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No. 18 Indiana keeps Kennesaw State at bay

Dec 23, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers forward Race Thompson (25) passes the ball around Kennesaw State Owls guard Terrell Burden (1) during the first half at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Tamar Bates scored 19 points and Jalen Hood-Schifino chipped in 18 points Friday as No. 18 Indiana pulled away for a 69-55 home win over Kennesaw State in nonleague action from Bloomington, Ind.

Race Thompson pulled down 14 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Hoosiers (10-3), who continued to play without their two top players in Trayce Jackson-Davis (precautionary reasons) and Xavier Johnson (foot).

Starting in place of Johnson, Hood-Schifino registered a career high in scoring for the second straight game. The freshman guard went 6 of 8 from the field to help Indiana shoot 50 percent from the floor as a team.

The Owls (8-5) stayed close behind with 40 percent 3-point shooting, although they shot just 8 of 30 (26.7 percent) from 2-point range and were outrebounded 40-28.

Kasen Jennings led Kennesaw State with 11 points. Demond Robinson and Terrell Burden contributed nine points apiece, while Simeon Cottle had eight in a losing effort.

Kennesaw State trailed 34-31 early in the second half before Jennings, Chris Youngblood and Cottle each made a 3-pointer in a span of just over two minutes. However, Indiana promptly responded with a 13-3 run — highlighted by three 3-pointers by Bates — to surge ahead 49-43 with under nine minutes left.

The Owls were still within four points with under six minutes to go when Miller Kopp’s jumper ignited a 7-2 burst. Trey Galloway added a layup and a free throw later in the run before Hood-Schifino’s layup made it 62-53 with 2:34 remaining.

Hood-Schifino added three foul shots in the final two minutes before Bates iced the game with a jumper and two free throws. The Hoosiers have won back-to-back games following a stretch of three losses in four games.

Indiana ended the first half on a 12-5 run to forge a 27-27 tie after 20 minutes. Galloway made two 3-pointers during that sequence — the Hoosiers’ only two treys of the first half.

Jennings led all first-half scorers with eight points.

–Field Level Media