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Culture Shock

Second Half Struggles Doom Indiana in 74-57 Loss to No. 18 Illinois

Two halves, two different stories.

 

Indiana Men’s Basketball fell flat on their face in the second half in what was one of their biggest home games of the season. The Hoosiers were nearly doubled up in the second half, ultimately losing by 17 to Illinois, the first place team in the Big Ten.

 

“You gotta give them credit,” Woodson said after the game. “They put a solid 40 minute ballgame together, and we put a 20 minute ballgame together.”

 

After having a week off to prepare for this game, Indiana got off to an excellent start, leading by as much as eight points in the first half. The Hoosiers went into the locker room up 36-34 despite Trayce Jackson-Davis only playing four minutes. The All-American accumulated two fouls in the span, but the Hoosiers were still able to hold Kofi Cockburn to just five first half points, a big reason for their success.

 

The second half was a completely different story. Indiana was outplayed, outcoached, and outworked by the Illini, who outscored Indiana 32-11 in the final 13 minutes of the ballgame. The Illini took the lead with 11:54 remaining and never gave it back, running away with it. Trent Frazier and Cockburn were unstoppable, combining for 26 second-half points. For reference, Indiana as a team had 21 second-half points. Frazier finished with 23 points and Cockburn ended the game with 17.

 

“I thought for the most part we did a good job on the big guy, until late,” Woodson said.

 

Cockburn was a menace down low in the paint, and although that wasn’t apparent in the box score, he was causing fits especially defensively for both Jackson-Davis and Michael Durr. Woodson was very critical of Jackson-Davis’ play, and mentioned that Durr ended up fouling out.

 

Indiana struggled mightily from beyond the arc, a theme that Hoosier fans are familiar with this season. Indiana went 3-13 (23%) from behind the arc. The Illini, in comparison, shot 10-23 (43%) from deep

 

“When we’ve lost games, it’s been either rebounding or not defending the three point line. I thought we were pretty good on the boards, but the three point shot got away from us again,” Woodson said.

 

Just like the snow in Bloomington on Saturday, Indiana melted late in this game. Thompson and Xavier Johnson were the only two Hoosiers in double digits. Indiana’s starting five has been very up-and-down the entire season, and today they finished with just 40 points as a unit, provoking some questions “on the starters’ composure” in the direction of Woodson after the game, who declined to answer them.

Indiana falls to 16-6 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten. Next up is a trip to Evanston, Illinois for a date with Northwestern on Tuesday night. It will certainly be a homecoming for Miller Kopp, who transferred from the Wildcats to the Hoosiers before the season. Kopp started but didn’t attempt a single shot in Saturday’s loss. Tuesday’s game will tip off at 9 ET with Griffin Epstein and Max Rezek-Te Winkle on the call for WIUX 99.1 FM. The online stream can be heard HERE.

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF IU ATHLETICS

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