BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Devonte Green started fast Thursday night.
After making his first four 3-pointers, Green’s teammates cranked up the pace, too. And it worked, for a change.
Green knocked down a season-high seven 3s, finished with 27 points and helped the Hoosiers break out of their offensive funk with an 89-77 victory over No. 21 Iowa.
“It’s just a good feeling,” said Green, who has come off the bench the last nine games. “When you see one and two and three and four go in, you’re like, ‘I’m going to shoot it. I’m going to shoot it till I miss it. And then I’m going to shoot it again.’ “
He didn’t disappoint in a game the Hoosiers desperately needed to switch gears following four straight losses.
The timing was perfect, too. Green’s older brother, Danny, came to town to watch since his Los Angeles Lakers were off. Several of Green’s former college teammates — OG Anunoby, James Blackmon Jr. and Juwan Morgan — also were in the building.
And Green and Trayce Jackson-Davis, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds, put on a show.
The Hoosiers (16-8, 6-7 Big Ten) made a season-high 11 3s — more than double their league-low average of 5.3 per game.
“When he hits one and two, you have to find a way to get him flares, just any of those ways,” Jackson-Davis said of Green. “You’ve just got to get him the ball because he’s hot. He can touch it. It can go in anytime he touches it.”
Green wasn’t the only one with a hot hand.
Luka Garza scored 38 points for Iowa, falling two short of matching the Assembly Hall single-game scoring record by an opponent. Joe Wieskamp added 16 for the Hawkeyes (17-8, 8-6), who have lost three of five following a five-game winning streak.
But Green started the decisive 12-0 first-half spurt by knocking down his third and fourth 3s before making free throws after drawing a foul on his next long-distance attempt. When the flurry ended, Indiana led 31-16 and Iowa spent the rest of the night futilely playing catch-up.
“He made seven,” coach Fran McCaffery said. “You can’t let a guy get seven but once you get him going, who knows?”
Aljami Durham’s 3 closed out the first half and gave the Hoosiers a 49-34 lead, and Indiana scored the first five points of the second half to take a 19-point lead.
Iowa didn’t get closer than 10 again.
Iowa: Defense has been the Hawkeyes’ biggest flaw all season, and it bit them hard again Thursday night. But Iowa had plenty of other woes in this one — committing 19 turnovers, making only 4 of 14 from 3-point range and not giving Garza much help. The good news is they’ve completed their trips to Indiana and Purdue, both losses. The bad news: They must return to the Hoosier State next month for the Big Ten Tournament.
Indiana: Scoring has been a struggle lately for the Hoosiers, but on Thursday, they found a solution by playing at a faster pace, moving the ball and taking advantage of their athleticism. The next challenge is demonstrating they can keep playing this way, build confidence and start stacking wins.
Iowa: In two trips to the state of Indiana this season, the Hawkeyes allowed 110 total points in the first halves. … Garza had 21 of the Hawkeyes 34 points in the first half; nobody else had more than six. … Bakari Evelyn finished with nine points. … Iowa has lost three straight road games.
Indiana: Green made five 3s and had 18 points in the first half. … Rob Phinisee wound up with 12 points, five assists and three steals while Race Thompson added a career high 10 points and four steals. … The 49 first-half points were the most scored by Indiana in any half since a 52-point first half against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 25. … The Hoosiers had a 39-28 rebounding advantage.
Iowa guard CJ Fredrick left the game with 5:24 to go in the first half when he crashed to the floor. He stayed down for several minutes before two trainers helped him hop off the floor, unable to put any weight his right leg.
Following the game, McCaffery said the initial diagnosis was a sprained ankle.
“I think it’s too early to tell,” McCaffery said when asked about Fredrick’s status for the Hawkeyes’ next game. “It wasn’t a good one.”
HE SAID IT
Indiana coach Archie Miller on Green: “I was just talking to his brother, Danny, in the locker room, to see if he could skip the regular season for the Lakers and see if he could hang around here a little bit. He said he couldn’t. Maybe we can Facetime him every day, I don’t know.“
Iowa: Makes its next stop at Minnesota on Saturday.
Indiana: Begins two-game road trip at Michigan on Sunday.
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