EVANSTON, IL — On another snowy January day, the Hoosiers’ offense still couldn’t warm up as the Wildcats came up with the victory. IU suffers their fifth consecutive loss due to Aaron Falzon’s three-point barrage and Dererk Pardon’sstrong inside play. IU led early, but the offense struggled late in the first half, allowing Northwestern to make a run.
The Wildcats led by as much as 15 in the second half, until the Hoosiers’ offense gained momentum and cut the Cats’ lead to 3. Unfortunately, Northwestern held the lead and finished strong. The leading scorer for IU was Juwan Morgan, who scored 18 points off 7-15 shooting and grabbed 11 boards. Northwestern’s best contributor was Falzon, who scored 21 points in 20 minutes, largely due to shooting 6-7 from deep.
IU’s offense came out the gates determined to attempt the three. At the under-16 timeout, IU already attempted six shots from beyond, however, only making one of them. Zach McRoberts started the game but was replaced only 3 minutes in by Al Durham, sparking the offense early. Evan Fitzner also checked in early, which is interesting given that he played zero minutes against Purdue.
At the under-8, IU was not in any significant foul trouble, allowing Archie to significantly utilize an arsenal of players while maintaining a solid 7-point lead. The next 4 minutes involved shades of the Purdue and Nebraska games, as IU’s offense went 1-8 and allowed an 8-0 run powered by Falzon’s two, quick 3 pointers. Damezi Anderson appeared for the first time after the under-4 timeout but immediately picked up a foul and turned the ball over twice.
Closing the half, Northwestern’s defense continually clamped down, and led 28-24. Morgan (8 pts) and Falzon (9 pts) led their teams in scoring at the half.
The beginning of the second half seemed no different from the end of the first. IU struggled to score, and Northwestern was draining the long ball. Falzon continued to stay hot from deep, but IU’s offense seemed to get going through a Robert Phinisee 3 pointer and Morgan’s inside play.
The next 4 minutes, Falzon continued to drain threes, and the Hoosiers’ offense couldn’t keep up. Jake Forrester did make his first appearance with slightly less than 13 minutes left but picked up an offensive foul just before the under-12. Northwestern was 10-19 from deep at the 12-minute mark and 6-6 in the half. They led 55-40.
IU’s defense and offense regained some momentum and showed some urgency, cutting the deficit to 10 points through Morgan and Justin Smith’s inside play, forcing Chris Collins to call timeout with 8:42 left in the game. At the under-8 timeout, IU cut the deficit to 8 points and was on a 7-0 run. With 6:42 left in the game, Falzon checked back in, but Romeo Langford converted a fantastic 3-point play to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 3.
The next four minutes, both teams scored back and forth but Northwestern had the slight edge, up 6, 64-58 with 2:56 left. In the last three minutes, IU couldn’t keep up with the Wildcats and came up short and lost 73-66.
(Credit: Northwestern Athletics)
The Hoosiers’ next game comes on Friday night at Assembly Hall for a rematch against the #5 Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines shot 50% from the field and turned the ball over only three times in the first game on January 6th. IU’s Juwan Morgan led the Hoosiers with 25 points. The game starts at 6:30 PM EST on FS1. Stay tuned for our re-scout of Michigan in the upcoming days.