After a 71-61 loss on the road to Wisconsin, Indiana seeked to get things back on track Saturday night with a road contest against Minnesota. The Hoosiers knew the tough task they had to face coming in against a very good Big Ten program, and Indiana handled it perfectly bouncing back with a 75-71 win over the Golden Gophers.
Without De’Ron Davis and Collin Hartman, IU made the most of their scoring opportunities led by the phenomenal trio of Robert Johnson, Juwan Morgan, and Justin Smith. The three combined for 68 of Indiana’s 75 points. The other five rotational players for Indiana combined for just 7 points, but they were not needed on a night where three players really set the tone.
Johnson led all scorers with 28 points to pair along with 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in 38 minutes of action. He shot the ball 10-21 from the field, 3-7 from behind the arc, and 5-6 from the charity stripe. Johnson was the undisputed top performer on Indiana, setting several new season-highs. Johnson’s 28 points, 7 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals each set a new season-high for the senior.
Morgan had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds along with 1 steal and 4 blocks for an excellent all-around performance. Morgan shot 8-16 from the field, 3-4 on three-point attempts, and 1-2 from the free throw line. His rebounding and blocks each tied a season-high while recording his fifth double-double of the season. It had not been since the disappointing loss to IPFW when Morgan reached double-figure rebounding but found success Saturday night.
Finally, for the last of the trio, in an expanded role, Freshman Justin Smith cashed in on a career-day. Smith set a new career-high in scoring, field goal percentage (Min. 10 Shots), three-point percentage (Min. 2 Shots), and free throw percentage (Min. 2 Shots). Smith had 20 points on 7-10 shooting from the field, 2-2 from the three-point line, and 4-4 from the free throw line.
As a team, Indiana shot 28-70 (40.0%) from the field, 8-19 (42.1%) from behind the arc, and 11-15 (73.3%) from the charity stripe. In addition, IU outrebounded Minnesota 45-25 with 17 coming from the offense and 28 from the defense. The Hoosiers dished out 16 assists, racked up 7 steals, and blocked 5 shots while committing 13 total turnovers.
#IUBB Notes (Indiana Athletics)
• The Hoosiers posted their 100th win in the series against the Gophers.
• IU posted its second win of the season when trailing with under 5:00 to go. UM led 67-62 with 4:53 to go. IU outscored them down the stretch 13-4 for the win. The Hoosiers also trailed late against Notre Dame before pulling out the win.
• It was the first road win of the season for the Hoosiers and first Big Ten road win for Coach Archie Miller who is now 2-0 against the Gophers.
• The Hoosiers played without sophomore De’Ron Davis (lower right leg) and Collin Hartman (sore right shoulder). The duo contributes 16.2 points per game on average.
• IU improved to 6-0 when making 8 or more 3FG.
• Minnesota scored the first 5 points of the game.
• IU had its biggest lead at 32-23 with 3:41 left in the first half.
• The Gophers had their biggest lead at 48-40 with 15:19 left in the game.
Indiana will host Penn State at Assembly Hall on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM Eastern. Big Ten Network will televise the game.