Indiana improved to 3-0 with a 91-65 win over North Alabama on Tuesday night in Bloomington. Below is our rapid reaction three keys to game.
IU will return to action with a Saturday night clash with the Troy Trojans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Finally a better shooting team?
Coming off of shooting 68 and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe for the first two games, respectively, Indiana continues to show steady improvement in that department. As a team, they shot 82.2 percent on 45 attempts on Tuesday night.
Getting to the foul line was a preseason point of emphasis, and IU got there 45 times during the course of the game. Indiana was aggressive attacking the rim and feeding the paint against North Alabama, with Trayce Jackson-Davis leading the way with 15 attempts.
The Hoosiers also shot 38.1 percent from three point range on 21 attempts. Indiana’s struggles from long range during Archie Miller’s first two seasons are well documented, but this team has different weapons. Damezi Anderson went 2-for-3 on the night and looks like a much more confident shooter this year. Al Durham is now 6-for-13 on the season.
The team continues to play without Devonte Green, who was their best three-point shooter last year.
2. A better second half defensive effort.
IU head coach Archie Miller was disappointed with the defensive effort against Portland State and emphasized defense at practice over the last few days.
Although they gave up less points than Saturday against Portland State, Archie Miller and his staff would still like to play better defensively for 40 minutes. It was a tale of two halves against North Alabama.
Indiana allowed the Lions to shoot 53.8 percent from the field and 70 percent from the three-point line during the first 20 minutes of action as UNA got multiple unchallenged looks.
The message at halftime clearly worked, as the Hoosiers clamped down defensively. North Alabama was held to 27.8 percent shooting in the second segment, including 0 for 4 from distance. UNA scored just 25 points in the second half after scoring 40 in the first.
IU forced 12 second half Lion turnovers, and 22 for the game.
3. Trayce Jackson-Davis had his best game as a Hoosier.
Tuesday night was one to remember for the freshman forward.
Coming off a double-double on Saturday, Jackson-Davis posted a career-high in points with 20 while also chipping in 8 rebounds and 3 blocks against UNA.
Not only did he fill up the stat sheet but he scored efficiently, shooting 3 for 4 from the field and 14 for 15 at the line.
Jackson-Davis’s ability to have a big impact on the game while not forcing shots that are outside the flow of the offense or his game is a great sign for the Hoosiers moving forward.
IU finished the game with five players scoring in double figures for the first time this season. Three of those five players (Rob Phinisee, Jerome Hunter and Anderson) came off of the bench.
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