If you are keeping track, that is three straight wins for the Hoosiers against Big Ten opponents as they defeated Northwestern at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall 66-46 on Sunday afternoon. Propelled by a large second half, all the right buttons were clicking for Indiana as they earned Archie Miller his 150th career win.
After a slow start in the first half leading the Wildcats 24-19, IU flipped the switch in the second half dominating on all levels outscoring Northwestern 42-27. After the first two minutes of the half were up, Indiana compiled a 27-4 run over an eight-minute stretch with about ten minutes left in the game. The scoring run gave the Hoosiers a 53-26 lead, almost already sealing the deal with plenty of time left in action. Up by 22 with around thirty seconds left, Indiana made sure that it was going to be a large victory margin when Devonte Green stole the ball from Isiah Brown and was fouled in transition. The margin would end up being 20 points after Northwestern knocked down a three in the final five seconds.
Robert Johnson scored a game-high 17 points on 5-12 shooting to pair along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block. Johnson most notably passed Tom Cloverdale (2000-03) and Steve Downing (1971-73) on Indiana’s all-time scoring list moving up to 34th. With five three-pointers, Johnson also tied James Blackmon Jr. with 205 career three-point field goals now fourth on the school all-time list. Josh Newkirk added 12 points while Juwan Morgan and Justin Smith chipped in 8 points apiece.
The Hoosiers as a team played very well, outpacing the Wildcats in nearly every mark possible. IU shot 23-53 (43.4%) from the field, 8-23 (34.8%) from distance, and 12-22 (54.5%) from the charity stripe. In addition to the solid shooting numbers, Indiana outrebounded Northwestern 39-38 with 10 on offense and 29 on defense. Indiana’s ball movement and defensive playmaking were also superior with 19 assists, 9 steals, and 4 blocks. Finally, for the ball control, Indiana did an excellent job taking care of the basketball, only committing 11 turnovers compared to Northwestern’s 17.
IU is going to have quite a while off, but they will need it against their next opponent. On Friday night at 7:00 PM Eastern, the Hoosiers will travel to East Lansing taking on Michigan State in their biggest game of the season to this point.
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