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Three takeaways: Indiana basketball’s 76-70 overtime loss at Iowa

Indiana senior forward Juwan Morgan gets ready at the free throw line against Purdue on Tuesday Feb. 19. (Mark Timko/HN)

Indiana lost its 12th game in the last 13 Friday night at No. 21 Iowa in overtime, 76-70. The Hoosiers led for over 28 minutes in the game, but couldn’t close it out when it mattered as Iowa eventually completed the comeback win.

Here are the three takeaways from the Indiana loss.

Jordan Bohannon was “the guy.” Romeo Langford was not.

On a handful of occasions this season, Indiana has needed somebody to step up and make “the shot.” Every time, Archie Miller has called a timeout to draw up a play and ever since the calendar flipped to 2019, late game execution has been a problem for the Hoosiers.

Tonight, Miller watched Langford bring the ball up the floor with only 28 seconds to go while neglecting to call a timeout, letting the freshman guard take the last shot of regulation.

Langford, one of the best slashers in the country, chose for the second time in such a situation to stay out of the paint and take a step-back three instead. His confidence was there, the execution was not.

Romeo Langford failed to hit the big shot, went 4-of-12 from the field in the game and 2-of-6 from 3-point. The missed 3-pointer opened an opportunity for Iowa in overtime.

Good players take opportunities, and Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon did just that.

Not only did Bohannon hit the game-tying three to keep the Hawkeyes alive, but he answered every single time the Hoosiers battled back in the game’s third period. Bohannon hit two go-ahead three-pointers and then nailed a dagger to put Iowa up five with 20 seconds to go.

“You got to give Bohannon some credit,” said Miller following the Hoosier loss. “You know, right now he seems to be that one guy that’s willing to step up and make them and he did.”

Juwan Morgan’s Career Defensive Night

Senior forward Juwan Morgan has been asked to do a lot over his final two years as a Hoosier. Trying to lead struggling teams in a stellar conference is just the start.

Friday night, Morgan was tabbed with trying to slow down one of the most prolific big men in the Big Ten in Tyler Cook. Cook still ended the game with 18 points, but Morgan protected the rim all night long.

The senior finished with a career high six blocks and three steals to lead the Hoosiers on the defensive end. As a team, Indiana won the turnover battle, forcing 12 Hawkeye mistakes to their 11. Freshman guard Rob Phinisee also turned in a solid defensive performance Friday with four steals. As a team, Indiana had eight blocks and nine steals.

Although the Hawkeyes got the last laugh with Bohannon knocking down big shots from the perimeter late in regulation and in overtime, Morgan made it tough for Iowa all night to penetrate and score inside the paint.

“Juwan had three steals and six blocks and I thought Rob was terrific in terms of digging some balls out there and making some plays,” Miller said. “We were active, we had to be, they’re big and strong. I though our on-ball defense was as good as its been, maybe even the Purdue game tied it up, I thought we did a great job defending the three for most of the time.”

The Hoosier bench stepped up

Both Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis found themselves in foul trouble early, forcing Miller to play Evan Fitzner early and he didn’t disappoint.

After the Hawkeyes put together a 9-0 run to go up 19-15, Fitzner scored on back to back Hoosier possessions to pull them within two. Then, Indiana put together a strong 13-6 run to take a 28-25 near the end of the first half.

Of those 13 Indiana points to close out the second half, the Hoosier bench combined for 11 of them. Without that offensive jolt fueled by Fitzner and Devonte Green, Indiana wouldn’t have found themselves tied after 20 minutes.

“Excellent job in their time, especially in the first half,” said Miller of Indiana’s bench tonight. “Evan gave us great presence against the zone and then Race [Thompson] did a really good job on the glass at times.”

On the night, Indiana totaled 18 bench points with Fitzner contributing 11, Green with five and Justin Smith adding two.

The Hoosiers have proven they can hold their own defensively with good teams, however the offensive deficiencies tend to be the downfall. If big contributions from Fitzner off the bench can continue, like they thought it would going into the season, Indiana will be in a significantly better spot as they try to make an unlikely run at the NCAA tournament.

Currently studying sports media at Indiana University because hey, it’s probably a good idea to follow your dreams while you’re young, right? Born and raised in Northwest Indiana under an hour away from the best sports city in the world, Chicago. I’m a diehard Chicago Blackhawks, White Sox, Bears and Bulls fan. Growing up I genuinely believed I'd be centering a dominate second line alongside Patrick Kane by the time I turned twenty, but writing about it isn't too bad either. I think I’ve lived long enough to feel ways about stuff. That being said, Trubisky is the second coming, MJ is the GOAT, the Blackhawks are a dynasty and the media deleted the 2005 World Series. All opinions are my own. Can still hit the open 3 or go bar down your call. Follow @SamuelRBoland on Twitter.

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