Thoughts on a 68:66 Victory Against the Wildcats:
Indiana and Northwestern kicked every hour of play back and forth without losing much ground. The Hoosiers simply could not manage to free themselves.
But when it was most important to the final sequences of the game, Indiana could muster just enough stops and just enough points to be victorious (68-66). Rarely in the room are the referees, but this afternoon Indiana was the victim of seriously questionable calls for perimeter looms that killed possessions before they could really get going.
Indiana was also suspicious on the line ̵
Indiana also had an impressive performance from Dererk Pardon this season. The Northwestern Elder went deep into work, pounding bucket after bucket, many of them dropping hooks on the way to 24 points in 11 out of 15 shootings. While the Hoosiers made him grand and holding corpses, he was simply on another level this afternoon.
In the last four competitions heading in this direction, the Hoosiers were quite daring with basketball and posted sales of 23.8 (in Arkansas), 24.5 (against UT Arlington), 23.3 (against UC Davis) and 25.4 (in Duke). There were some collective fears in their game, cautious passports, mental mistakes and flat sloppiness. That has changed a bit today. The Hoosiers' sales reached 19.1 for the competition, the third best rating of the season. Indiana was just more decisive and better with the ball. Had they kept up with the last four contests, the Wildcats might have slipped with the Ws from Bloomington.
Zach McRoberts did not try to shoot within 24 minutes and felt a bit invisible on the court. In the last two games he has been back in the lineup since injury. But his ability to dive in front of the ball and prevent him from crossing the borders led to a Romeo Langford 3-pointer in the second half, a crucial game in a tight game.
When he speaks of Langford, he again asserts himself in this game after a tough performance in Durham. Langford was the key all along, banging buckets to get the Hoosiers out and adding a block to the defensive end as Juwan Morgan sat with a lower leg injury. The New Albany product has been rated 8 points out of 13 for 20 points, a team high.
Devonte Green came into the mix in this mix, bringing his offensive creative abilities to the table in the first half. Green had six points, two assists, one theft and no sales in 19 minutes. The Hoosier held Northwestern under one point per possession this afternoon, holding an opponent below the mark for the seventh time in eight games.
This was a bit too tight for comfort, especially after Vic Law had hit this three-pointer runter, Phinisee, 1 of 2 hit the line and the Wildcats had the buzzer for the win. Still, it's a conference victory, and they will not be so easy this season.