Indiana 77 Iowa 64 — The Turning Point

It looked like the turning point of Monday’s 77-64 Indiana win over Iowa was going to be late in the first half.  Throughout most of the first half the teams stayed within a couple points of each other.  At 6:25 the game was tied at 20.  Led by 7 points and 2 assists from Devonte Green, Indiana would run out to a 41-26 halftime lead.  The first half run was capped off by a great hustle play by Al Durham, Jr. at the buzzer:

But this Indiana team hasn’t been known for putting together complete games as it continues to adapt to a new system and search for its identity.  So it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to see the Hoosiers struggle out of the gate to start the second half.  Only 4 minutes into the 2nd half, Iowa had cut the IU lead to 43-42.  Iowa guard Brady Ellingson caught fire during the run, pouring in 8 quick points.  The Hawkeyes appeared to be the more aggressive team, as they had 5 offensive rebounds in this stretch.

Indiana was going to need renewed energy to stop the Iowa run and avoid an 0-2 B1G start.  Archie Miller called a timeout at 17:01 and inserted senior leader Collin Hartman into the lineup.  The Iowa run didn’t end there, but that adjustment by Miller might have made the difference.  That, and whatever Miller said in the timeout huddle.  We suspect there might have been some not so subtle “encouragement” and the coach let his team know they were being outworked.

Several Hoosiers would make big plays over the next 9 minutes to turn a one point game into a 21 point lead at 71-50, but the stars would be on Indiana’s front line:

  • Juwan Morgan had 7 points and 2 rebounds
  • Collin Hartman had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists
  • De’Ron Davis had 6 points and a block and a steal

Davis and Morgan not only contributed on the stat line, but it was clear that they realized that they were getting outhustled by Iowa’s big men.  Both players noticeably increased their energy at the start of this run and that seemed to energize the Hoosiers, and knock Iowa back on their heels again.  Hartman just continues to do a little of everything, demonstrating his multifaceted value to this team.

It is worth noting that backups Collin Hartman and Devonte Green were on the floor during key segments of BOTH the first and second half runs.  It will be interesting to see if this translates into changes in the starting lineup with two difficult games forthcoming.  These will both be games where Indiana might not be able to overcome a slow start.

Photo credits – Morgan, Bobby Goddin|IDS; Davis, USA TODAY