IU basketball opened the exhibition portion of their 2023-24 season with a 74-52 win over UIndy on Sunday afternoon at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Here are some quick observations and the final stats from the game.
IU will return to exhibition action on Friday evening against Marian in Bloomington (6:30 p.m. ET/BTN Plus).
Indiana opened the game in full exhibition mode. The Hoosiers shot just 32.3 percent from the field in the first half against an aggressive and extended UIndy defense. IU trailed 27-25 at the break, and it wasn’t pretty. They were 0-of-4 from three, had seven turnovers and made just 5-of-11 from the free throw line.
CJ Gunn a first half bright spot. The sophomore wing was the first player off the bench for IU and he scored seven points before the break to lead the Hoosiers into halftime.
Struggles finishing at the rim. UIndy had size for a Division II team, and it bothered IU at the rim early in the game, leading to offensive inefficiency before the break. The Greyhounds ran IU off the 3-point line and into the paint, and Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgbako combined to go just 3-of-10 in the first half.
IU brought more energy in the second half. The Hoosiers appeared to realize they were in a fight and competed at a higher level in the second half. Coach Mike Woodson said he gave the team a “nice halftime talk.” They also made offensive adjustments to combat UIndy’s aggressiveness. IU outscored the Greyhounds 49-25 after the break to pull away. UIndy shot just 33 percent in the second half and committed 10 turnovers.
Offensive efficiency improves. IU went from .735 points per possession in the first half to 1.485 in the second. Ball movement played a big role, as the Hoosiers had 14 assists (against three turnovers) on their 20 field goals after the break.
Balanced scoring attack. Ware and Mgbako were much better in the second half. They each had 14 points to lead IU for the game. Malik Reneau had 12 and Xavier Johnson added nine.
Payton Sparks injured. The junior transfer from Ball State fell to the floor while handling the ball in a second half fast break. He put weight on his injured lower leg, but was unable to shoot free throws and left the game. IU coach Mike Woodson said after the game Sparks should be fine.
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