On Monday against Rutgers, Indiana took care of business — defeating the Scarlet Knights 65-43 to improve to 13-12 overall, and a 6-7 record in the conference. The Hoosiers are back in action Friday night at home against Minnesota, with a few days of much-needed rest in between.
Here’s our Rapid Reaction:
The Hoosiers Travel:
Well, that was a wire-to-wire win on the road. Indiana collected its first victory away from Assembly Hall since defeating Minnesota on January 6th — when the Hoosiers began a three-game winning streak. The Hoosiers made the trip on Monday, handling Rutgers from the tipoff — including a 17-3 start to the game. Juwan Morgan, per usual, was instrumental in fending off any possibility of a Rutgers comeback. Morgan tallied a game-high 24 points, as well as corralling eight rebounds on just 10-of-14 shooting from the field.
The Hoosiers took care of business against a significantly inferior team — and arguably the Big Ten’s worst. That being said, IU left an opportunity in Champaign against a then-winless Illini side, so Monday’s win is reassuring in that regard.
Devonte Green Starts:
For the first game since November 24th against Eastern Michigan, Devonte Green started for Archie Miller. Green, making his sixth start of the season, impressed with a line of nine points and three assists on an efficient 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Green’s three assists were all jaw-dropping plays, finding Juwan Morgan twice on bullet passes down low. As said many times before, Green appears to be a different player when benefiting from the rhythm and consistency that comes from substantial playing time.
Meanwhile, senior point guard Josh Newkirk was virtually invisible for the Hoosiers on Monday in Piscataway. Newkirk tallied only one point, shooting 0-of-4 from the floor and collecting three assists. The playing time between Green and Newkirk has been a storyline all season for the Hoosiers — and after Monday’s win, it appears to continue Friday against Minnesota.
Rutgers Shoots 25 Percent:
The headline says it all. Rutgers’ offense was reminiscent of Indiana’s offensive woes in the past two weeks — as the Scarlet Knights only amounted to shooting a putrid 13-of-54 from the floor. Despite a 31-point performance from Corey Sanders against Purdue, Rutgers has struggled to find open looks for points. Its backcourt of Sanders and freshman phenom Geo Baker combined for only 19 points …. on 5-of-22 shooting.
As aforementioned, the Hoosiers took care of business, and advantage, against an inferior opponent. Nonetheless, the Scarlet Knights’ defense rank respectably in the Big Ten — and Indiana’s nine 3-pointers were the second-most made all season (12 vs. Eastern Michigan.)