The Hoosiers recorded their first conference win in their Big Ten home opener against the Hawkeyes Monday. After losing a hard-fought battle with Duke and falling on the road to Michigan, Indiana saved their confidence by pulling off a 77-64 win against Iowa. The 13-point victory gave Archie Miller his first conference win as Indiana head coach and the team confidence to bring on the road to Louisville Saturday.
After going tit-for-tat the first 14 minutes, Devonte Green fueled the Hoosiers to pull away, putting up 7 points and an assist in less than 2 minutes. A 15-pt lead followed the Hoosiers to the locker room at the half, 41-26. The Hoosier squad sat relaxed on the point cushion in the second half until the hot-handed Iowa team ran the Hoosiers’ lead down 45-44, scoring 16 to Indiana’s 2. The Hoosiers rev with a 26-6 run on the Hawkeyes, that would eventually shut them down and out 77-64.
Coach Miller was pleased with his first conference victory as Indiana’s coach: “I thought our team did a great job of bouncing back tonight. Had a number of different guys step up and make a lot of winning plays.”
Juwan Morgan had his third career double-double, contributing 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. “We need him on the floor,” Coach Miller said post-game, “He gives us a presence offensively and defensively. He understands exactly what we’re asking him to do, and he’s prepared to do it.
Over the past 3 games, Morgan has averaged 17.7 points and 8 rebounds. “It’s just getting teammates open,” Morgan said, “If they get open looks—although I know they think it’s going in, I always think it’s a miss—and just getting on the glass. That creates the opportunities for me.”
Morgan has proven himself to be a very versatile player this season, and continued to prove himself as a leader on the court. “He’s playing with a lot more confidence, and he’s relentless on the boards,” Collin Hartman said, “When you do that, it’s hard to deny.”
Devonte Green started the fire that spread the path for the Hoosiers to run away from Iowa in the first half. Green dropped 7 points in less than 2 minutes. Collin Hartman called Green a “sparkplug” during post-game conference–“He’s very explosive. He can do some crazy things and just kind of makes you look at it kind of weird, but he’s explosive and can really help us when he’s playing simple and solid basketball.
Inconsistency was a problem for the Hoosiers Monday night, but not for Green—”He was very good tonight. Devonte had one of his most consistent games, especially in the first half. I thought he made some really tough plays for us defensively,” Coach Miller said afterwards. Green ended with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal.
Collin Hartman and De’Ron Davis each put up 13 points. Davis posed a strong defensive threat against the Hawkeyes and ended with 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals.
The Hoosiers struggled to hit the net Monday, with just 40.9% inside and 38.1% outside the arc. Indiana held Iowa to an even lower 38.5% from field goal range and 41.7% behind the arc.
Teamwork makes the dream work
The Hoosiers have been inconsistent the entire season. The closest they’ve played to consistent is against Duke, when they played as a team for 36 minutes to fall apart in the last four. Allowing a 16-2 run was unacceptable, even though the impressive runs back pulled the Hoosiers ahead. “We came out and had a mental lapse. And just thought since we were up we kind of relaxed. At this level of the Big Ten you can’t relax because you can lose that lead as you saw in the blind of an eye” Hartman explained, “We weren’t playing Indiana basketball and we weren’t playing for each other.” When the team regrouped in the second half, they did great things. Togetherness and hustle will be the keys to a successful season.
Indiana will bring their confidence and hustle on the road to play Louisville on Saturday at 2pm.