Thoughts on an 87-68 win over the Trojans:
So far this season, Indiana has easily swept aside the weaker teams on its schedule and had fun doing it. But that wasn’t the case tonight.
Little Rock stayed on into the second half when the Hoosiers were just seven points clear with 9:04 to go. Against Miami (OH), as the Redhawks held pace in the first half, Trayce Jackson-Davis took charge and ensured the Hoosiers had a comfortable lead and never looked back. But he sat as a precaution tonight and likely continued to rest his back after tweaking it on Sunday. Malik Reneau filled in well to start the competition. But he sat on his back a bit in the first half after landing on it early in the game. Reneau was also in trouble in the second half, playing just four minutes.
So, with neither of Indianas’ top two players available, it turned to its remaining veterans. Xavier Johnson ran well on offense and found his teammates as eight of his 10 assists came after the break. Seven of his nine points also came in the second half. Race Thompson, overshadowed by Reneau in the run-up, was also huge on track. Thompson scored 16 of his strong 20 points in the last 20 minutes of the game. And after missing his first two 3-point attempts in the first half, Miller Kopp went to 3-of-4 after the break. Indiana also got into the bonus early in the second half and the Hoosiers capitalized at the line by they hit 11 out of 14.
The Indiana defense lacked the usual effort and attention to detail, but cut late, leaving the Trojans just 11 points clear of the contest’s final 9:07. Though the Hoosiers lacked energy for most of that game, it was enough to still pull away and win by 19 points.
The .910 points per possession the Hoosiers allowed tonight was the most outside of Xavier (1.106) as they underheld the Redhawks (.790), Morehead State (.739) and Bethune Cookman (.687). Indiana sent the Trojans to the line 24 times, and they converted on 17 of those attempts (70.8 percent). Little Rock also performed well on second chance opportunities, beating the Hoosiers 21-12. And where Indiana has typically dominated in terms of pointless turnovers against these smaller opponents, tonight each team had 14 points in that division.
Jordan Geronimo continues to be a block machine. After hitting five shots against Miami (OH) on Sunday, he blocked another five against Little Rock. Geronimo also scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a 3-pointer in the second half. Jalen Hood-Schifino had five turnovers but otherwise played well, scoring 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He also added seven rebounds and three assists.
This won’t be a game Indiana will look back on fondly. While it wasn’t until the final minutes of the competition to really get some breathing room, at least that breathing room was achieved and the Hoosiers weren’t sweating on the track.
On to the next.
Filed under: Little Rock Trojans