IOWA CITY, Iowa — Indiana blew an 11-point first half lead and continued its woes on the road Thursday, falling 83-74 to Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hoosiers fall to 12-4 overall, 3-3 in the Big Ten, and 0-4 in true road games this season. Iowa improves to 12-4, 2-3.
Indiana seemed to finally have the turnover bug kicked. After finishing with fewer than 13 turnovers just twice in 12 games in November and December and twice posting 26 turnovers in a single game, the Hoosiers began January and the return to Big Ten play with three straight games in which they finished with single-digit giveaways. Their total of 21 turnovers in those three games was fewer than they had in 40 minutes against Louisiana.
Iowa’s fast tempo and frequent full- and three-quarter-court pressure suggested that the Hoosiers would not be able to maintain that trend, but the Hoosiers were even worse than should have been expected. They finished with 23 turnovers including 14 in the second half, and many of those were unforced, caused by a simple inability to throw or catch the ball. Those wasted possessions led to huge differential in scoring opportunities, especially in the second half, as Iowa finished with 34 field goal attempts in the second half to Indiana’s 22. The Hawkeyes scored 34 points off turnovers, which helped them post 1.186 points per possession.
Kris Murray stepped up for his brother
Iowa sophomore wing and first-round NBA draft prospect Keegan Murray entered the game leading Division I in scoring with 24.7 points per game, but he picked up two fouls in the first 10 minutes and spent most of the rest of the first half on the bench. So his less heralded but still athletically impressive twin brother stepped up in his place and made up for all of that lost scoring.
Kris Murray scored 17 points in the first half and finished with 29 on 12 of 18 shooting, while also grabbing 11 rebounds. He hit a 3-pointer, but was much better around the rim and caused a major matchup problem as the Hoosiers didn’t seem to know whether to put Trayce Jackson-Davis or Race Thompson on him. He caused problems for both inside and outside and that kept Iowa in the game for Keegan Murray to get back on the floor and contribute as well. He didn’t hit his usual figures, but still finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Thanks to Kris Murray’s contributions, Iowa’s bench outscored Indiana’s 46-17.
Iowa’s second-half offensive rebounds.
Iowa entered Thursday’s game ranked 12th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin, so the glass was not a place the Hoosiers expected to get beat. However, the combination of the Murrays in particular were exceptional on the glass and kept providing Iowa second-chance opportunities in the second half as the Hawkeyes grabbed 16 total offensive rebounds, including 11 in the second half. They finished with 16 second-chance points with 10 of those coming after the break.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Indiana basketball: Why Hoosiers lost to Iowa Hawkeyes