BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Xavier Johnson added 14 points Tuesday night to lead Indiana past Eastern Michigan 68-62.
Mike Woodson won his first game as the Hoosiers new coach. Indiana has won 22 of its last 23 season openers, this one without trailing, but the Eagles cut a 20-point deficit to one in the second half.
Noah Farrakhan had 18 points and three 3-pointers to lead Eastern Michigan. Bryce McBride scored 12 points coach Stan Heath’s debut.
The Hoosiers appeared to have it wrapped up when they took a 48-28 lead midway through the second half. But the Eagles answered with a 9-0 spurt to make it 48-37, then went on a 16-3 run to close to 59-58 with 2:46 to play.
But after struggling at the the free-throw line in the final minutes, Indiana rebounded to close it out at the line.
The Hoosiers scored the first 10 points of the game and led 35-19 at halftime.
Eastern Michigan: The second-half was a promising sign for an Eagles offense that struggled most of the game. They needed nearly 7 1/2 minutes to score its first points. But they overcame the poor shooting and costly turnovers to get themselves back in the game. Heath should be happy with the effort.
Indiana: With three new starters, a revamped roster and new philosophies at both ends of the floor, this looked like a completely different team. Yes, the Hoosiers need more offensive consistency to close out wins. But they played tight, strong defense for 40 minutes and that was the difference.
Eastern Michigan: Plays its home opener against Illinois State on Friday.
Indiana: Hosts another Mid-American foe, Northern Illinois, Friday.