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IU basketball: Indiana at Iowa — The Report Card

From major runs, to serious injuries, and hostility between the benches — this one had it all.

Indiana opened the game with a 28-7 lead, and still led 35-15 with 9:59 left in the first half. The Hawkeyes cut the lead to 10 at halftime and took the lead with 11:35 left in the second half. The runs continued as IU went on a 12-2 push in the final seven minutes to retake the lead 84-78 with under four minutes remaining before collapsing late.

Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers lost 91-89 with another edition of The Report Card.

Current No. 15 Indiana (10-4, 1-2) will next host Northwestern on Sunday at Noon Eastern in Bloomington.


Indiana’s offense against Iowa’s man defense in the early minutes was a thing of beauty.  The Hoosiers spaced the floor, left the lane open, and pushed the pace.  When they did work the ball through the post, double-teams were read quickly and the ball was reversed.

Of course everything looks better when shots are falling, and IU made 13-of-16 to open the game.

But Fran McCaffery’s move to a zone defense about seven minutes in began to change the course of events.

The Hoosiers were reluctant to attack that zone, which was extended to full court for most of the game when Iowa scored.  Instead IU seemed content just to get the ball across the midcourt line with around 10 seconds already off the shot clock by the time they got organized.

IU coach Mike Woodson also thought his bench let him down as the tide turned.

“I thought we moved it,” he said of IU’s early offense.  “We did everything to build the lead, and then when I went to the bench and started shuffling a little bit (things changed).”

11 first half turnovers contributed to the blown lead, as did missed free throws.

“You miss nine (free throws) in a close game like this,” Woodson said. “You make them and you win going away. We didn’t make them. That was a big part of it.”

Indiana shot 54.2 percent (32-of-59) from the field and a season-best 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from behind the 3-point line.  They scored 48 points in the paint and had 21 assists.  Even with how things changed with the zone, the offense was on the whole good enough to win.  IU scored 1.17 points per possession — the most they’ve produced in a loss during the Woodson era.


Things flipped on the defensive end about the same time in the first half, as Iowa went from on pace for 60 points 10 minutes into the game, to 91 at the end.  Interestingly, Iowa’s field goal percentage never really improved, but they did get 25 free throw attempts over the last 29:11 of the game after attempting none in the first 10:49.  That turn of events came just a few minutes after McCaffery received a technical foul.

Indiana was doing reasonably well containing Kris Murray early, who had just seven points when Race Thompson went down with an injury with just over four minutes left in the first half.  But Murray erupted for 23 from there.

“Race is a better match-up on Murray, and we knew that coming in,” Woodson said.  “But that wasn’t the difference…we just didn’t play like we played in the first half. Our defense, it just went the other way, and Murray had his way.”

IU tried multiple players on Murray — Miller Kopp, Malik Reneau, and Jordan Geronimo — but none could contain his inside-out game.

Indiana struggled to cut off driving lanes, and gave up 46 in the paint.  And Iowa seemed to be the aggressor on the glass as the game wore on.  They had 13 offensive rebounds on the night and produced 14 second chance points.

Iowa scored 1.2 points per possession — second most allowed this season after Arizona, and fourth most of the Woodson era.  IU has now allowed 84 or more points in each of their last three games against high major opponents.



Trayce Jackson-Davis (A-) He obviously battled through a sore back in the second half, giving everything he could.  Jackson-Davis pushed back when Woodson tried to take him out in the second half.  As if things aren’t bad enough for IU right now injury wise, it looks like this back issue will linger.

Race Thompson (A-) Thompson’s +16 on the plus/minus certainly tells a story.  He held his own against Murray, and was active and effective on both ends before the injury.

Miller Kopp (C) While Kopp only attempted one three, his presence helped space the floor for Jackson-Davis.  But Iowa showed he can be taken out of a game as a shooter, and that’s his best contribution to the team.  He tied a career-high with nine rebounds.

Tamar Bates (C) In his first career start, Bates had some mixed moments with some good passes.  But it was overall an inefficient scoring night and there were some defensive lapses.

Jalen Hood-Schifino (A-)  He got IU off to the fast start with a pair of early threes and precision passing.  Hood-Schifino ended up with career highs in both points and assists.  Although he’s a freshman, he looks like a point guard who can lead a Big Ten team effectively.

Trey Galloway (C-) Iowa became the more aggressive team, and that’s an area you’d like to see Galloway provide the counter punch.  Perhaps forcing the issue against Iowa’s full court pressure would have been a good place to start.  He has to find a way to become more of a scoring threat.

Malik Reneau (F) The true freshman continues to struggle.  Once again, fouls and turnovers piled up as soon as he entered the game.

Jordan Geronimo (D) He didn’t seem to have good energy in the first half and was beat on multiple rebounds and late to stop drives to the rim.  And there were multiple defensive lapses in the second half, and missed free throws.  Geronimo did some things well, but he has to become much more consistent and eliminate mistakes with a big opportunity for more playing time in front of him.


In total, Indiana had 12 scholarship players healthy and available on Thursday.  Xavier Johnson (foot) was at the game in a walking boot, and unavailable.

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