BLOOMINGTON — Mike Woodson had nearly 40 friends and family members in attendance for his college coaching debut and it did not disappoint.
The IU Hall of Famer led his alma mater to a 68-62 win over Eastern Michigan at Assembly Hall to begin his head coaching tenure and open the Hoosiers’ season.
Center Grove graduate and preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis led all scorers with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Woodson has been preaching defense since he was named Indiana’s head coach and the Hoosiers rose to the occasion, with six blocks and three steals on the night. Indiana also held the Eagles scoreless through the first seven minutes and 21 seconds of the game.
The Hoosiers led by as many as 20 points early in the second half, but Eastern Michigan came storming back, getting within a point with 2:30 to play. Indiana held on through fouls and free throws, keeping them on top.
Woodson’s first win was a memorable one, but he said it was all for his team.
“They found ways to win late,” said Woodson. “We’re trying to learn how to win. After we built the win, we stopped playing the way we got the win.”
Despite the late scare, Woodson was pleased with their play overall.
“We were challenged tonight,” said Woodson. “Our guys did what they needed to do. We’re just trying to get these guys back on top.”
Indiana hosts Northern Illinois on Friday. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm.