After being blasted on the road against Maryland on Saturday, IU returns home to Assembly Hall Wednesday night to host Northwestern, the last place team in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are the only Big Ten team yet to win a conference game. Northwestern has the worst overall record in the conference at 5-8. In the midst of a stretch where IU is facing a ranked team with nearly every other matchup in a conference that has proven to be one of the deepest in the nation, this has quickly emerged as a must-win game for IU's NCAA Tournament hopes.
Tip off is at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Follow along below for live updates:
FINAL: The type of performance Indiana had against Maryland over the weekend stretched into much of tonight against Northwestern. But Indiana found a way to make a late comeback. There are concerns, lots of them. Those were not alleviated. IU gets to 12-3 with a 66-62 win. It leaves with more questions than answers.
Northwestern timeout, 1:20 to go: A huge Trayce Jackson-Davis alley-oop and IU has a four point lead. He now has 20 points.
Second half under-4 timeout: It's suddenly a back and forth offensive game as Northwestern leads by three in the final moments. Hoosiers are 17-50 inside the arc. As if it really needs to be said at this point, IU can't score.
5:38 to go: IU came back to tie the game at 50. It did so by holding Northwestern to a six minute scoring drought, the kind of drought Indiana has become acustomed to.
Northwestern timeout, 8:39 to play: IU has vaulted itself back into this game with a 7-0 run, and now trail 50-47. Defensive pressure has stepped up. Feeding Trayce Jackson-Davis has made the difference.
Second half under-12 timeout: Northwestern is picking Indiana apart. It's been another four minute drought with no field goals as IU is down by 10.
Second half under-16 timeout: IU has not gotten the ball inside and has sturggled as a result. It is shooting just 39% from inside the arc against a Northwestern team that is near the bottom of many defensive metrics. That's why it continues to fall further behind. The stagnant offense continues to be a theme. 42-37 Northwestern lead.
HALFTIME: Archie Miller's team keeps getting itself into some weird funks on offense. It had a seven minute stretch without a field goal which seems to be a trend that has popped up throughout the season. The tunrovers were brutal, with 11 in the half capped by a Rob Phinisee pass to no one in the final minute. Justin Smith has five turnovers of its own. IU was booed at points on its own floor as the same offense that led to a blowout at the hands of Maryland over the wekeend has continued back into Assembly Hall. IU is 3-10 from three and 10-25 from inside the arc. Northwestern leads at the half in Bloomington, 34-31.
Under-4 timeout: The Jekyll and Hyde of Indiana basketball continues. Turnover and missed shots that have consistently reared their head as IU fails to maintain consistent offensive play. It allowed an 11-0 Northwestern run to let a 10 point lead slip into a deficit. Northwestern leads 30-29.
Under-8 timeout: IU finds a bit of a cushion for the first time in a while. Northwestern isn't an elite defensive team, and IU is out to a 27-19 lead. Turnovers have been an issue and the only reason IU isn't up by more.
Under-12 timeout: Hoosiers lead 20-15. IU has held Northwestern to a near three minute scoring drought, but it hasn't always had the easiest time with Northwestern's zone. Still allowing a 58% mark from the field to Northwestern. IU is 6-6 from the free throw line.
Under-16 timeout: Against a depleted Northwestern roster that is among the lowest scoring team in the Big Ten and the country, IU is allowing it to score. IU leads 15-13, but the Wildcats are shooting 67%. Tryace Jackson-Davis already has seven points.