Local Sports Headlines: February 7, 2023

#18 Indiana Men’s Basketball host #24 Rutgers looking to snap losing skid to the Scarlet Knights Indiana University continues its 123rd season of competition in men’s basketball with an opportunity to avenge its first loss of the Big Ten slate this season against Rutgers at 6:30pm tonight at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The game will be broadcast on BTN.  The Indiana men’s basketball program will wear their “Honoring Black Excellence” symbolic uniforms. The floral design will prominently feature the Indiana state flower, the peony, as a symbolic representation of giving someone their flower, an expression that represents showing someone how much they are appreciated and cherished.  The Hoosiers traveled to Piscataway on Dec. 3 as the No. 10-ranked team in the country and left with a 63-48 loss at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The Big Ten-opening loss marked the first of the 2022-23 season for the Hoosiers. Fifth-year senior forward Miller Kopp matched his career high with five made 3-point shots. He tallied a team-high 21 points to go along with three rebounds in the loss. Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He added a team-high four blocks.  Indiana claimed the first six games of the series with Rutgers, including the first five as Big Ten foes. However, since the 2018 Big Ten Tournament, the Scarlet Knights have won eight of the last nine matchups against the Hoosiers. RU has won six-straight games in the series over IU.
Indiana toppled No. 1/1 Purdue by a score of 79-74 in front of a raucous 17,222 fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday. The victory marked the eighth in program history against the top-ranked team in the country. Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers to victory with 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocked shots. He became the first player since Marcus Camby (11/28/1995) to post at least 25 points and five blocked shots in a victory over the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino scored 16 points to go along with four assists and two steals. He scored four points in the final 30 matches of the game to secure the victory. Trey Galloway tallied 11 points and three steals for the Hoosiers in the game. Indiana snapped Purdue’s streak of 24-straight games holding opponents under 70 points. IU’s 79 points were the most scored by a Purdue opponent this season.

The Scarlet Knights, led by seventh-year head coach Steve Pikiell, enter the matchup with a 16-7 record and a 7-4 mark in B1G play. Rutgers has been propelled by an outstanding defense. The Scarlet Knights are 16-1 when holding its opponent to 65 or fewer points and 8-0 when doing so in Big Ten games. Rutgers has allowed 65 points or fewer in all but 3 games this year.  Senior point guard Paul Mulcahy came on in the second half to lead Rutgers to a 61-55 victory over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Mulcahy scored eight of the Scarlet Knights’ last 15 points to help secure the win. The guard finished with 17 points, three assists and two rebounds. Mulcahy added three steals and shot 4-for-7 from the field. The RU defense held the Spartans to a season-low 55 points. 

Indiana University Women’s Basketball ranked #2 for the first time in school history   Indiana women’s basketball has earned its highest ranking in program history at No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll in Week 14. South Carolina still remains the beast, not to be confused with ‘best’, at No. 1 with a 23-0 record as the Hoosiers inched their way up from No. 4 to the second-best team in the nation with wins against Minnesota and Purdue this week.

Big Ten foe Iowa also moved up a spot to No. 5 as the Hoosiers look forward to hosting the Hawkeyes on Thursday as the winner will lead the Big Ten standings. Maryland stayed put at No. 8 despite a blowout 90-54 win versus Ohio State on Sunday. With that as its fourth loss of the season, the Buckeyes dropped down three spots to No. 13 as Michigan passed them for No. 12 moving up six spots.

Trayce Jackson-Davis earns third straight Big Ten player of the week award Indiana senior forward Trayce-Jackson-Davis Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday. Jackson-Davis joins Purdue’s Zach Edey as the only players to earn Player of the Week honors in three-straight weeks this season. The honor is the sixth of TJD’s career, tying him for the most all time by a Hoosier player. Calbert Cheaney and Steve Alford also won Player of the Week on six occasions, while Alan Henderson and D.J. White claimed five awards. White was named Player of the Week four times his senior season, the most by an IU player in a single season.
The Center Grove product averaged 21.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game on 50.0% shooting from the floor and 78.6% from the free throw line over the week’s two games. To open the week, Jackson-Davis posted 18 points and 20 rebounds against Maryland. His 20-rebound effort set a Xfinity Center record. Against the No. 1/1 Purdue Boilermakers, TJD posted 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocked shots in Indiana’s 79-74 victory. He became the first player to produce at least 25 points and five blocks in a win over the AP No. 1 team since Marcus Camby had 32 points and 5 blocks in UMass’ win over Kentucky on November 28, 1995.  

Indiana University Football player Cam Jones shines at the Senior Bowl Former Indiana linebacker Cam Jones had a big day in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama. Jones totaled seven tackles (five solo), a tackle for loss and a pass break up as his National Team won the game 27-10 over the American team. The Senior Bowl is the premier college football all-star game and gives players a chance to work with NFL coaches for a week as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft. Jones was the first Hoosier since long snapper Dan Godsil (2019) to play in the game.

Jones missed the final seven games of IU’s season with a foot injury. He finished with 54 tackles with three tackles for loss and a sack in five games in 2023. One of the biggest advantages of playing in the Senior Bowl is the time that players get to spend in front of NFL coaches and executives. It is basically a weeklong job interview and Jones took full advantage of it. Jones had the opportunity to meet with all 32 NFL teams and go up against some of the best seniors in college football. It is an experience he will learn from and remember as he gets ready for the NFL Combine in March. The 2023 NFL Draft will be held in Kansas City between April 27th and 29th.

Purdue Men’s Basketball remains #1 as Indiana moves to #18 after win over the #1 Boilers Last Saturday Purdue remained atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll despite suffering a loss to Indiana. The Boilermakers earned 38 of 62 first-place votes in the poll released Monday to remain at No. 1 for a third straight week and seventh time this season. Purdue was the unanimous choice last week before falling at Indiana over the weekend for only its second loss this season. The Hoosiers moved up three spots from No. 21 to No. 18. Houston rose to No. 2 with 22 first-place votes, followed by Alabama, Arizona and Texas to round out the top tier. The Longhorns jumped five spots for the week’s biggest climb.

Tennessee fell four spots to No. 6, followed by UCLA, Virginia, Kansas and Marquette — with Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles cracking the top 10 for the first time since 2019. That also marked the last time North Carolina State landed in the AP Top 25, spending a six-week stint there during the 2018-19 season. But N.C. State’s 19 wins already have surpassed the total for each of the last two seasons and have the Wolfpack in contention for the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2018. Creighton and Rutgers joined N.C. State as this week’s new additions to the poll, though both were ranked earlier this season. The Bluejays were No. 9 in the preseason poll and peaked at No. 7 before falling out by mid-December, while the Scarlet Knights spent a week at No. 23 in mid-January.

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