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Indiana locks in on defense, cruises past Merrimack

Sportsnaut
Dec 12, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Tamar Bates (53) looks to pass the ball while Merrimack College Warriors guard Mikey Watkins (5) defends  in the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Tamar Bates (53) looks to pass the ball while Merrimack College Warriors guard Mikey Watkins (5) defends in the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 16 points and nine rebounds to lift Indiana to an 81-49 win over Merrimack on Sunday in Bloomington, Ind.

Race Thompson added 14 points for the Hoosiers (8-2), who bounced back from blowing a 22-point lead in a 64-59 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin earlier in the week. Jordan Geronimo posted his first career double-double off the bench with a career-high 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Indiana turned up the defense in the second half, holding Merrimack to just 24 percent shooting and 19 points in the final 20 minutes. Up 44-36, Indiana put the game away with a 13-0 run, capped by a dunk from Jackson-Davis that extended the Indiana lead to 57-36 with 12:15 remaining.

From there, Indiana emptied its bench. The Hoosiers outscored Merrimack 34-8 in bench points.

Jordan Minor led Merrimack (4-8) with 13 points. Ziggy Reid and Malik Edmead each added 11 points for the Warriors.

Jackson-Davis scored 12 points in the first half, allowing Indiana to jump to a 36-30 halftime lead. Indiana was able to get the ball inside against Merrimack’s zone, outscoring Merrimack 34-8 in points in the paint.

The Hoosiers led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but with Indiana up 25-15, Merrimack went on an 8-0 run, cutting its deficit to 25-23 on a 3-pointer from Edmead.

A transition dunk by Jackson-Davis put Indiana back up 36-26, but the Warriors scored the final four points of the half, with a jumper by Reid and a tip-in rebound by Minor at the first-half buzzer to trim it to 36-30 at the break.

The Hoosiers shot 51.9 percent as a team (27 of 52) and outrebounded the Warriors 54-16.

Indiana’s next game comes Saturday against Notre Dame on a neutral court in Indianapolis.

–Field Level Media