Trayce Jackson-Davis did it all with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five assists as Indiana defeated 13th seeded Kent State 71-60 on Friday night to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.
The 4th seeded Hoosiers (23-11) advanced to play 5th seeded Miami Sunday for a trip to Kansas City for the Midwest Region Semifinals.
Jackson-Davis became the first player since blocks became an official NCAA statistic in 1985-86, according to OptaSTATS, to have at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and five assists in an NCAA tournament game.
The final of 32 first-round games was played in front of mostly Indiana fans, and her team pulled off a dramaless win to cap an already good day. Previously, Hoosiers rival Purdue became the second No. 1 seed in tournament history, losing to a 16 seed when Fairleigh Dickinson drew the stunner in Columbus, Ohio.
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The Mid-American Conference champions from Kent State couldn’t muster that magic, shooting 32% from the field. Sincere Carry scored 15 points and led the Golden Flashes (28-7) who had six straight wins prior to the tournament.
Well past midnight, Jackson-Davis gave MVP Arena a jolt with six spectacular points in a row in the second half. The run started with a one-handed dunk that flew down the lane. A smooth baseline drive followed next, followed by a spinning layup to make it 62-50 with 7:39 to go.
Race Thompson had a season-high 20 points for the Hoosiers in 8-of-11 shooting.
The Hoosiers were 35-27 at halftime when Thompson took advantage of a Kent State defense that was working hard to limit Jackson-Davis. Thompson scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
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Meanwhile, Jackson-Davis made his presence felt with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks, including a chase for Jalen Sullinger’s layup in the final seconds of halftime.
Kent State: The last NCAA win was in 2002 when the Golden Flashes made a surprise run on the Elite Eight before being eliminated by Indiana.
Indiana: The Hoosiers played star freshman Jalen Hood Schifino on a quiet night, who scored eight points while dealing with foul troubles.
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Indiana: The Hoosiers played the Hurricanes once, losing 58-53 in December 2001 in Miami.
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