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‘Juwan is a fighter’: Juwan Morgan propels Indiana basketball to Senior Day win over Rutgers

In his final game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, senior forward Juwan Morgan left his mark.

On his senior day, in a must-win game against Rutgers, Morgan put up a stellar 25 points on 11 of 13 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds to propel IU to a dominant 89-73 win.

“Just coming out with the win, I think it was as good as it could have been just going out the last time on this court in front of all these fans,” Morgan said.

As excellent as Morgan was in the game, the senior remained focused on the task at hand, not looking too far ahead into the future.

“Everything we want is in front of us and we just have to take one day at a time,” Morgan said. “We’re focused on getting better from today and taking that to tomorrow and so forth and to the Big Ten Tournament.”

Offensively, Morgan was lights out, starting out 10-10 from the field and bringing a strong presence down low. His hustle was excellent too, three of his seven rebounds came on the offensive end.

His final basket on his home court came on a ferocious dunk from a tip-pass from fellow senior Zach McRoberts with just under two minutes to go.

“Juwan is a fighter,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “He’s given us unbelievable toughness where we need to rebound, and he’s given us presence this week in particular around the rim.”

That toughness is something that the whole team has taken by example as the Hoosiers look like a completely different group over the last four games, especially on the offensive end as they have put up an average of just under 80 points.

Additionally, the Hoosiers have put up 92 and 89 points in the last two wins over Illinois and Rutgers, respectively.

Now with a new swagger and four wins in a row for the Hoosiers, after a previous one of 13 game stretch, Indiana has itself in position for a possible NCAA Tournament appearance.

Today’s win finished Indiana’s regular season with a 17-14 overall record while going 8-12 in conference. Indiana will be the No. 9 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face Ohio State in the first round Thursday in Chicago.

The Hoosiers are still firmly entrenched on the bubble for now. Though their performance in Chicago will determine their destiny.

“We’re going to have to win, not one game, not two games,” Miller said. “We’re going to have to try to win as many games as we can, and that’s how you control your own deal.”

Morgan got to experience the NCAA Tournament his freshman year in 2015-2016 where the Hoosiers won the Big Ten Regular Season Title, earned a No. 5 seed and a Sweet 16 berth before losing to their region’s No. 1 seed, North Carolina.

Morgan emerged as an impact player and IU’s undisputed best player as a junior. He has only improved on the court while being a better leader in his senior season.

If he can continue to lead the Hoosiers and keep them playing the way they are, a run to the NCAA Tournament might just be in the cards for Morgan and this group.

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