Indiana survives against UNCG, 87-79

Indiana led by 20 in the second half but saw its lead get trimmed to six in the final minute before hanging on for an 87-79 victory over UNCG. James Blackmon Jr. had 24 points to lead IU.

You’re not supposed to have gut checks against teams that are ranked in the No. 300 range in the country.

And yet’s that exactly what happened Friday night at Assembly Hall.

UNCG, which came into the game 1-4 on the season, trailed by as many as 20 in the first half and 16 at the intermission but came back to make it a game. The Spartans only trailed by six in the final minute.

Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. scored 24 points and pulled down a career-high nine rebounds and Yogi Ferrell hit six free throws in the final minute as Indiana held on to beat UNCG 87-79 before a crowd of 12,285 at Assembly Hall.

Indiana (5-1) will now face Pittsburgh Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Assembly Hall.

The problem for IU earlier in the week in an 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington was defensive penetration. Eastern Washington was able to get inside at will and scored 48 points in the paint.

That wasn’t the problem Friday night against UNCG. The Spartans managed just 22 points in the paint and the Hoosiers held a 39-26 edge on the boards.

The problem Friday for IU was defending the 3-point field goal. UNCG made 14-of-23, 61 percent.

Ferrell had 15, Troy Williams and Robert Johnson had 11 and Hanner Mosquera-Perea had 10 points for Indiana.

Stay tuned for more indepth coverage tonight from AllHoosiers.com.

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