Indiana men’s basketball, at what feels like long last, won a buy game by a comfortable margin. Hoosiers 83, North Alabama Lions 66.
Mind you, North Alabama is decidedly not good. But neither were a few of the other smaller schools on Indiana’s schedule and yet! That’s why this one feels good, for the fans and I’d imagine the team as well.
The whole game was one big exorcism of Indiana’s demons. Not only did the Hoosiers win by 17, they did so hitting 50%(!!) of their 24(!!!!) attempts from deep (!!!!).
Out of everyone to hit the most it was Malik Reneau, the big body down low, knocking down all four of his attempts from the arc. One was a circus shot to avoid a clock violation and another was in the closing seconds of the first half.
Others who knocked down at least one 3-pointer include:
- Gabe Cupps
- Mackenzie Mgbako
- Trey Galloway
- Anthony Walker
- Kaleb Banks
and last, but certainly not least...
- Anthony Leal
The hometown kid, who hasn’t seen too many minutes these past few years, drew the most cheers from the crowd when ball met net. Gotta think he’s earned that given his leadership through the years on the bench and in the locker room.
South Alabama tried to keep up, shooting 32 of its own, but only ended up making 9 on the night. Some were wide open and just didn’t fall and 19 were taken during a second half comeback attempt.
Indiana really, really needed this type of win. More than washing its hands of the near-disaster against Morehead State, the Hoosiers needed any sort of confidence after multiple close games and rough outings against Power Six foes.
Reneau powered Indiana with his career-high 25 points, the team had 25 assists on 31 made field goals, Anthony Walker stepped up off the bench (again) and the Hoosiers as a whole shot the lights out.
As for the shooting? Probably won’t see too many nights like that to be quite honest, but you can hope for more. Maybe seeing them go in Thursday leads to a few more attempts with confidence behind them in the future.
But how the win came about doesn’t matter nearly as much as just getting the win, by that kind of margin, to begin with. The Hoosiers needed to beat a team up and the Lions just happened to be that team tonight.