IU pulls out first conference win, 87-85, over PSU in overtime

Indiana broke the ice on conference season Wednesday with an 87-85 overtime win over Penn State.

After two losses to open Big Ten play, the Hoosiers (6-4, 1-2) were able to squeak out a win via a pull-up jumper from Rob Phinisee with 12 seconds left and a defensive stop on the other end.

“To say the least, we’re very excited to get the two-game losing streak off our mind,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “Especially when you’re in this league, it weighs on you. It’s so daunting with what’s ahead. Nobody had more respect for Penn State than me.”

Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 21 points, while guards Al Durham, 18 points, and Armaan Franklin, 16, helped balance the effort. Freshman Trey Galloway was also able to produce 10 points and five assists to just one turnover.

IU hit 32-of-56 from the field on the night, outpacing a Penn State team (3-4) that connected on 47.7 percent of its shots, including 12-of-28 from 3-point range.

“We’re going to have to buckle down,” Miller said. “We’re just not going to be able to score 87 points a game, we know that. We give up 85 tonight, that’s one downer.”

Offensively, the Hoosiers were effective thanks to standout efforts from their veteran guards, Durham and Phinisee. There were times in the first half where the Hoosiers’ zone offense was slow to process what was in front of them, committing seven turnovers to six assists. Penn State had six steals.

But ball movement was better late in the second half – including getting the ball inside to Jackson-Davis – and IU went into the half hitting six of its last seven shots. Two of those were 3s from Durham, as well as a couple of late buckets from Jackson-Davis.

Durham led the Hoosiers at half with 12 points, while Jackson-Davis, who had just two shot attempts in the first 15 minutes, went into half with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.

Galloway had four points, but he was one of the Hoosiers’ better creators with three assists.

“He’s fearless in terms of putting the ball on the floor,” Miller said.

IU led 38-33, benefitting from 13-of-24 shooting from the field. The Hoosiers were 9-of-12 from the free throw line, including two misses by Race Thompson just before half.

The Lions just kept hitting 3s in the second half, including one from Seth Lundy to make it 43-41. IU pushed it back to 47-41 on a driving layup by Galloway, but Izaiah Brockington scored a quick five points to cut it to one. After two Franklin free throws, Brockington hit a 3 to tie it up at 49-all.

PSU just wasn’t going away, but the Hoosiers were able to string together some shots over a 13-1 run to build a 66-54 cushion with under 10 minutes left. That stretch included successive 3s from Durham, Phinsee, and Durham again.

“You can’t get down because we lost two,” Durham said. “We had to have a next-game mentality.”

IU was just more on the attack, including a baseline drive from Galloway to kick for Phinisee’s 3. Phinisee also had a drive and a pullup jumper, way more active on the offensive end than he has been in recent games.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to win, come off the bench, start,” Phinisee said. “I’m just going to keep playing aggressive.”

But the Lions would close again. PSU’s 10-2 run, capped by another 3 from Brockington, closed it to 68-64 with 6:40 left. IU pushed it back to 75-66, but PSU closed, again, with another 10-2 run. This one was punctuated by a 3 from Sam Sessoms.

It was 79-78, IU, when Phinisee was able to tie up Sessoms on a drive, giving possession back to the Hoosiers with 1:06 left. IU went inside to its best player, Jackson-Davis, for a drive, but he came up empty. Sessoms was able to hit a step-back jumper on the other end to put PSU ahead, 80-79, with 28 seconds left.

Jackson-Davis was fouled on the other end, hitting one of two at the line, to force overtime.

Down 83-82 with 1:03 left in the overtime period, the Hoosiers went back to Jackson-Davis, who barreled inside for an and-1 basket. He hit the free throw, making it 85-83, IU. Jamari Wheeler tied it back up with two free throws of his own.

On the next possession, Phinisee hit a pull-up jumper late in the shot clock, giving the Hoosiers an 87-85 edge with 12 seconds left.

At the end of the players’ press conference, Durham ended it by screaming, “Big Shot Rob, man. Remember the name!”


  1. Kudos to Phinisee & Durham for pulling this one out of a potential dumpster fire. I’ve been super disappointed in these 2 & they came through.

