In their toughest test to date, Indiana defeated Louisiana Tech 88-75 on Monday night in Bloomington.
Here are four quick takeaways from the game.
Al Durham and Devonte Green led the way early.
Given the lack of guards at Archie Miller’s disposal, especially with Rob Phinisee out, it is paramount that experienced players Durham and Green contribute early and often. When needed, they delivered. Coming into tonight, Green’s season-high in points was 16 against the Princeton Tigers. He matched that tonight, scoring 16 points in an efficient manner, shooting 6 for 11 from the field. Durham followed suit, scoring 18 points on 6 for 10 shooting. Most of their damage was done early as Green and Durham had 15 and 12 first half points, respectively.
Free throws line might have saved the Hoosiers.
There was one saving grace in an otherwise dismal second half — the foul line. Indiana got 28 free throw attempts in the second half alone, and 38 for the game. 20 of IU’s 36 second half points came from the charity stripe, as the Bulldogs were whistled for 20 second half fouls. For the game Indiana was 28-of-38 (73.7 percent). Trayce Jackson-Davis was the primary beneficiary, making 11-of-13 attempts from the line. The freshman recorded his third double-double in six games with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Archie Miller saw room for improvement in @IndianaMBB's win over Louisiana Tech.
He explains below: pic.twitter.com/20XNYrcypE
— Indiana On BTN (@IndianaOnBTN) November 26, 2019
Different feel coming out of the locker room for Indiana after first half.
Indiana was blistering out of the gates, shooting 61.3 percent from the field, hitting six threes, and scoring 52 points over the course of the first 20 minutes of action. After the Hoosiers led 39-16 with 7:29 to go in the first half, things started to change. And the second half was a much different story. As the Bulldogs stepped up the intensity, IU coughed the ball up and shot poorly, allowing Louisiana Tech to hang around. IU shot just 32 percent from the field and had just three assists in the second half. Indiana wasn’t much better defensively as the Bulldogs were able to get to the rim and get good looks early in the shot clock. And then there were the turnovers…
Second half turnovers are concerning.
After only committing 6 turnovers in the opening period, IU had 12 in the second half, with 9 of those coming in the first 9 minutes of the second half. Indiana’s previous high turnover game on the season was 13 but they finished with 18 on Monday night.
The Hoosiers no doubt missed starting point guard Rob Phinisee, as a quick and athletic Louisiana Tech squad threw a lot at IU including changing defenses. Phinisee missed the game as he recovers from multiple minor issues. Fortunately for IU, the Bulldogs were even more turnover prone, committing 20 of their own miscues on the night.
That factor, and the free throws, allowed IU to maintain the lead.
Indiana (6-0) returns to action on Saturday afternoon at home against South Dakota State. That game tips off at 4 p.m. ET.
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