(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — Well… that was rough. IU survived the hot shooting UC Davis Aggies 76-62. As was the case in previous game, IU did not have its full complement of players. The quartet of Devonte Green, Zach McRoberts, Race Thompson, and Jerome Hunter were absent, but news broke before tip-off that junior big man De’Ron Davis would be able to play after missing the previous game due to a sore Achilles. Davis only played 5 minutes and was taken to the locker room during the game. Green and McRoberts should be able to play come Tuesday night when the Hoosiers travel to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils.
The Hoosiers started the game very S-L-O-W. The Aggies jumped out to a 24-10 lead and led by one possession at the half. They were in front all the way until the 7:20 mark of the second half. UC Davis shot 50% from three for the game, but at one point the basket looked like an ocean, as they made some very tough shots tonight.
Forward AJ John had 14 points tonight and was 5-10 from the field. He and point guard TJ Shorts really gave Indiana fits off of ball screens. They beat Indiana’s guards off the dribble on multiple occasions tonight. IU head coach Archie Miller said in his press conference that he was really impressed with John and Shorts, and that he was not surprised that they caused trouble tonight.
The Hoosiers eventually turned it around, outscoring the Aggies 40-24 in the second half. The defense tightened up as well, holding UC Davis to 39.4% from the field in the second half. The Hoosiers were led by senior Juwan Morgan, who had 31 points on an efficient 13-18 shooting. Morgan was a red hot 5-7 from behind the three point arc and finished with a double-double (10 rebounds).
Morgan was not the only Hoosier to eclipse 20 points, as Romeo Langford helped chip in with 20 himself. Morgan kept the Hoosiers in the game, but the Hoosiers’ comeback coincided with Langford taking over the game offensively. He was an efficient 2-3 from the three point line and 6-9 from the free throw line. This is much improved from the previous four games, and he looked more comfortable out there, nose tape and all. Overall, five Hoosiers scored, and only eight played, due to the injury situation. Justin Smith looked more comfortable out there tonight than he did in the last game against UT Arlington. He finished with 11 points and a team high +19 plus-minus rating.
Indiana Box Score
UC Davis Box Score
(Source: IU Athletics)
IU faces Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, November 27th, at 9:30 PM, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. KenPom still rates the Duke at No. 1 as of Friday night. IU is at No. 23 per KenPom. IndianaHQ will release a scouting report on Duke in the upcoming days. However, we all know who the Hoosiers have to go up against (ESPN has made sure we know). Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Tre Jones, and RJ Barrett will all be ready for IU, in the biggest non-conference game of the season for the Hoosiers. Good teams go into Durham and lose. Hopefully, the Hoosiers can show that they are not just good, but great, on Tuesday night.