INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana defeated Miami (OH) 86-56 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to remain undefeated at 4-0 on the season. The game was the Hoosiers’ first of three this week in the second-annual Hoosier Classic.
Here are some takeaways from Indiana’s win.
Indiana was recovering a bit from the Xavier game
After a thrilling 81-79 victory over Xavier at the Cintas Center on Friday, the Hoosiers turned around and played Miami (OH) less than 48 hours later. Indiana came out slow offensively, scoring just nine points in the opening eight minutes of the game against an inferior Miami (OH) roster.
IU’s slow offensive start wasn’t surprising coming off the high of getting the road win at Xavier. After all, it was the first non-conference road win for the Hoosiers since Nov. 30, 2011.
Indiana picked up the scoring later in the first half, as the Hoosiers ended the half on an 11-0 run to take a 43-26 lead into the break.
The start of games has been a slight concern for Indiana this year. Indiana has trailed past the under-16 timeout in each of its first four games. The Hoosiers are yet to put together a wire-to-wire victory (or close to it) this season. Indiana was able to seamlessly bounce back from a lackluster start on Sunday, but that’s something to watch with this team going forward.
The Hoosiers are still inconsistent from downtown
Indiana had another rough night shooting from beyond the arc. The team was 7-for-21 (33%) on 3-pointers against Miami (OH).
In two games at Assembly Hall this year, IU has made 40% of its 3s. In two games away from Assembly Hall, Indiana is 11-for-33 from deep. Indiana has been unable to maintain the same deadeye accuracy away from Bloomington.
While Hoosier fans were (rightfully) thrilled about the team making 10 3s against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 10, this squad may not be that much better than last year’s team from deep. The sample size remains extremely small, but it appears this Hoosier roster is still streaky from deep.
Indiana’s defense is elite
It’s safe to say that the defensive side of the ball is still Indiana’s strong suit. IU smothered Miami’s (OH) offense from the jump on Sunday. The RedHawks scored just 56 points and never seemed to figure the Hoosiers’ defense out.
It was an incredible defensive effort by Indiana in all facets of the game. Miami (OH) finished with a mere 16 points in the paint. Mekhi Lairy, the Redhawks’ top scorer, was held to 12 points while shooting 5-for-16 from the field.
No matter what improvements the Hoosiers make on offense, their defense will still lead the team to where it wants to go. IU’s defense has been excellent, picking up where the Hoosiers left off in Mike Woodson’s inaugural season in 2021-22.
The Hoosiers remained unscathed with a 4-0 record. This is the first of three games for IU during Thanksgiving week. Indiana will continue the Hoosier Classic as it returns to Assembly Hall to face the Little Rock Trojans on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.