At the buzzer: Indiana 78, Illinois 68

  • 02/14/2018 10:56 pm in

Quick thoughts on a 78-68 win over Illinois:

How it happened: This one was ugly. Indiana started out slow as Illinois was the aggressor early and led 5-0 in the game’s opening minutes. The Hoosiers looked like they would take control with a 14-0 run that opened up a 26-14 lead, but the Illini stayed within striking distance at the half. On the strength of strong shooting (61 eFG%), Indiana led 35-25 at intermission. But just like the first meeting in Champaign, Illinois had an answer to start the second half. The Illini drew within two at 51-49 with 12:26 remaining as Assembly Hall grew restless. But Indiana had an answer of its own. Over the next five minutes, Indiana went on a 14-6 run to grab a 65-56 lead. Illinois didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the way.

Standout performer: It was another day at the office for Juwan Morgan, who logged his eighth double-double of the season. Morgan finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, four steals and three assists in 37 minutes.

Statistic that stands out: Indiana’s bench came up big with 38 of the team’s 78 points. Al Durham (14 points), Josh Newkirk (11 points) and Justin Smith (13 points) finished the evening in double figures.

Final IU individuals stats:

Final tempo-free stats:

Filed to:

  • Adam 01

    That was uncomfortable. But… “if we score 70 we win.” Yikes. Great effort, as always!

  • Arch Puddington

    It’s a thing!

  • BKLock

    Kudos to the team for finding a way to win even if it was ugly. I counted 6 unforced TOs in the second half. Clean that up and the game would not have been as close as it was.

    Hats off to JM for another workman like night on the floor.
    RJ good D and solid play.
    20 made FT’s
    38 Bench points – Applaud the way JS, JN and AD contributed.

    An ugly win is still a win. GO HOOSIERS!

  • Adam 01

    Barely, lol. I can’t believe they were able to put up 43 against us in the 2nd half!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    1. Hope Green is okay.
    2. Illinois exposed a night where officials were letting perimeter players body and bump their guys and all our guards had trouble handling the ball against the pressure at times.
    3. Robert Johnson is a really good defensive player.
    4. I’m utterly amazed at how Freddie is playing! He’s passing, rebounding, hitting some layups and FT’s, and most of all he’s moving and communicating on defense as well as anyone on this team. If you watched late in the game he helped off his man and got back repeatedly extending the possessions Illinois was trying to get something quick. I’m happy for the young man and genuinely stunned at well he’s playing after seemingly being lost out there for the better part of a season-and-a-half!
    5. Nice to see some guys step up and play well for stretches like JN (whom I have been tough on), JS, and Al.
    6. Balances effort scoring and rebounding it seemed tonight. I’ll have to check the box score but it seemed RJ, JN, JM, Al, and JS may have all been in double figures and Freddie had to have been close if he didn’t make it.
    7. This team is playing like a team now even when they struggle. I’m definitely impressed and optimistic for the future with Archie at the wheel!

  • VOXAC30

    That Freshman for Illinois is awesome… I hated the turnovers at least 4 of them were awful and head scratching. Al Travel, Zack under there basket, Green Palming and one horrible pass just losing focus. Credit Illinois they mafe it ugly. Our defense was solid and we forced them to foul so credit our guys.

  • HoosierDawg

    Refs were determined to let them score from the FT line. The usual awful officiating where they blow the whistle on every @#$& possession.

  • As I mentioned earlier in the day I looked at this game as one to see if we could keep progressing. I don’t know that we stepped forward but I’m very happy to get any win, dissapointed in the turnovers, but as was mentioned before an ugly win is still a win.

  • HoosierDawg

    Hey-one more win in B1G than last season!

  • Ole Man

    Turnovers, Yuck!
    But they won, so, on to the next.
    If Iowa plays that zone a lot, could be tough.

  • Speed

    Ilinois played better defense and our passing was the worst of the year resulting in 18 turnovers. Still contributions from the bench helped Morgan who was stellar as always and resulted in an IU win! 60 free throw attempts between two teams proved it was either extremely physical or the refs were showing no love on Valentine Day.

  • VOXAC30

    Three more would be nice

  • RonG

    Amazingly by beating the pack line defense by getting the ball within a foot of the basket. Pack line designed to get beat by the three and not letting the ball to enter middle from outside the key. Whether you want to admit it Underwood can flat out coach. Happy we won but Brad exposed us to rest of conference going forward.

  • VOXAC30

    Nice… No love on Valentine’s Day

  • Steve Morgan

    It was great to see Al have a little break out tonight. When he went into his little “funk” in early conference play, he had so many 3 balls go halfway down and pop back out. It is amazing to see how much more confident he was on the offensive end when a couple of those went through the hoop for him tonight.
    As for the game, it might have been ugly, but that’s this team’s (and frankly, Illinois’ squad, as well) M.O. Just score more than the other team. But yeah, let’s knock it off with the silly “pick 6” turnovers and missed free throws. At least we were in the double bonus early in the 2nd half so missing all the front ends that we did at the end of the game didn’t kill us!

  • VOXAC30

    I don’t know the answer to this… But is Iowa improving or falling apart? I can say we have made considerable improvement im hoping we get the edge.

  • Ole Man

    Brad didn’t expose anything.
    Other teams have scored inside against IU this year.
    Black has his usual excellent night. And he did that by movement, not from entry passes.
    Other than that, none of their other front court did squat.
    Hyperbole is not your friend.

  • Ole Man

    They haven’t been playing well the past four or five games. But Fran has them playing more zone and IU has had mixed success against the zone this year.

  • VOXAC30

    I think Fran is on the Hot Seat

  • David Macer

    Another game with a sub 1.00 PPP !!

