J.T. Cocherell, Peegs.com

Devonte Green helps spark Indiana rally

Before James Blackmon Jr. hit Thomas Bryant for the game winner, before IU finished the game on an 8-0, Devonte Green helped spark a 22-0 run that got the Hoosiers back in the game and gave them a chance to snap their five-game losing skid.

There was the game-winning play, James Blackmon Jr. driving and passing to Thomas Bryant for the and-one.

There was the final stretch, the 8-0 run that gave the Hoosiers Saturday night’s 63-62 win over Northwestern.

There also was the key run, 22-0 to the end the first half that pulled the Hoosiers out of an offensive funk, gave them a 10-point lead and ultimately gave them a chance to win after five consecutive losses.

Devonte Green was a key to that stretch.

The freshman guard from Long Island Lutheran subbed in with 5:53 to play in the first half. Northwestern’s Vic Law scored on a dunk to put Northwestern (20-9, 9-7) up 26-14.

After that, Northwestern didn’t score again as the Hoosier put up 22 straight.

During that stretch, Green had a 3-pointer, a steal, a turnover, a defensive rebound, an assist, another assist, a defensive rebound, two free throws, a defensive rebound and his 3-pointer at the buzzer from behind halfcourt.

In all, Green scored eight points and assisted on five others in Indiana’s 22-0 run.

Green also was important in defending Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh, who scored a game-high 22 points but was 0-for-2 during IU’s 22-0 run.

“I think the Devonte, Juwan, De'Ron, James, Josh, if I remember correctly, I think that group was plus-15 in the first half. That’s outstanding,” IU coach Tom Crean said.

“And I think he just played it with a high motor. Moved the ball. There's certain things you've got to live with, that one turnover late in the game. He’s going to get so much better when he can play with those eyes up. And he'll be such a better player. He really will.

“Most guys go through it and he's got to get to that point. But he played hard. He just played basketball. And he held his matchups very well. So he did an outstanding job.”

Green finished with eight points, his second-most in a regulation Big Ten game, behind the 10 he scored when IU beat Penn State 110-102 in triple overtime.

James Blackmon Jr. finished at +13, Green at +13, the best plus-minus numbers for the Hoosiers (16-13, 6-10 Big Ten).

“He brought a lot of confidence to the game,” Blackmon said of Green.

“He made confident plays and big plays and it got us going. So I feel like he really gave us a lift off the bench and even the other guys did as well.”

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