    Experienced guards are needed in this league to win. It has always been that way in my lifetime. Without experienced guards playing well & calming the storm, you will lose. And that is what happened @ Illinois & vs. NW.

    I hope these guys step it up & that this was the catalyst. They deserve some love for winning this game.

  2. Is it just me….or do we look like a very average team barely pulling a game out against another very average team?
    Maybe all the fun of watching sports has simply been zapped by the absence of fans in the stands? Man, it’s just painful to watch some of these scrimmages being referred to as “games.” Even more painful to listen to the terrible BTN crews during games and postgames.
    With all the time they spent obsessing over one bad crucial call/foul going in our favor, I began to wonder if they’ve ever watched a game played at Mackey in their lifetimes…?

    It’s not sports like this…It’s just coaches and ESPN execs still getting their paychecks. It’s obscene to have done this to sports so identified with fervid fan participation. Where are the FLAGGGGGGS!…? Zombie sports. It’s “the show must go on” with no show. It’s sacrilegious to hear Don Fischer’s voice during any of this and pipe it through the airwaves as normal.
    There are no heroes or big shots when it’s a scrimmage…It’s the shot in front of the crowd and their collective 30,000 eyes of judgement atop deafening levels of noise which makes for heroes.

    Without the crowd, every shot is a zero.

  3. Will Parker Stewart get to play this year? I’ve yet to see anything on the pages of Scoop saying he’s immediately eligible. Jeremy…?

  4. Beating Penn State by 2 in overtime @ IU’s own gym is hardly a win. Lol.

    IU coach, players and program are just to satisfied even if they beat peep squeak U in five overtime’s in there own gym.

    There is just no grand self image in IU men’s basketball program.

  5. The Phinisee shot was a great shot from an awful offensive possession. The Hoosier were very fortunate.

  6. I hate the plays that Coach Miller runs after timeouts at the end of play. Do nothing until 8 seconds, then try to penetrate the lane to pass to Trayce. We are terrible at offense normally. So why not get practice running your offense, draw up a number of plays for open shots, and have multiple options?

  7. Hey, we made some free throws, but otherwise it was an underwhelming victory. How long before our FB team plays?

  8. It’s tough for the sport writers to try put a positive spin on a mediocre I U Basketball Men’s Team. The team’s back up big man is lost for the season, due to back surgery. so that a new reason for poor performance. I wonder if Coach Miller needs to search for players without a geographic location, he hasn’t gotten his Indiana Mr. Basketball player into the rotation, Evansville’s 5 star is still on training wheels, just a thought. Po, let’s all hope the I U Football wins Saturday, otherwise a long winter for I U Men’s teams.

  9. This was absolutely a W. I don’t care who it was the competition, home court or OT status. Adversity makes you or can break you. This team did not fail in the face of adversity last night against a team of good shooters. Very few poor shot selections by the Hoosiers and they shot a good % because of it. That’s what Coach Miller’s offensive scheme strives to attain. I don’t view the early losses as terrible performances. The thing that does give me some concern is PSU stayed in the game with strong rebounding. I expect AF and Galloway will put more focus toward the glass. They doing everything else no reason they can’t do more there.

    1. I agree with you HC. Long shots beget long rebounds, many of which simply bounced over our heads. We won this game despite them hitting 12 3’s vs. our 6 & we killed them from close range.

      Penn St. is no slouch. Only prior losses were to Seton Hall in OT, @ Michigan and blown out in the 2nd half by Illinois. They completely dismantled a pretty good Va Tech team who was ranked 15th at the time and is #40 in the KenPom rankings. PSU is #50. NW is #54 and climbing rapidly. 10 Big Ten teams in the Top 40, 13 in the Top 50. Every single night is going to be a grind.

      Take a win and let’s move on. Up next Maryland, #38 in KenPom.

      I wish our guards were simply better feeding the post. I’ve been saying this for years. What ever happened to the bounce entry pass to the leading hand of a good post player. TJD is a damn good post player & he needs to touch the ball always.

  10. ALL NCAA tournament games to be held in Indiana, including Bloomington. Be a good year for IU bb to get their game on. I wish.

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