IOWA CITY, Iowa – Indiana thought it was turning the corner taking care of the basketball when it finished with 10 or less turnovers in three straight games against Penn State, Ohio State and Minnesota.
But the Hoosiers wound up throwing the ball all over the gym again Thursday night at Iowa. IU turned it over 23 times, resulting in 34 Iowa points, the big difference in IU’s 83-74 loss to the Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Point guards Rob Phinisee and Xavier Johnson each turned the ball over four times, combining for an assist-to-turnover of 7-8. Forward Race Thompson wound up with five turnovers, including two critical turnovers against Iowa’s press in the closing minutes.
“When you turn the ball over 23 times and eight of those came from our guards out front, Rob and X, that can’t happen,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “I’ve got to get more leadership from them in terms of being able to calm the storm, get the ball up court, execute something and get ourselves an opportunity to at least score the ball.”
Woodson was asked about Thompson bringing the ball up court against Iowa’s press in late-game situations.
“Our press is just for him to get rid of the ball,” Woodson said. “The fact that he threw it away, which is unlike him -- he’s never really done that that much in our press. He’s normally made the good pass back, and he just lapsed, and he threw it right to the guy, and he just went down and dunked it which was a big play for them.”
It’s the third time IU has turned the ball over 20 or more times this season. The Hoosiers turned the ball over a season-high 27 times in a 76-44 win over Louisiana, then had 26 turnovers in a 112-110 double-overtime loss at Syracuse.
“This is just one game,” IU junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “I feel like we’ve been pretty good with turnovers as a team, just tonight we weren’t playing our game. I thought they sped us up a lot, and then at the same time, the press, we should have broken. All we had to do was look at the side, and we weren’t doing that. We’ve just got to get better, look at on film and learn from it.”
BENCH UP AND DOWN
Woodson went to his second unit with IU up 23-16 early against Iowa with 12:08 left in the second half. But with center Michael Durr, forward Jordan Geronimo, swingman Trey Galloway, Phinisee and guard Tamar Bates in the game, Iowa went on a 10-0 run to take a 26-23 lead.
After the game, Woodson defended his decision to go with all five bench guys at once.
“They needed a blow, and I’ve got to figure out our bench,” Woodson said. “Our bench has got to play a role in this, guys. I can’t play our starters 40 minutes a game. And I thought -- we talked about this a little bit after the game. They’ve got to play a role. If they come in and do their job, they’ve got to take hold of the lead and extend it, and even if they extend it, they are going to stay in the game. I’ll play them until their tails fall off. That’s just how I’ve coached over the years.”
Iowa outscored Indiana 46-17 in bench points because of a big night from forward Kris Murray, who came off the bench to score a career-high 29 points. Galloway led IU’s bench scorers with 10 points.
“Our bench is just as important as the guys who start the game. I’ve got to play them and give them a shot at it,” Woodson said.
• IU freshman center Logan Duncomb was not in uniform due to a non-COVID related illness.
• IU had its modest three-game win streak snapped against Iowa on Thursday night. The last time the Hawkeyes beat the Hoosiers was Feb. 22, 2019, in Iowa City in a 76-70 overtime triumph.