IOWA CITY, Iowa — Indiana still hasn’t figured it out on the road.
The Hoosiers had another chance to pick up their first road win of the season at Iowa, leading by as many as 11 points in the first half and seven points at halftime. But IU reverted to its familiar offensive problems in the second half, turning the ball over and missing free throws in big spots.
The end result was Iowa pulling away to beat IU 83-74 before 11,246 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hoosiers (12-4, 3-3 Big Ten) dropped to 0-4 on the road this season and have dropped eight straight on the road dating back to the 2020-21 campaign. IU’s last win on the road was a 79-76 double-overtime triumph at Northwestern on Feb. 10, 2021, a span of more than 11 months.
“Almost every game, we’ve had a lead on the road,” said IU junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, who posted his seventh double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “I mean everyone in the locker room is disappointed. We’ve got to stay together. We’ve got another game Monday at Nebraska, so that’s where all of our focus needs to be right now.”
Iowa won the game by frustrating IU with its press. The Hawkeyes scored 34 points off 22 Indiana turnovers.
The game followed a similar pattern to IU’s road loss at Wisconsin, in which the Hoosiers led by as many as 22 points and 18 points at halftime before a similar second-half collapse.
“I’ve just got to get them to believe,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “I’ve got to get them over the hump. We’re playing well enough. We just — Wisconsin was 39-, 38-and-a-half minutes of good basketball. Tonight was just 20 minutes of good basketball, and you just can’t do that.”
With IU up 48-41 at the half behind 11 points from Jackson-Davis, Iowa set the tone in the second half it was going to play with more desperation, grabbing three straight offensive rebounds before a Keegan Murray putback cut IU’s lead to 48-45. From there, it didn’t take long for IU’s lead to evaporate. The Hawkeyes went ahead for good 59-57 with 9:59 left on a fast-break layup from Tony Perkins off a Trey Galloway turnover.
Iowa, which entered Thursday ranked 11th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at plus-0.9, outrebounded Indiana 22-15 in the second half and 35-31 for the game.
“They came out with energy, and we just didn’t match it,” Jackson-Davis said. “When you play on the road in a hostile environment and the crowd gets into it, you’ve got make plays. You’ve got to make the crowd shush up. We didn’t do that.”
It was still a one-possession game, 68-66, when Race Thompson made one of two free throws with 5:52 left. But after Ahron Ulis put Iowa up 70-66, IU turned the ball over two times in a row against Iowa’s press, with the first coming on a bad pass from Thompson and the second on an inbounds play that went off Thompson’s leg.
Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon made a pair of free throws to put the Hawkeyes up 72-66, then Iowa scored four points on a pair of Connor McCaffery free throws and a layup by forward Kris Murray off another turnover by Thompson against the press to go up 76-66 with 4:01 left, essentially putting the game away.
Iowa had 12 more shot attempts than Indiana in the second half because of the 14 second-half turnovers and the rebounding disparity. IU also failed to help itself at the free-throw line after getting in the bonus with 10:49 remaining, going 5-for-11 from the line in the second half and 13-of-21 (61.9%) for the game.
“When you are throwing the ball away, you are not rebounding the ball, you are not making your free throws, that’s a bad combination when you are trying to win on the road,” Woodson said. “You have to do almost all of those things perfectly.”
IU played early like a team determined to end its road woes, jumping to a 23-16 lead. But when Woodson summoned the entire second unit off the bench, Iowa went on a 10-0 run, jumping back ahead 26-23 on a Kris Murray 3-pointer.
Jackson-Davis re-entered the game for Michael Durr and Indiana restored order, going back up 32-28 on a steal and breakaway dunk from freshman guard Tamar Bates. After Iowa tied the score at 32, Indiana went on an 11-0 run to go up 43-32 on a Jackson-Davis putback.
IU took a 48-41 lead into halftime, shooting 51.8% from the field in the first half and outscoring Iowa 28-18 in points in the paint. But the Hoosiers got away from their gameplan of getting the ball inside in the second half. Jackson-Davis scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half while Thompson scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half.
“Sometimes we lose track of that,” Jackson-Davis said. “I think in the second half, a big factor of it was the press. Obviously, when we get the ball up the court and 15 seconds have already run off the shot clock, you got to get into your offense quick, and you settle sometimes.”
Parker Stewart added 11 points for IU before fouling out with 46 seconds remaining, while Galloway scored 10 points off the bench.
IU got star Iowa forward Keegan Murray in foul trouble and limited the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 24.7 points per game to just 12 points. But Murray’s twin brother, Kris Murray, picked up the slack, scoring a career-high 29 points for the Hawkeyes (12-4, 2-3 Big Ten).
“Obviously both Murray brothers were really tough on the glass as well,” Jackson-Davis said. “At the same time, they just outhustled us across the board.”