In case you needed a reminder, there is no such thing as momentum in the Big Ten.
After a massive win over Purdue earlier in the week, Indiana (14-5, 5-4 B1G) had nothing working in Assembly Hall on Sunday, dropping their first home game of the season, 80-62, to Michigan (9-7, 3-3 B1G). IU has now lost nine straight to the Wolverines, the last eight by double digits.
Mike Woodson started his usual five on Sunday, going with Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, the game began similarly to IU’s sloppy start in its last game.
IU scored first on a dunk by Jackson-Davis, but Michigan quickly found their groove on offense. The freshman headliners in Michigan’s top-ranked recruiting class (per 247Sports), Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate, played a major role.
Diabate recorded the Wolverines’ first four points, then Houstan hit multiple threes to quickly provide his team a 14-5 lead. Houstan finished with a career-high 19 points in the contest.
The Hoosiers simply did not have the same level of intensity they have shown in most games this season, most recently vs. Purdue. The Wolverines, urgently seeking more resume-boosting wins after a poor start to their season, showed more desperation and sharpness on both ends of the court.
All-American center Hunter Dickinson controlled both ends of the floor for Michigan. He scored in the low post and displayed a marksman-like ability shooting the three. Dickinson was a force on the glass too, pulling down five rebounds before halftime.
Dickinson also did well defending Indiana’s strong frontcourt. Very little came easy for Jackson-Davis and Thompson, as they combined for just 4-of-11 (36%) in the first half.
Johnson led the offensive attack for Indiana as he tried to keep the deficit within arm’s reach. His free throws before the break brought IU to within six points after they trailed by as many as 16 earlier in the game. He totaled 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists in the first 20 minutes, continuing his good play this past week.
After halftime, IU made some small runs, but never got within single digits for the final 13:07 of the game. Michigan’s defensive rotations, combined with their sharpshooting from deep, never opened the door for the Hoosiers.
Indiana’s bench, who have provided the frequent spark in Big Ten play, had a tough time galvanizing the team. Rob Phinisee, who scored 20 against Purdue, was held scoreless until 2:30 remained and the game was out of hand. Jordan Geronimo and Trey Galloway, were outplayed by their Michigan counterparts, Brandon Johns and Terrence Williams II. Galloway finished scoreless in the game, on 0-for-5 shooting. Michael Durr’s four points led the reserves.
While Michigan made 11 of its 17 threes in the game (65%), Indiana made just two of its first 15 attempts in the game. As a last-ditch measure, Woodson drew up some three-point looks for Stewart, who made three of them down the stretch, but it was “too little, too late.”
Up next for the Hoosiers is a third consecutive Big Ten home game, as Penn State visits Assembly Hall. Tip is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET on Wednesday, with the broadcast on BTN. Penn State beat Indiana earlier this season in Happy Valley, 61-58.
Featured Image: Indiana Athletics