Indiana (12-4, 3-3 B1G) went on the road again to visit the Hawkeyes (12-4, 2-3 B1G) and leave still trying to find their first road win on the season as they fall to the Hawkeyes 83-74. Indiana had been riding a two game win streak coming into Iowa City and were unable to extend it out to three despite playing some of their best basketball of the season the last two games.
This game looked like one where Indiana may pull out the win as they started off hot. Also, Indiana has had recent success against the Hawkeyes with winning both of their games last season against the highly rated team despite having big man and now NBA player Luka Garza.
The Hoosiers started off strong by taking the lead behind Race Thompson and Miller Kopp. Both teams played in typical Big Ten aggressive fashion with three fouls on each team before the first media time out. After a brief lead change with Iowa taking the lead, Indiana turned up the offense and took a 7 point lead before 8 minutes in the game with Kopp, Thompson and Jackson-Davis combining for 20 points.
The run was short lived as Iowa pulled off a 10-0 run within 2 minutes and took the 26-23 lead behind Kris Murray.
The game started to open up again for Indiana as Fran McCaffery was called for a technical late in the first half. Indiana took advantage of the frustration and pulled up an 8 point lead by the under 4 timeout.
At halftime, Indiana held a solid 7-point lead with Jackson-Davis leading Indiana scorers with 11 and 5 rebounds. Kris Murray led all scorers with 17 at the half.
As the game progressed, the Hawkeyes didn’t fade away and kept it close down the stretch despite getting into a lot of foul trouble with Keegan Murray and Filip Rebraca each getting four fouls with over 10 minutes to play.
Ultimately, Indiana was once again plagued with turnovers and miscues preventing them from pulling away for good. The majority of the second half Indiana failed to find any rhythm to their play and Iowa gradually kept pulling away despite piling up the fouls.
Trayce Jackson-Davis continues to be the center-piece for the Indiana offense. He had another good game against Iowa with a 18 point performance despite the loss. Trayce has had a lot of success against Iowa as he averaged 20 points/game against the Hawkeyes last year.
For the Hawkeyes, sophomore phenom and Big Ten Player of the Year candidate, Keegan Murray, struggled while Kris Murray led all scorers with 29 points on the game which was a career high mark.
After the game, Coach Woodson emphasized that he expects more production by his bench players.
“…I got to figure out our bench. Our bench has got to play a role if we are going to win. I can’t play our starters 40 minutes a game.” Woodson stated. “They got to at least hold the lead or extend it.” He also stated that Indiana only played 20 full minutes of good basketball (the first half).
Indiana took a big step back in their ability to control the ball this game as turnovers occurred on nearly a third of their possessions which was the second-worst game for them this season. In particular, Race Thompson (5), Rob Phinisee (4), and Xavier Johnson (4) all had ball control issues while amassing too many turnovers for the Hoosiers to fix with their defense.
Despite the Hawkeyes’ foul trouble, Indiana failed to punish them with making their free throws. Indiana only hit 13-of-21 of their free throws with the biggest offender being Trayce Jackson-Davis making 6-of-10.
Coach Mike Woodson now is 12-0 when he wears a suit and 0-4 when not suiting up.
Indiana will now continue their road trip out west to face Nebraska on Monday January 17 at 6:00 EST. Nebraska (6-11) will face No. 7 Purdue in West Lafayette tomorrow. Nebraska is on a four game loss streak currently.