Indiana fell to Louisville today, losing its fourth straight road game. IU was in the game late, but Louisville took control after Indiana's offense fell apart. Louisville held the Hoosiers scoreless for the final 3:37 of the game, and Indiana did not make a field goal for the final 7:55 of the game.
Indiana started the game on fire, jumping out to a 23-10 lead. The Hoosiers ran their motion offense well, resulting in open looks from the perimeter and several layups to start the game.
While Indiana's offense was playing well, Louisville's offense struggled early in the game. The Cardinals made only 1-of-11 three-point attempts in the first half. Louisville stayed in the game by getting to the free throw line, where they scored 16 of their 35 first half points.
IU maintained its lead throughout most of the second half, but when the Cardinals took the lead they never looked back. Louisville took a 72-70 lead after Kendall Dartez scored on a put back off a Garcia miss. The Cardinals picked up their defensive pressure, taking Indiana out of its offense. The pressure led to turnovers, and the turnovers led to open looks for Louisville's shooters. The combination of the two resulted in a 17-0 run to end the game.
The Cardinals had 11 steals harassing Indiana with their pressure throughout the game. Even when the pressure did not result in a turnover, it still took Indiana out of its offense.
Louisville's athleticism bothered Indiana all game. Despite shooting 50 percent from the field, Indiana lost because they committed 20 turnovers and gave up 15 offensive rebounds. After getting reamed by Mike Davis, the Hoosiers held Northwestern to 4 offensive rebounds, but poor defensive rebounding has plagued them since.
Tom Coverdale led Indiana with 14 points. All five Indiana starters were in double figures scoring, and yet they still lost to Louisville by almost 20 points.
Mike Davis needs to address several problems. The Hoosiers must stop their opponents from getting offensive rebounds and need to establish a post presence earlier in games. The team's morale, however, might be the most important thing for Davis to address before IU concludes its road trip at Northwestern this Wednesday.
At 4-3 in the Big Ten, Indiana is tied for sixth in the conference standings. The Hoosiers need to protect their home court, and they need to win some games on the road if they want to challenge for the Big Ten title.
The Hoosiers still have games at Wisconsin (2/15), at Iowa (2/19), and at Illinois (2/25). That three game road trip will determine where this season is heading for Indiana. If the Hoosiers cannot win any of those games they will be on the bubble to make the NCAA tournament.
IU's road woes continue
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