(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — Indiana moves to 10-2 on the season and remains undefeated at home after tonight’s 86-53 victory against the Atlantic Sun’s Central Arkansas Bears led by fifth year head coach Russ Pennell. The balanced Hoosiers had a total of ten Hoosiers score this evening.
Indiana continued to have issues coming strong out of the gate in what seems to be a recurring theme that is not going away. The Hoosiers opened up with two turnovers in connection with Al Durham, who was benched not even two minutes into the game for Devonte Green.
The good news for Archie? After the slow start, the Hoosiers seem to always bounce back. Indiana did just that both offensively and defensively this evening.
Senior leader Juwan Morgan got some help this afternoon as the Hoosiers had a much more balanced attack. After his 35 point performance, he rested his back this afternoon playing more of a distributor role against the Bears. He only needed to score 10 points in 21 minutes for tonight’s victory.
Among the seven Hoosiers that scored in the first half, Justin Smith was the first to reach double digits. He finished 5 of 5 from the field, primarily earning his production on fast break finishes at the rim that were not easy bunnies.
Devonte Green led all scorers at the half with 12 points, doing his business completely behind the arc on 4 of 6 three-point shooting. As Archie Miller searches for a third and fourth scoring option on this team dominated so far by Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan, big games from Smith and Green should be promising for Indiana fans. He would finish with 19 points and a season high 6 assists.
As quiet as Romeo Langford can possibly be, he had an expanding stat line that flirted with a triple-double (we see you @FrankieVision). Even though he wasn’t the first or second leading scorer for Indiana in the first half, he published his first ever double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
Defensively, Indiana held Central Arkansas scoreless starting at the 14:32 mark of the first half for over nine minutes. The Hoosiers finished with 19 unanswered during that period before Koval of Central Arkansas snapped the run. Justin Smith tweets quickly flooded Twitter after a monster block in the first half. The Hoosiers forced a total of 16 turnovers on the evening.
The second half was worse for head coach Russ Pennell. After scoring 27 in the first half, the Bears scored 26 in the second half. Indiana’s defensive performance boosted the Hoosiers to a 30+ point lead and provided the coaching staff with enough confidence to begin showcasing some of the rotation. Archie Miller substituted deep into the bench with 8 minutes remaining in the contest.
Jake Forrester, Damezi Anderson, Clifton Moore became the core of the second squad and continued to apply pressure to the Bears. Although there was some obvious rust with those players, they played overall very well and did not stop extending the Hoosier lead. Jake brought his infamous energy to the court and scored 6 points right out of the gate on a dunk, layup, and jumper. Clifton Moore contributed very timely rebounds and finished with 2 on the night.
Overall, Indiana checked the box on all of the objectives for tonight’s contest. While the start could have been better, it would be hard for Archie to complain about the performance that the team put together. Besides an injury to Rob Phinisee that took him out after just 7 minutes of action, the Hoosiers built confidence across the board.
(Source: Indiana Athletics)
The end of 2018 wraps up with a final game against Jacksonville University. The Dolphins out of the Atlantic Sun are currently 7-5 and visit Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Saturday to complete the non-conference slate of games. Archie Miller has one last opportunity for tune ups before heading into the thick of Big Ten play. Catch the game on BTN at 6:00 pm.