Hoosiers run past Hawkeyes, 77-64

Iowa forced Indiana to respond, to shake off a second-half gut punch and embrace the mentality necessary to win Big Ten battles.

The Hoosiers were up for the challenge.

Matching stops with buckets, IU illustrated what it can look like when it connects on both ends of the floor. The reward? Indiana’s first conference victory of the Archie Miller era.

The Hoosiers controlled both ends of the court during key stretches, running away with a 77-64 victory over Iowa before an announced crowd of 17,222 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Monday’s Big Ten season home opener functioned as a strong response to Saturday’s flat performance at Michigan. It also served as a living classroom for the challenges that await Indiana once league play begins in earnest next month.

The Hoosiers (5-4, 1-1) saw a 15-point halftime lead whittled down to one during the first four minutes of the second half, but responded with an 18-0 run across a six-minute span midway through the period that keyed the victory.

“I was really pleased, for the most part, other than the lack of responsibility coming out of halftime,” Miller said. “That can’t happen against the teams that we’re playing. That just can’t happen, especially at home. But it was nice to see our resolve.”

Indiana, which used a 17-1 run on the way to its 41-26 halftime advantage, missed its first 11 shots of the second half, allowing Iowa (4-5, 0-2) to methodically creep its way within a possession of the lead.

“We kind of relaxed,” Collin Hartman said. “At this level in the Big Ten, you can’t relax because you can lose that lead, as you saw, in the blink of an eye. I think it was just a mental lapse, and we just weren’t playing hard. We weren’t playing Indiana basketball and we weren’t playing for each other.”

Hartman and Juwan Morgan helped steady the approach.

As is becoming the case, Indiana is better for having Hartman and Morgan on the court, particularly when they’re out there together. Their scoring capacity is certainly needed — Morgan led IU with 15 points and Hartman added 13 — but it’s the sense of safety that they bring that the Hoosiers often seem eager to embrace.

Coming out of the first media timeout of the second half, Iowa cut its deficit to one point on a Tyler Cook dunk. From there, the Hoosiers demonstrated a capacity for figuring things out on the fly, beginning the 18-0 run with six quick points from Morgan and Hartman.

After missing those first 11 shots of the half, Morgan and Hartman helped IU respond by making nine in a row in the middle of the period.

“Collin is a big part of that,” Miller said. “Collin is a leader. … That lineup with him and Juwan was really a big key in the first half, and I thought it was a really big key in the second half of regrouping us. I give him a lot of credit in terms of his spunk, his attitude and whatnot. I thought we had a lot of different guys make some plays.”

The early second-half lapse aside, this was another encouraging performance from IU, much needed to salvage a win in the two-games-in-three-days start to Big Ten season.

This certainly wasn’t a perfect defensive showing, not when Iowa leading scorer Brady Ellingson was hurting IU off screens to score 12 of his eventual 16 points in the second half. But it was tangible evidence of IU’s ability when locked in.

It was also apparent in the first half, when Indiana also used a 17-1 run to take a 34-30 lead at the final media timeout of the period. In the process, it picked up seven points and an assist from Devonte Green to key the action.

Green had a presence on both ends of the floor, at times being forced to hunker down and guard 6-foot-11 Newburgh native Jack Nunge of Iowa.

“He was very good tonight,” Miller said. “Devonte had one of his most consistent games, especially in the first half. I thought he made some really tough plays for us defensively. He was pretty good off the ball, got a couple of good loose-ball steals, a couple of deflections that got us going.”

Green finished with 12 points, while De’Ron Davis posted 13. Davis would’ve had more, if not for some missed layups and a 3-for-9 night at the free throw line.

Indeed, Indiana left some points on the floor Monday night. But the Hoosiers also made up for it on the defensive end of the court, showing its potential when plugged in and connected.

“I think we bought into what we had to do to pull the win out,” Morgan said. “I think it was five guys out there playing for each other. I think that’s what you saw tonight when those runs were happening. We’re at our best when we’re in transition and getting stops. I think we pulled those out.”

This story will be updated.

One comment

  1. Important win for this team. Impressed with how they responded after giving up the lead during the first 4 minutes of the second half. Impressed with the adjustments they made during the game. Impressed with how hard they played. They just wore Iowa out in the second half. I guess the next step in their collective development is to improve their consistency. But that won’t matter unless these young men learn how to finish at the rim and shoot free throws. They failed to convert numerous “bunnies.” At one point, I counted about eight consecutive missed shots at the rim. And their free throw shooting is a major liability. I can’t remember seeing a Hoosier shoot an air ball from the three throw line! And there were several 3-point attempts that hit nothing but air also. If Archie can get them to improve their scoring from those fundamentals, this team can and will beat some of the big boys. If not, this IU roster will lose as many games as they win.

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