Indiana Hoosiers senior guard Devonte Green has blown hot and cold this season. In his past eight games, he scored 19, zero, three, two, 16, four, 13, and three points. He was due for a breakout performance sooner than later.
That came against the No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on February 13. Green scored 18 of his team-high 27 points in the first half to carry Indiana (16-8) to an 89-77 win over visiting Iowa (17-8).
With the Cream and Crimson leading 19-16, the Hoosiers went on a decisive 12-0 run to pull away. Green scored nine points (including two of his seven triples) during that stretch.
Freshman recruit Trayce Jackson-Davis, who complemented Green nicely with 17 points, scored five points in less than two minutes to give the Hoosiers a 16-point lead. IU would lead at the break, 49-34.
It was all Indiana in the second half. Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee nailed a three-pointer to give the Hoosiers their biggest lead of the game, 60-40. Iowa’s Ryan Kriener converted on a layup with 4:24 left to trim the deficit to 71-60, but it was the closest the Hawkeyes would get.
IU’s outside shooting made the difference in this one. Thanks mainly to Green, the Hoosiers made 11 of 21 three-point attempts for a gaudy 52.4 percent clip. It’s also a marked improvement from their league-low average of 5.3 made threes per game.
Phinisee added 12 points and five assists for the Hoosiers. Sophomore forward Race Thompson, who averages just 3.1 points per game, added 10 points off the bench.
Iowa junior center Luke Garza, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer (23.1 ppg), wreaked havoc with 38 points. He also had eight rebounds and four blocks. Sophomore guard Joe Wieskamp added 16 points and six rebounds for the Hawkeyes.
Indiana’s Road Woes Continue in Blowout Loss at Michigan
One major stumbling block for the Indiana Hoosiers (16-8) this season has been their inability to win on the road. That trend continued against the Michigan Wolverines (15-9) at Crisler Center on February 16.
The Wolverines relied on a balanced scoring attack to pummel IU, 89-65. German freshman guard Franz Wagner led Michigan with 16 points. He also had eight rebounds. Four of his teammates scored at least 12 points.
IU led 12-11 after junior guard Al Durham converted a three-point attempt. It was the Hoosiers’ only lead of the game. Eli Brooks countered with his own triple to reclaim the lead two minutes later. Michigan never looked back.
Wagner’s layup gave the Wolverines a 37-25 lead. However, the Hoosiers went on a 9-4 run to make it 41-34 in favor of Michigan at halftime.
With the Wolverines up 51-41, the home team went on an 11-1 spurt to put the game out of reach. During that spurt, Zavier Simpson made a jumper and two free throws, Wagner and Eli Brooks scored on layups, and Brandon Johns, Jr. nailed a three-pointer. Michigan established a 20-point lead – a lead it would never relinquish.
Michigan outshot IU 57.4 percent to 45.9 percent. The former also shot 52.9 percent from three-point area (nine of 17 attempts). In contrast, the Hoosiers made just three of their 12 three-point attempts (25 percent). The Wolverines also had more rebounds (37 to 21) and assists (17 to seven).
The loss was IU’s fifth in its last six games. The Hoosiers also fell to 1-6 on the road this season. De’Ron Davis led the Hoosiers with 18 points. Durham added 17. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana’s leading scorer, had five points on 2-of-3 shooting.
Hoosiers Odds Trend Up Against Minnesota Golden Gophers
If the Indiana Hoosiers (16-9) want to make the NCAA tournament, they must start winning again. A road victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-12) at Williams Arena on February 19 is a good way to start.
IU hasn’t been very good on the road this season. The team has won just once in seven outings away from Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. That trend must change.
The Hoosiers will have their hands full against sophomore center Daniel Oturu, who has been averaging 19.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. IU must also stymie guards Marcus Carr (15.4 ppg) and Gabe Kalscheur (11.7 ppg).
IU has blown hot and cold from the outside in its last two games. The Hoosiers shot poorly from three-point range (25 percent) in its loss to the Michigan Wolverines three days earlier.
Rob Phinisee, Al Durham, and Devonte Green must rediscover their shooting touch against Minnesota (whose 6-8 conference record ties IU for the third-worst in the Big Ten Conference).
Hoosiers odds, Hoosiers over/under, and Hoosiers moneyline should trend up against Minnesota because of IU’s better overall record.