2:47 to play. Eastern Michigan guard Noah Farrakhan had 12 during the spurt. He scored 18 points in the game on 5-of-21 shooting, but he was scoreless in the first half. All of his damage came in the second.
Indiana tightened, though, and was able to build its lead back. Farrakhan missed 3 of his final 4 shots in the last 2 minutes of the game.
Indiana put just two in double-figures scoring—guard Xavier Johnson and forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. Johnson had 14 points in 25 minutes. Jackson-Davis carried the team with a monster performance.
The third-year man had 21 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in 37 minutes. He shot 9-for-14 from the field and got to the free throw line 7 times.
The Hoosiers outscored the Eagles 32-16 in the paint and got 19 points from the bench, but they were dreadful from beyond the arc. As a team, Indiana shot 4-for-24 from 3-point range (17%).
They’re back in action on Friday, Nov. 12, against Northern Illinois. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET.