(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — After head coach Archie Miller asked more out of his team’s defense following the season-opening win, IU swarmed and pressured Montana State, emerging victorious 80-35 on Friday. The Hoosiers exchanged buckets with the Bobcats early, then IU clamped down. Over the next 14 minutes, the home team went on a 30-8 run, forcing 16 missed shots in 20 attempts from its opponents during that period.
Things did not improve for the Bobcats in the second half. Although senior and defensive stalwart Zach McRobertsdid not enter the game after halftime due to back soreness, the Hoosiers tightened their stranglehold on the game, limiting MSU to just 21.4% shooting after the intermission and 11.1% beyond the arc. Preseason All-Big Sky team member Tyler Hall scored just 8 points, and missed 11 of his 14 field goal attempts. Freshman Romeo Langford and junior Devonte Green limited Hall in the second half, after McRoberts bothered him in the first.
Offensively, unselfishness and efficiency were the themes, as the Hoosiers recorded 22 assists on 32 made baskets, and shot 56.1% from the field. 4 players scored in double figures, led by senior Juwan Morgan’s 14 points. Perhaps most impressive was the way the ball whipped around the floor, confounding Montana State’s 2-3 zone in the first half, seemingly leading to an easy layup, dunk, or a trip to the free throw line. Morgan also recorded 11 rebounds, for his 10th career double-double as a Hoosier. Overall, 12 players tallied points for IU, including redshirt freshman Race Thompson’s first two in candy stripes.
With two big non-conference tests next week, the Hoosiers could have overlooked their opponents tonight. Instead, IU dominated from start to finish.
Box Score (Source: IU Athletics)
IU takes on Marquette in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Wednesday, November 14, at 8:30 PM, in a highly anticipated non-conference matchup at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Both teams are currently unranked, but they could find their way into the Top 25 when the new rankings are released next Monday. Per Kenpom, the Golden Eagles are currently #28 in the country, one spot behind the Hoosiers. Sharpshooters Markus Howard and Sam Hauser will pose one of the toughest defensive tests for the Hoosiers all season. Keep an eye out for our scouting report on Marquette in the upcoming days.