Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers give Michigan their first road win of the year

The Indiana Hoosiers were in desperate need of a win Sunday on their home floor. Michigan basketball had not won a season series since 1994-95 season against the Hoosiers.

In the last 18 matchups at Assembly Hall, the Michigan Wolverines were coming into the game 1-17. The Wolverines were 0-6 in road games this season in the Big Ten. They have not won a season series against the Hoosiers in over two decades. All of that soon disappears as the Wolverines down the Hoosiers 75-63.

The minute the ball was tipped, the Hoosiers were playing catch up. A quick turnover, a three-point make, and a coast-to-coast dunk at the beginning of the game put the Hoosiers down five immediately. In fact, the Hoosiers did not lead once during the game.

If I told you that Indiana’s two leading scorers would be without points in the first half, would you believe me? Well, this was the case for the Hoosiers. James Blackmon Jr. (17.6 PPG) and Robert Johnson (14.3 PPG) were each without a bucket in the first 20 minutes.

To make matters worse, the Wolverines were showing off a similar performance like the one we saw a few weeks prior in Ann Arbor. Michigan’s offense was provided in large part by Derrick Walton Jr. who had 25 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. The Wolverines other contributors included D.J. Wilson (13 points, three steals, three blocks) and Moritz Wagner (11 points, 10 rebounds).

The Hoosiers leading scorer for the game came from freshman forward De’Ron Davis (13 points in 14 minutes). Josh Newkirk and Juwan Morgan both had 11 points. The Hoosiers three most important offensive weapons, Bryant, Blackmon, and Johnson, were a combined 7-for-22 from the field. Robert Johnson was among many Indiana players frustrated after the game.

“I just think a lot of it is not being prepared to shoot before you get the ball, a lot of it is not hitting guys on time and on target with passes.” – Robert Johnson, Indiana Hoosiers guard

Head Coach Tom Crean had some choice words for the media during the post-game. He referred to his team as the least mature team he has ever coached. He put much of the blame on their willingness to fight when faced with adversity. This team has seen their fair share of adversity this season. The extreme highs and the depressing lows have detoured this team’s focus.

Coach Crean spoke on Indiana’s lack of three-point shooting with a jab at Michigan:

The loss now puts Indiana at 15-11 and 5-7 in the Big Ten Conference. The hopes of a NCAA Tournament bid are pretty much washed away at this point. The Hoosiers have to play four of their next five games on the road. Five straight wins to end the season doesn’t even seem likely enough to get the Hoosiers into the tournament now.

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