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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Chris Collins continues to own the Indiana Hoosiers.

Even without guard Ty Berry, and with starters Boo Buie and Brooks Barnhizer benched with foul trouble, Collins and the Northwestern Wildcats (18-8, 9-6 B1G) knocked off Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers (14-11, 6-8 B1G), 76-72. Northwestern has now beaten IU four straight times.

The Hoosiers started the contest with Gabe Cupps, Trey Galloway, Mackenzie Mgbako, Malik Reneau, and Kel’el Ware, as usual. Numerous former Hoosiers, such as Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino, were in attendance, as the NBA schedule takes a break with All-Star weekend in Indianapolis.

Indiana sported dark gray jerseys with red lettering, a part of Adidas’ “Fear of God” collection. Early on, the only thing both teams feared was the opposing defense.

IU and NU came out of the gates slow scoring a combined 11 points in the first 5 minutes. Reneau and Ware controlled the paint on defense for the Hoosiers while Galloway and Cupps worked the perimeter. Buie picked up an early foul in the first minute of the game.

Indiana’s ball movement was extremely dynamic and fast-paced but littered with errors and rushed possessions. Payton Sparks played with his usual physicality that proved to help and hurt the Hoosiers. He committed a personal foul midway through the first that resulted in two free throws.

Galloway, Leal, and Cupps rotated in the backcourt with Galloway and Cupps each contributing a three-pointer. Leal’s experience and energy have recently earned him a consistent spot in the rotation. That intensity on defense drew a second foul on Buie.

IU couldn’t take advantage of Buie and Barnhizer’s foul trouble, as the Wildcats built their lead. Indiana trailed by eight with five minutes to go in the first half. Ware started heating up for the Hoosiers by scoring an and-one bucket and a crafty hook shot.

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On defense, the Hoosiers struggled to rebound and control the key which led to second-chance points for the Wildcats. NU came in with the second-worst offensive rebounding rate in the nation, yet they grabbed five in the first half alone.

The Hoosiers trailed the Wildcats 34-26 at the half.

Indiana came out of the locker room on fire. Reneau finished an and-one fade away while Mgbako drove through traffic to score and drew a foul to send him to the line. The Hoosiers went on a 7-0 run to shrink the lead to one.

The Hoosiers kept the game close and built a lot of momentum by making stops on defense that turned into quick transition buckets. The Assembly Hall crowd was loud and did not hold back from voicing their displeasure with the officiating.

Yet, too many self-inflicted errors plagued the Hoosiers. Any opportunity to tie the game or take the lead was met with a turnover. On the other end, Ryan Langborg, Nick Martinelli, and Matt Nicholson gave the Hoosiers a lot of issues. Those three players scored Northwestern’s first 21 points of the second half.

With 10 minutes remaining, the Hoosiers were down 10 points. Untimely fouls and missed free throws killed offensive momentum and broke up any rhythm Indiana generated. IU finished the game shooting 12/21 (57.1%) from the free throw line.

Northwestern went on a 10-2 run to extend the lead to 14 points. Indiana had difficulty stopping the three-ball, allowing Boo Buie to sink two in a row. Buie hadn’t made a shot in the game until 8:35 remained, but he helped the Wildcats with late scoring in the game.

Offensively, the Hoosiers made errors setting up plays and forced up difficult shots.

The Hoosiers were not quick to give up, though. Indiana went on a 9-0 run to give themselves a chance. Northwestern’s Nick Martinelli committed a flagrant 1 foul against Trey Galloway which helped to fuel the late comeback.

Down 7 with 90 seconds left in the contest, the Hoosiers could not stop the Wildcats from scoring and eventually found themselves in a cycle of score-and-foul. They were able to get within three points of the Wildcats, but could not successfully pull off the comeback.

Next Up

Indiana will stay at Assembly Hall to face Nebraska on Wednesday night. That game will tip at 8:30 ET on BTN. IU fell to Nebraska in Lincoln in early January, dropping that game by a score of 86-70.

Featured Image: Northwestern Men’s Basketball / Twitter

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