No. 10 Indiana hacks up a fur ball on offense by suffering its first loss of the season
PISCATAWAY, NJ — Indiana hacked up a furball on offense Saturday during its first loss of the season.
The 10th-ranked Hoosiers scored just 48 points, had two starters scoreless and, outside of Miller Kopp, shot the ball pretty badly in the 63-48 loss to Rutgers.
It was Indiana’s fewest points by an AP Top 10 team since it lost by the same 63-48 score at Iowa on Jan. 29, 1983, according to AP Stats and Info.
IU entered the game averaging 87.1 points per game.
Kopp scored 21 points – nearly tripling his 7.3 per game average – and shot 5-for-9 from 3-point range and 8-for-12 from the floor overall.
IU’s Trayce Jackson-Davis added 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting with 10 rebounds before fouling out.
Outside of Kopp, Indiana shot 1-for-16 from the arc.
Outside of Kopp and Jackson-Davis, Indiana shot 4-for-33 from the floor.
The running back Thompson was 0-for-4, Trey Galloway 0-for-3 and Xavier 2-for-11, making three Indiana starters a combined 2-for-18 from the floor.
Tamar Bates (1-for-7) and Jordan Geronimo (0-for-5) were a combined 1-for-12 off the bench.
“Our offense was terrible tonight, but the offense wasn’t,” IU coach Mike Woodson said. “I mean, I thought we had some good looks. Teams are going to play Trayce that way. We understand that. We have to take shots from the perimeter.
“But we just toughed it out tonight, I thought, from start to finish. I mean, we couldn’t rebound the basketball with them. I thought that was the difference in the ballgame, and that was the cushion they needed, because I thought from an offensive standpoint, even though we missed shots, they didn’t run away.
– Our defense was decent. But it was just the extra opportunities for them that put them in the position they were in. They just outplayed us tonight.
Rutgers did more than just double team Jackson-Davis. Rutgers often kept an extra guy at or near the rim and brought help from all different angles — the passer, the other big, the wing — and rarely the same way twice. There were also times when IU stood around when it got the ball to Jackson-Davis.
“It’s tough because when they used doubles, they really honed in and then they had a guy on the rim,” Jackson-Davis helps. “And I think I rushed a little bit a few times, had some turnovers.
“But at the same time, I just feel like the shots weren’t falling … but at the same time, returning the ball defensively was the biggest factor in the game.”
Rutgers has beaten Indiana six times in a row.
Indiana allowed the Scarlet Knights 13 offensive rebounds in the first 13 minutes of the game. Rutgers finished with 17 offensive rebounds for the game.
The Hoosiers scored just 0.75 points per possession while Rutgers scored 0.94 points per possession.
Thompson has struggled to start the season, and going scoreless was one of IU’s many problems on Saturday.
“Well, he didn’t play well. That’s all I can tell you,” Woodson said. “You know, it’s something I brought up right before I left the locker room. He has to get better and help us.
“We need everybody to play, especially when you get out on the road. The road is tough to win on. But I’m not taking anything away from Rutgers. They played well tonight.”
Indiana starting guard Jalen Hood-Shifino sat out the game with a sore lower back, Woodson said.
Indiana plays next Wednesday at home against Nebraska.
“Jalen is going to be evaluated. He’s day to day,” Woodson said. “We have to try and nurse him back and get him ready for Wednesday.”