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‘I wasn’t terribly disappointed with our team tonight’: Indiana turns in encouraging performance in loss to Iowa

Indiana’s Romeo Langford during a 2018 game at Assembly Hall. (Josh Eastern/HN)

On the heels of its biggest win of the season, IU coach Archie Miller said he was pleased with his team’s effort, albeit in a losing effort.

Even though the effort level was there, Miller pointed out his team couldn’t quite finish. The Hoosiers cut the Iowa lead down to four late in the second half, but could never get over the hump. Pairing a defensive stop with a made bucket on the other end never came for Indiana.

There are signs the Hoosiers are putting the losing streak in the rearview following Saturday’s win at Michigan State. But on Thursday night, the Hoosiers didn’t do enough to earn a home win, losing 77-72 to the No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes.

“It’s going to be evaluated just like Michigan State: Are we in check with our attitude; did we come together; did we play hard, and did we play unselfish, and I think we did a lot of those things,” Miller said. “But our offense, to me, you can scrutinize it and you can go through it, and our defense wasn’t able to finish it, you know, finish possessions tonight.”

With the game in the balance at multiple junctures, the Hoosiers put themselves in good situations, but Iowa, with its veteran experience, hit big shots when needed. And it was Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon who scored the final 11 points for the Hawkeyes that proved to be the difference.

On the flip side for the Hoosiers, they were never able to get a clutch shot when they needed. Romeo Langford finished with a team high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Juwan Morgan, who played most of the second half with four fouls, contributed 17 points. Outside of that, it was a similar story. Who was going to be the third scorer? Thursday it was Al Durham who finished with 12 points, but only shot 3-of-8.

Yet, if you look at Indiana’s offense, the Hoosiers were good in many metrics. They had 17 assists on 26 made shots, outrebounded Iowa by three, hit seven 3-pointers and shot 49 percent overall. Still, it wasn’t enough.

“I wasn’t terribly disappointed in our team tonight,” Miller said. “I thought we were really together again offensively, whether it was the man or the zone we continued to be able to get 17 assists in the game, which is something we’ve got to keep doing and we shot a good percentage, as well.”

Although the Hoosiers committed just 12 turnovers, Iowa turned those turnovers into 19 points, a number Miller said probably hurt them more than anything. Langford said they were just too lackadaisical with the ball at certain times.

Iowa hitting big shots at big moments negated any sort of Indiana run. Most of those came from Bohannon, which proved to be the ultimate dagger.

“We had good defense for the majority of the game and like majority of the shot clock and sometimes we kind of loosened up and let them get a late, late shot clock point or maybe just fouling them,” Langford said. “Also down the stretch, No. 3 (Bohannon) hit like three or four big-time shots down late in the shot clock. So we have to give credit to them for hitting clutch shots.”

With the Hoosiers falling to 13-10 and 4-8 in the Big Ten, there is no time to dwell on a tough loss. There is still a decent amount of basketball ahead of them and Thursday’s effort and performance was good enough to win some games. But against an Iowa team that made 10 3-pointers, it wasn’t enough.

“We just weren’t quite good enough to finish this one off just in terms of being able to get one-time stops and then obviously being able to quality-possessions with shots when we needed to in those last maybe five minutes,” Miller said.

I am a senior from Seattle, Washington majoring in Media. I am formerly of the Indiana Daily Student where I covered Indiana men’s soccer team and women’s basketball. You still can find me broadcasting for WIUX Student Radio and on BTN Student U outside of The Hoosier Network. Former intern at 710 ESPN Seattle and broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. Email: Follow me on Twitter: @JoshEastern.

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