It wasn't the traditional slow start to the first half that did in the Hoosiers this time around, but rather a dismal effort at the start of the second half.
Iowa began the second half with a 14-0 run to turn a 30-27 lead into a 44-27 cushion, and Iowa cruised to a 73-60 win over Indiana Tuesday night in Iowa City.
The loss dropped Indiana (12-4/4-2) out of first place in the Big Ten and into a second-place tie with Iowa (15-5/4-2).
While Indiana was missing its first six shots of the second half, Iowa knocked down six of its first seven shots to turn a close game into a double-digit affair. Indiana would cut the lead to as little as seven late, but never seriously challenged the rest of the way.
Iowa's big run at the start of the second half offset a huge night for Robert Vaden, who scored 26 points on a personal-best 8 3-pointers. As a team Indiana knocked down 13-of-30 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to overcome the absence of Marshall Strickland and a sub-par effort from Marco Killingsworth.
Strickland, IU's third-leading scorer entering the game, was held out due to a knee injury suffered earlier this week in practice. Killingsworth, meanwhile, was held to 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting and was limited to 25 minutes of action due to some sub-par defensive play according to IU Coach Mike Davis.
"Marco has to get better defensively," said Davis. "When you come out, this is our 16th game, we have to have energy…we have to have all five guys giving effort defensively. I felt our best chance was with all five guys giving effort defensively."
The Big Ten's worst shooting team entering the game at 41 percent, Iowa shot 51 percent from the floor against the Hoosiers and also earned 30 trips to the free-throw line. Indiana, meanwhile, shot just 37 percent overall.
Davis wasn't necessarily happy with the mindset of his team entering the game against the Hawkeyes, who have now won all 12 of their games played at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
"I thought we had the feeling we couldn't win the game," said Davis. "We could have won this game easily."
While Killingsworth was benched early in the second half due to his defensive effort, a couple of other Hoosiers were limited by foul trouble. A.J. Ratliff contributed two points, four rebounds and two steals in just nine minutes of action, but fouled out with just under 13 minutes remaining. Errek Suhr, seeing significant action due to the absence of Strickland, scored three points and added three assists before fouling out after 21 minutes of play.
Iowa got big games from frontcourt players Erek Hansen and Greg Brunner. Brunner finished 8-of-11 from the field for 17 points and eight rebounds, while Hansen added 11 points, three rebounds and six blocks. Adam Haluska led the Hawkeyes with 20 points and nine rebounds, including 9-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line.
While Vaden scored 26 and was 8-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc, the rest of the Hoosiers struggled. Killingsworth was the only other Hoosier to reach double figures.
It was not only a disappointing effort for the Hoosiers, but also a squandered opportunity. While Iowa did shoot 51 percent, it also turned the ball over 17 times and gave the Hoosiers plenty of opportunities to climb back into the game in the second half.
Ultimately, it was his team's effort and approach that was the biggest cause of concern for Davis.
"I'm disappointed," said Davis. "We should never take off. Everyone has to play hard for us to be a really good basketball team."
Vaden 8-15 2-2 26, Killingsworth 5-14 0-4 10, Ratliff 1-2 0-0 2, Calloway 2-8 0-0 6, Monroe 1-5 0-0 2, Wilmont 2-8 1-2 7, Kline 1-1 0-0 2, Allen 1-4 0-0 2, Suhr 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 22-59 3-8 60.
Brunner 8-11 0-1 17, Hansen 4-5 3-4 11, Haluksa 5-9 9-9 20, Henderosn 3-5 3-5 9, Horner 2-10 7-9 13, Freeman 0-3 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-45 23-30 73.
Halftime Score: Iowa 30, Indiana 27. 3-Pointers: Indiana 13-30 (Vaden 8-11, Wilmont 2-6, Calloway 2-4, Suhr 1-2, Killingsworth 0-1, Monroe 0-4, Allen 0-2). Iowa 4-15 (Horner 2-9, Haluska 1-4, Brunner 1-1, Freeman 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 30 (Killingsworth 6), Iowa 35 (Haluska 9). Turnovers: Indiana 15 (Vaden 5), Iowa 17 (Brunner 3, Horner 3). Blocks: Indiana 2 (Kline 2), Iowa 8 (Hansen 6, Henderson 1, Thomas 1)
Hoosiers Hit A Road Bump
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