Indiana and Texas Southern kick off NCAA Tournament with first four wins | 2022 NCAA Tournament
Trayce Jackson-Davis had 29 points and nine rebounds, Jordan Geromino scored a career-high 15 points, and Indiana beat turnover-prone Wyoming 66-58 in a first-four game Tuesday evening.
Indiana (21-13) won an overall bid after a strong performance in the Big Ten Tournament, returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 in its first season under coach Mike Woodson. The Hoosiers are the 12th seed in the East and will face fifth-seeded St Mary’s on Thursday.
With the crowd at the University of Dayton Arena steeply slanted — Bloomington, Indiana, is less than three hours away — the Hoosiers took a 10-point lead with less than two minutes left in the game.
Wyoming’s Drake Jeffries hit a pair of foul shots to get the Cowboys inside the six with 14 seconds left. But Jeffries had to foul Indiana’s Xavier Johnson, who hit a pair from the boards to put it out of reach.
Hunter Maldonado led the Cowboys (25-9) with 21 points but turned the ball over 10 times. Graham Ike had 17 to accompany and nine rebounds. The Cowboys had 19 turnovers leading to 17 Indiana points.
Both teams were shooting from the outside from the start, but not much was falling. Indiana led 30-25 at halftime despite shooting just 32 percent and going 1-of-8 from three-pointers.
The Cowboys couldn’t keep the handle, turning the ball over 13 times in the first half, including seven by Maldonado. Wyoming didn’t shoot much better at halftime either, at just 39%.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 67-76 Texas Southern
Bryson Etienne scored 21 points and Texas Southern beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 76-67 Tuesday night in the First Four.
The Tigers earned their third NCAA Tournament win in five seasons and will face top-seeded Kansas in the Midwest First Round.
“I feel like anyone can go to any big school,” Etienne said. “We are men like them. We put on our shoes like them, pants, shirt. It’s March Madness, so madness can happen.
PJ Henry hit a free kick to highlight a 7-0 run in which Texas Southern (19-12) took the lead and never gave up. He finished with 14 points and shot 10 of 13 from the free throw line.
“One of the things we talked about was playing extremely hard every second, every game,” Texas Southern coach Johnny Jones said. “It took that against this team to be able to complete the stretch.”
John Walker III added 16 points. Brison Gresham grabbed 13 rebounds and scored six points as the top four returned to the University of Dayton Arena for the first time in three seasons.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-12) led by as much as eight points in the first period and four in the second. The Islanders’ season ended after winning the Southland Conference Tournament on Saturday.
“We weren’t going to be able to finish things on the rim because they have really good shot blockers,” Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Steve Lutz said. “Sometimes we did, but sometimes we really didn’t make good decisions on the rim.”
Trevian Tennyson led the Islanders with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting while Simeon Fryer scored 12 and Terrion Murdix added 10.
The Tigers led 32-30 at halftime after trailing for more than 10 minutes in the first half. Both teams shot below 40% from the field in the opening period, combining 15 turnovers and seven interceptions.