Indiana lost for the second time in its last three outings with a disappointing 89-75 loss to Arizona in front of a majority IU crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The Hoosiers fell behind 27-8 in the first half, and that ultimately became a hill too steep to ever climb. IU pulled back to within five late in the first half, only to see Arizona extend the lead back to 13 before the break. In the second half, IU pulled to within five, but Arizona quickly extended back to 13. Then IU pulled to within three, but the Wildcats took it back to 14. The Hoosiers would get it down to five one more time with 5:11 left, before Arizona finally pulled away for good.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers lost with another edition of The Report Card.
No. 14 Indiana (8-2, 1-1) will next travel to Kansas on Saturday.
After the first nine minutes of the game, Indiana ran good offense. They scored 67 points in the final 31 minutes.
But their 4-of-16 start from the field, coupled with five turnovers in that opening nine minute span helped dig the insurmountable hole.
Throughout the game, scoring inside the 3-point arc was a problem, as IU made just 43 percent from 2-point range. Rather than just keep pounding the ball in the paint for post touches against length like they did early, IU made an adjustment to get the offense moving.
“The ball started to move, we started running more pick-and-roll to try to open the floor up and little bit,” IU coach Mike Woodson said.
Indiana shot 42 percent (29-of-69) from the field and 40 percent (10-of-25) from the 3-point line. Their 49 percent effective field goal percentage was the second lowest of the season.
But Indiana did put five players in double-figures, proving they can be productive when star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is limited.
Indiana scored 1.08 points per possession, their second lowest output of the season. They did win both of their Big Ten Tournament games a year ago with less, however. So while the offense took a step back in some respects, it wasn’t the glaring issue.
The only thing that keeps this grade from being worse is the caliber of the opponent.
Arizona scored ten more points than any team had against IU this season. The 1.28 points per possession the Hoosiers allowed were the most during the Woodson era. He admitted — this one got away from IU on the defensive end.
“Our defense has been pretty good,” Woodson said. “That’s the first time a team got away like that. They made some shots. They’re a good team.”
The Wildcats shot 55 percent from two and 40 percent from three. It was those two factors collectively that doomed IU, as they couldn’t slow Arizona inside or out.
IU also couldn’t consistently slow the Wildcats in transition. They came into the game top-5 nationally in both offensive tempo and efficiency, and it was easy to see why. Their big men run the floor very well, and rather than force bad shots on the break, they look to the post. Arizona’s front court got to their spots in the paint and sealed off IU’s defenders for good, close touches. There wasn’t much IU could do from there.
“Their bigs, they post hard, and they have soft touch around the rim,” Xavier Johnson said.
In the half court, Arizona seemed to be able to routinely get downhill to find kick-out opportunities for the threes. They assisted on 21 of their 31 field goals.
To compound matters, Indiana allowed 16 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second chance points.
“They beat us up on the boards,” Race Thompson said.
IU also committed 19 fouls that led to 25 Arizona free throw attempts.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Arizona’s inside dominance gives IU a taste of its own medicine
- Watch: Race Thompson and Xavier Johnson discuss loss to Arizona
- Watch: Mike Woodson discusses loss to Arizona
- IU basketball: Arizona 89 Indiana 75 — Three keys | Highlights | Final stats
- Jalen Hood-Schifino out for Indiana against Arizona
- Long form highlights:
Trayce Jackson-Davis (C-) Surrounded by length, there wasn’t much TJD could do in this one. But his 40 percent day from the field with just five rebounds and one assist along with five fouls was sub-par for the big man. He found ways to succeed against bigger players a year ago in the Big Ten Tournament. IU is going to have to get back to that. And Jackson-Davis was beat getting back down the floor on defense by the Arizona big men.
Race Thompson (B-) Give Thompson credit for a career high four 3-pointers and a team-high nine rebounds. Both aspects can help propel this team. But he got his shot blocked multiple times, was just 2-of-7 from two, and no one gets the benefit of the doubt for this defensive effort.
Xavier Johnson (B) Johnson’s value couldn’t have been more clear when IU imploded after he left the game with two fouls. While it wasn’t an efficient day, 11 assists against just two turnovers is highly impressive. Indiana was actually +4 when he was on the floor.
Miller Kopp (C+) Kopp played his role well on the offensive end, making 4-of-5 from three after an 0-of-3 start. Clearly Woodson saw value, as Kopp played all but one minute. But the defensive end was another story for everyone.
Trey Galloway (C) While he clearly got robbed on a goal tend that wasn’t called, Galloway had a team low -21 on the plus/minus scale. It isn’t a fair ask of him, but he was running the point when the wheels came off in the first half.
Malik Reneau (C-) Reneau committed a couple turnovers soon after entering the game, and they contributed to the killer first half run by Arizona. He steadied some from there, but he looks more like a freshman against legitimate length.
Tamar Bates (B-) Bates was lethal scoring in the mid-range, which is where Arizona seemed to want Indiana to be forced to take shots. He’s clearly gaining confidence, as the game seems to be slowing down for him. Have we mentioned the defensive end yet?
Jordan Geronimo (D) A run of unimpactful play continued for Geronimo. Woodson was asked about Geronimo’s lack of any second half minutes, and he said that was a coach’s decision.
Logan Duncomb, C.J. Gunn and Kaleb Banks played in the last minute. In total, Indiana had 12 scholarship players healthy and available on Wednesday. Jalen Hood-Schifino (back) was out.
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