Everything seems to go better at home. Indiana sandwiched a poor performance at Rutgers with a second straight solid home conference win on Friday evening in Bloomington.
The starts of each half were the key against Minnesota. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 25-8 lead less than eight minutes into the game. After allowing the Gophers back within single-digits on multiple occasions, a 19-6 early second half run gave the Hoosiers a 60-39 edge and put the game out of reach.
Let’s take a deeper look at how IU won 74-62 with another edition of The Report Card.
Indiana (12-5, 4-2) will next host Purdue on Tuesday.
Indiana once again showed that if they just don’t throw away possessions, they’ll generally have a good outcome.
They also once again showed that the 3-point shot can be their ally — even on relatively low volume.
And they also proved yet again that their best offense is transition, where they racked up 16 points off turnovers and 10 on the fast break.
IU didn’t do anything exceptionally well, but they did a lot of things good enough to win, committing just 10 turnovers, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds, assisting on 17 of 26 field goals, and getting to the foul line with 27 attempts.
Like most teams, Minnesota was intent on aggressively doubling the post, and the Hoosiers did a nice job of recognizing that. Malik Reneau saw they were coming from Kel’el Ware’s man, and found his teammate for lobs.
The offense did stagnate at times against Minnesota’s zone, and major issues at the free throw line persist.
Overall, IU scored 1.04 points per possession.
Indiana seemed to find a new gear with their intensity on the defensive end, especially to start the game.
“We really defended the ball,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We didn’t let their guards really get away from us in terms of getting downhill, so we really focused in on not giving straight-line drives where we had to help as much.”
Indiana got 16 points off 14 Minnesota turnovers. Disruption was a point-of-emphasis coming into the game.
“Defense is the No. 1 thing he’s (Woodson) been trying to harp on because I feel like defense creates offense, and that’s really it,” Mgbako said.
Minnesota had just nine assists against 14 turnovers.
“Indiana did a good job of pressing up (on the ball) and taking some stuff away and being the aggressor and being physical,” Minnesota coach Ben Johnson said. “They did a good job of dictating it.”
IU held the Golden Gophers to 23-of-59 (39.0%) shooting from the field and 3-of-20 (15.0%) from beyond the arc. Over their last three games, opponents have only made 15-of-69 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc, and it seems the Hoosiers have been better at avoiding over-helping and other coverage and switching issues.
Minnesota scored just .87 points per possession. Based on that measure, it was IU’s second-best defensive performance of the season. The Gophers’ starting guard trio made just 4-of-28 shots.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- With home win over Minnesota, IU men’s basketball continues riding the waves
- Watch: Woodson, Mgbako, and Ware discuss IU basketball win over Minnesota
- IU basketball: Indiana 74 Minnesota 62 — three keys, highlights, final stats
*Trey Galloway (A-) Quietly, Galloway has become the best facilitator on the team. After this seven assist and no turnover game, he’s up to 37 and 10 over the last six games. He’s getting to the paint and finding his teammates. Add in four steals and a couple made threes, and this was a great effort by the senior guard.
*Mackenzie Mgbako (A-) The freshman forward flashed some ability to attack off the bounce, was tough, physical, aggressive and seems to be working out some defensive struggles. This was Mgbako’s best game as a Hoosier.
*Malik Reneau (B) Reneau’s double recognition and passing out of the post was very good. It wasn’t his most efficient or productive night, but still another solid effort from the reliable sophomore.
*Gabe Cupps (B-) Cupps stepped into the Galloway role of doing a lot of things well, but not making shots. His defensive intensity to start the game helped set the tone, as he harassed Elijah Hawkins into an inefficient night.
*Kel’el Ware (A-) Your eyes tell you Ware is rebounding with more aggression, and his numbers leave no doubt. Ware had 14 boards and now has 31 over his last two games. He’s chasing rebounds out of his area, even if he can just tap the ball to a teammate. Ware finally found his stroke again from three after a long drought.
C.J. Gunn (B-) The shots weren’t falling, but Gunn was still active running the floor and aggressive on the defensive end.
Anthony Walker (B) With Galloway and Reneau both confined to the bench with two first half fouls, Walker saw a big role and he came through. He had seven points and three rebounds in the first half. By the way, Galloway and Reneau never picked up even a third foul.
Xavier Johnson (D) Johnson lost his starting job after a flagrant-two at Rutgers. Based solely on his on-court performance, he didn’t respond well to the new role.
Kaleb Banks also appeared in the game briefly. Anthony Leal and Payton Sparks did not play.
Jakai Newton (knee) is out long-term.
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