Indiana 65, Iowa 43.

Here's the box score. The pace was 64 possessions. The Big Ten is slowing the Hoosiers down. Last night's game was the third time in four games that the Hoosiers have been involved in a game with fewer than 65 possessions per side, as compared to two such games in the first 14. Given IU's turnover problems, I suppose this isn't bad. This wasn't a great offensive performance, as IU was barely over a point a possession, but the defensive effort was the best of the year. Iowa's .66 points per possession is IU's second-best total of the season (Longwood is the only other team that IU held to under .73 points per possession. Iowa shot poorly (34 percent for the game, 21 percent in the second half), but the turnovers were devastating. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over on 31 percent of their possessions. The Hawkeyes have struggled with turnover problems (25.6 percent on the season) but still, this was one of the Hawkeyes' wost performances. It's also IU's second-best total of the season (32.4 by UNC-Wilmington). In IU's first five Big Ten teams, IU's best defensive turnover percentage performance was 17.4 against Illinois. If this becomes a trend for IU, the Hoosiers will be tough to beat. Neither team rebounded well offensively.
As for the individuals:
  • 17 points on 11 shots for Eric Gordon. Gordon was 0-3 from behind the arc but 7-8 on two point shots (his drives resulted in layups rather than free throws (4-4)). Three assists, 2 turnovers, 3 blocks, 4 steals. His defensive effort and performance was outstanding.
  • DJ White had 19 points on 13 shots, but an unusually low 4 rebounds.
  • Jamarcus Ellis had another all-everything game. Ellis scored 12 points on 7 shots (thanks to 6-7 from the line), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 steals.
  • Deandre Thomas played 19 minutes, but managed only two points on two shots and turned the ball over 4 times.
  • Armon Bassett continued his feast-or-famine trend: 8 points on 3-3 from the field, 3 assists, no turnovers, 2 steals.
  • Jordan Crawford continues to be a bit out of control. Five points on 5 shots, 2 assists, 4 turnovers.
  • Lance Stemler cooled off again. He was scoreless on 0-3 from the field/three point range.

This probably was IU's most complete victory of the season. Of IU's next eight games, seven are very challenging: Connecticut, @ Wisconsin, Northwestern, at Illinois, @ Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue. Within three weeks, we will have an idea of whether 17-1 is a function of IU's less-than-challenging schedule or whether it is an accurate statement of the team's quality.

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