ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Another road game and another road loss for the Hoosiers. Indiana gets outworked in the paint in Ann Arbor and lose by a final score of 65-89 to Juwan Howard’s Michigan team. Even with an 18-point effort from senior De’Ron Davis, the Hoosiers were unable to find anything defensively to stop Michigan’s quick slashing offense.
Indiana moves to 16-9 on the season and drops further in the Big Ten conference rankings with a 6-8 conference. Michigan is also 16-9 overall on the season and get an important seventh win in the conference.
Indiana got another attempt with a road game, something that they have mightily struggled with all season long. The Hoosiers, and more specifically Devonte Green, had the momentum coming into Sunday with an impressive home performance against No. 21 Iowa. The real question was whether or not that same team would should up today.
The confidence that Indiana has accumulated seemed to have carried over on the offensive side of the floor. Once again, the Hoosiers shot well from behind the arc, including a 50% performance in the first half, and fought and battled in the paint with the help of De’Ron Davis and Joey Brunk.
However, defensively, Indiana was unable to stop the Wolverines who fought Archie Miller with his own medicine. Time and time again, Michigan used fundamental pick and rolls at the top of the key to find an open Austin Davis or Jon Teske. Although Brunk and Davis were the larger players, they were not quick enough to recover in time.
By halftime, the Hoosiers were outscored in the paint 16 to Michigan’s 24 points.
Michigan’s 89 points were the most points the Hoosiers have given up since their overtime win against Nebraska at home in December of last year.
Most worrisome was Michigan’s control of the paint. Take for example Austin Davis, who was given the ability to block out against any number of Hoosiers. Take the following play for example, where he was about to out position four red jerseys to come down with the board. It’s not very common that Indiana gets out-rebounded by opponents given their size; however, IU had a negative 5 rebound margin as the teams entered the intermission.
De’Ron Davis had one of his best games this season shooting a perfect 6 of 6 in the first half in under 11 minutes. During the second segment; however, Miller elected to return to Brunk likely due to defensively reasons. Without Davis on the floor, Michigan’s advantage grew wider and wider as the Hoosiers were limited on both ends of the floor at that point in the game. Davis finished the game with 18 points on a perfect 9 of 9 shooting.
That margin got worse for Indiana over time.
With a collapsed paint area, Isaiah Livers showed his importance to Juwan Howard’s team. The speedy 6-foot-7 wing took advantage of Indiana’s help defense rotations. His three point threat combined with his ability to penetrate to the rim made him a match up nightmare for all assignees. Justin Smith was the primary defender on Livers.
After being relatively quiet for the Hoosiers in the past handful of games, Al Durham had a strong first half with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Like the rest of the Hoosiers, Durham turned cold in the second half and got diced on defense by Juwan Howard’s high powered offense. IU’s co-captain finished the game with 17 points and 4 rebounds.
Trayce Jackson-Davis had an uncharacteristic quiet opening with just one rebound and no points in the first half. The freshman struggled to find any openings against a relatively large Michigan team. Michigan assigned their veteran big Jon Teske on Jackson-Davis. Even when he was put against smaller wings such as Franz Wagner, the Wolverine dual threat ability to shoot threes or drive created a ton of problems for Jackson-Davis. TJD finished the afternoon with just five points and two rebounds.
Number of the Night: -16 rebound margin
Another rebound statistic for the number of the night. At Indiana’s size and with their post as the focal point, rebounding has to be a top priority for this team. Indiana has lost every game where they are outrebounded by opponents except their first game against Ohio State at home.
With six minutes remaining, Indiana’s leading rebounder wasn’t Brunk or Jackson-Davis. It was Durham who had a whopping four boards.
Michigan won the rebound advantage 37 to Indiana’s 21.
Source: Michigan Athletics
Next Up: @ Minnesota
The Hoosiers will stay on the road as they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis on Wednesday night. Due to scheduling, Indiana will be facing Richard Pitino’s team twice within two weeks. The Gophers are currently 12-11 with a concurrent game this afternoon against Iowa. You can catch Indiana’s match up with Minnesota on BTN at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The full schedule can be found on the Indiana Basketball schedule page.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