Indiana men’s basketball seemed to be making progress on the offensive end and taking better care of the basketball before it matched up with Iowa Thursday night. The team averaged just seven turnovers across the previous three games after giving the ball up 15.5 times per game in its first 12 games.
The Hoosiers couldn’t continue their improvement against the Hawkeyes and suffered a brutal second-half collapse at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, losing the game 83-74. After outshooting them in the first half and leading 48-41, the Hoosiers turned the ball over 14 times after halftime and were outscored 42-26.
“The last two games, we dictated the pace,” junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said at the postgame press conference. “We didn’t do that tonight. They brought it to us. They were trying to speed the game up, and we did the same thing. We didn’t stick to our game plan.”
Indiana finished with 23 turnovers, its third-highest total this season, and Iowa capitalized and scored 34 points off turnovers. Indiana couldn’t keep Iowa off the offensive boards either as it scored 16 second-chance points, 10 of which came in the second half.
The Hoosiers turned the ball over across the board: Senior forward Race Thompson gave up five, senior guards Xavier Johnson and Rob Phinisee gave up four each and sophomore guard Trey Galloway finished with three turnovers. Of the 10 Hoosiers who played, freshman guard Tamar Bates was the only one who didn’t commit a turnover.
With eight turnovers coming from the point guards, head coach Mike Woodson said he needs more leadership at that position.
“That can’t happen,” Woodson said. “I gotta get more leadership there in terms of them being able to calm the storm, get the ball up and execute something to get us the opportunity to at least score the ball.”
When the Hoosiers were able to get up shots, they hit them 50.9% of the time, but because of their carelessness with the ball, they shot 10 fewer field goals than the Hawkeyes. Still, they only made one fewer field goal, but another crucial part of their second-half blunder was poor free-throw shooting.
It was the same story for Indiana from the free-throw line: it utterly collapsed in the second half after a solid first half. After knocking down eight of its 10 free throws in the first, Indiana missed six of its 11 attempts after halftime.
“When you’re throwing the ball away, when you’re not rebounding the ball, you’re not making your free throws, that’s a bad combination when you’re trying to win on the road,” Woodson said. “I thought we played a great first half, but unfortunately you gotta play 20 more minutes.”
Iowa sophomore forward Keegan Murray, who came into the game averaging a Division I-leading 24.7 points per game, got into foul trouble early and finished with just 12 points in 22 minutes. However, it was his twin brother, sophomore forward Kris Murray, who picked up the slack and led Iowa with a career-high 29 points and 11 rebounds.
The Murray brothers and senior guard Jordan Bohannon combined for 52 of the Hawkeyes’ 83 points. Despite it being a losing effort, Indiana’s offense was more balanced than their opponents’.
Led by Jackson-Davis with 18 points, four Hoosiers finished with double-digit point totals: Thompson finished with 13 points, Galloway scored 10 and senior guard Parker Stewart finished with 11. Senior forward Miller Kopp netted 8 points as well, and Johnson scored 7 and dished out four assists.
With the loss, Indiana moved to 0-4 on the road this season and 3-3 in Big Ten competition. It’ll have an opportunity to improve on both of those marks in its next game against Nebraska at 6 p.m. Monday in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“I think everyone in our locker room is disappointed, but we can’t break up,” Jackson-Davis said. “We gotta stay together. We’ve got another game on Monday against Nebraska, so that’s what all of our focus needs to be on right now.”