  • David Macer

    His pocket pass to Durham was a thing of beauty!!

  • RonG

    Gimme a break . What the hell have you been watching these past several games? Do really understand the game you fool -it only takes one player ,duh Morgan , for to create havoc! Give it a rest and give others credit for being competitive. You obvious are oblivious as to how the pack line is supposed to operate.Your constant BS adds nothing here! Learn the game. Your Church league playing experience ,if you even have that , doesn’t qualify you as an expert. Think man,his movement is what beat the pack line. You stated the obvious. TKS for agreeing with me!!!!!

  • David Macer

    Settle down Ron. Ole Man has forgot more basketball than you’ve learned.

  • Arch Puddington

    Actually, our defense moved from #56 before the game to #50 now. Shaky second half, but only .73 PPP in the first half, .95 for the game. We should have blown them out, but free throws and turnovers kept them in it.

  • Calbert_

    It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win! Juwan continues to show how much of a beast he is but I thought he could of done a better job of demanding the ball in the post tonight, especially in the second half. Great showing by some of the freshman tonight too. Oh, and if B1G refs could just swallow their whistles just a little I would enjoy watching this league a lot more!

  • Calbert_

    Free throws are definitely still a problem but imagine if they would have shot it like tonight from the line in the first game against Illinois. They would’ve won that game!

  • Mark Bando

    In the last 8-9 years, other than Oladipo, is there another person that has been a better two way player than JM has been this year?

  • Calbert_

    You could even argue Juwan is playing better. He might not be a better defender than Vic but I’d say he’s more consistent on offense. He’s been so much fun to watch this year!

  • Mark Bando

    He has been amazing. I never expected this kind of improvement from him.

  • bpw97214

    The short answer is no.

  • Mark Bando

    I havent been able to think of one.

  • Ivan Renko

    Good game to Al Durham! Glad he stepped up when the backcourt was thin again.

  • IUBizmark

    Nah, they just signed him to a lengthy extension and he’s got a good class coming in next season.

  • Donnie Vick

    His defense was amazing last night. It wasn’t just the blocks and steals, but he had to have had more than 10 deflections and several just good defensive stops.

  • Nimbi63

    When Leon Black can drop the shoulder and slam into the defender, then shoot and go to the line for free throws, he’s unstoppable. Trent Frazier has a good move when he dribbles with one hand, hooks the defender with the other hand and pushes hard, then goes to the line to shoot free throws. Those two moves were good for close to 20 points for the Illini.

  • Donnie Vick

    Looked like Devonte got hurt not benched.

  • Arch Puddington

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to be a pedantic. Based on the infamous “eye test”, I also thought that our ranking might take a bit of a hit. So I was pleased to see otherwise, and not just because of the meaningless ranking. It meant that our first half was THAT GOOD defensively, and that we have gotten so used to great defense that even a single bad half now stands out to us.

  • Tommy Morrsion

    Exactly! Had to double take to realize that was Freddie. Couldn’t imagine that would be him making that type of play 2 months ago.

  • Adam 01

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by “exposed.” We held them under 1 ppp, harassed their guards all night long, closed out on 3 point shooters extremely well, and, in my opinion, handled their top-of-the-key ball screens really well. We might have got burned a couple times from some good individual efforts by LB and TF, but really, they never got much going. If it wasn’t for some gift foul calls and incredibly sloppy turnovers, we would have won by 20.

    Furthermore, who has said Underwood can’t coach? I haven’t seen a single comment on that until yours. He seems like a pretty good coach, and I’m sure, just like us, when IL gets some better talent top to bottom, they’ll be a top half B10 team every year.

  • Hardwood83

    No- and I don’t think there are 5 players better than him in the B1G, either.
    More NBA potential maybe, but not better.

  • Dsct1

    Well 3rd no watch no record and 3rd win in a row. As I stated in an earlier forum due to superstition I won’t watch until a loss or next year. Saying that what happened with DG? Lower minutes and lower stat line.

  • Arch Puddington

    We appreciate your dedication! Keep not watching until our superstition has been proven false.

  • yaman22

    We do struggle with quick guards, but I thought the refs allowed their guards to get away with a lot of hand checking.
    They missed two goal tending calls too.
    Loved the way Al and Justin played tonight.
    Go Hoosiers !

  • HoosierFan08

    I agree, Illinois plays physical and they are rewarded because that is their style of play. The refs let them get away with way more contact than IU. Thankfully that didn’t cost us the game, but that has to get figured out. It seems to be a trend at least in the BIG TEN. My opinion only here but…Illinois is a bad basketball team who keeps games close because they are aggressive and physical and usually get away with stuff the other team doesn’t. That being said, we had tons of turnovers and still would have won by 20+ had we taken care of the ball better

  • bpw97214

    My knee jerk reaction was Yogi, but I don’t recall him impacting the defensive side as much as Juwan, and “doing everything” on the offensive end.

    OG ran through my mind as someone who could’ve been that guy…but, he gone.

  • Mark Bando

    I never expected JM to get this good on offense. His timing on blocked shots is amazing and he is uncanny at doing it without fouling. And he rebounds in a crowd like he is 6’10”.

  • Mark Bando

    I agree with you. When looking at how he effects the game in so many ways, you cant find five guys who do that better.

  • Mark Bando

    You’re right. Yogi became a better defender by his senior year, but no where near as good as JM.

  • RonG

    You are probably correct. I do owe Ole Man an apology. I didn’t realize my response was so belligerent. Also,if you read Arch’s response to me he was able to deliver a well deserved a** chewing ,but he did it in a very gracious manner! Which is appreciated.

  • RonG

    My response to you was way off base. My apology!