(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — Tonight, the Indiana Hoosiers took care of the Marquette Golden Eagles, 96-73. The Hoosiers ran out to an 8-2 lead thanks to some great transition offense early. IU would continue to force turnover and get out in run for the rest of the game. Both members of the freshmen backcourt, Romeo Langford and Robert Phinisee, handled the spotlight extremely well. Langford led in scoring and Phinisee played fantastic defense on Markus Howard all night. Phinisee was a calm, steady hand on offense as well.
The second half was a continuation of the first half. Juwan Morgan had a strong second half with a couple and ones and solid defensive intensity. The Hoosiers were without senior and defensive stalwart Zach McRoberts due to back soreness, and IU was also missing junior point guard Devonte Green due to a lingering hip injury. Freshmen Race Thompson and Jerome Hunter were unavailable as well. The Hoosiers tightened their stranglehold on the game, limiting Marquette to just 42.4% shooting and 21.7% beyond the arc. Preseason All-American Candidate Markus Howard had a down game for him scoring “just” 18 points (a slow night for him), and missed 4 of his 5 three point attempts. He ended up only 6-14 from the field. Freshman Robert Phinisee and Sophomore Al Durham limited Howard the whole game forcing him into his worst game of the season.
Offensively, unselfishness and getting out in transition were the themes, as the Hoosiers recorded 18 assists on 35 made baskets, and shot 63.6% from the field. 5 players scored in double figures, led by Romeo Langford’s 22 points. Perhaps most impressive was the way the Hoosiers got out in transition, scoring at will in the first half off of Marquette turnovers. Juwan Morgan recorded 13 points, Evan Fitzner scored 16 points and was 6-7 from the field including 4-4 from behind three point line. The offense tonight overall was improved from the previous two contests, look for the Hoosiers to continue this trend on Sunday.
Box Score (Source: IU Athletics)
Archie Miller says that this win over Marquette “has a lot to do with leadership and the freshman being ready to play at the D-1 level”. Archie could not be more proud of Phinisee and Langford, as they played tough having to not only play so many minutes but also guard at a high level. Phinisee and Durham had 13 assists one turnover, to which Archie said “that’s a backcourt, man”. He was extremely impressed with their play not only in this game but so far this season. On Rob Phinisee, Archie also said, “he is a stud,” “I haven’t been around a young guard in a long time that is this tough and steady at such a young age,” and also “I knew when we played Loyola in the scrimmage that we were going to have great PG play.” This is high praise coming from a fellow PG in Archie. Moving on to Evan Fitzner, according to Archie, Fitzner “Is a terrific offensive player, needs to get better on his physicalness around the basket”. On overall defense and guarding the perimeter, Archie responded with “I thought we did a pretty good job of challenging the three.” On the injuries plaguing the team, “(IU is) Planning on moving through the rest of November without the 4 who were out tonight (Race, Devonte, Zach, and Jerome)”. This is obviously not ideal. Looking to the future, the Hoosiers are going to need all the help they can get when visit Duke on November 27.
IU takes on Arkansas on Sunday, November 18, at 3:30 PM, in a highly anticipated non-conference matchup. This will be IU’s first true road test of the season. Both teams are currently unranked. Arkansas’s key player is Daniel Gafford, the center was getting looks as a lottery pick last year and will definitely be test for our front-court. Keep an eye out for our scouting report on Arkansas in the upcoming days.