Indiana youth sparks win over Howard
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Justin Smith had a double-double and Al Durham scored 16 points to help Indiana beat Howard 86-77 on Sunday night to kick off the four-game Hoosier Tipoff Classic.
Smith finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He and Durham, both freshmen, started the second half after combining for 19 points and seven rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Indiana worked over Howard’s defense with passing and ball movement, something that didn’t happen in Friday’s season-opening loss to Indiana State.
The Hoosiers got the ball inside to DeRon Davis early, without reward. He missed his first five free-throw attempts before making his next two – to the roar of the crowd. His replacement, Freddie McSwain, missed his first two foul shots. Indiana (1-1) made just 12 of 29 from the free-throw line.
Then IU’s youth delivered. Smith, Durham and sophomore Devonte Green combined for 19 of IU’s first 21 points. The Hoosiers ended the first half on a 12-4 run for a 37-27 lead.
Juwan Morgan left the game after five minutes with a lower body injury and never returned.
RJ Cole led the Bison (0-2) with 27 points.
Indiana: The Hoosiers are still learning to play the coach Archie Miller way. The ball movement was better (25 assists) and the turnovers were way down – from 19 against Indiana State to 12 on Sunday.
Howard: Shaky defense and inconsistent offense hurt the Bison in their season-opening loss at George Washington. They continue to settle for three-point shots – hoisting 34 3s against IU after taking 26 against George Washington.
Indiana’s hectic opening schedule continues with a trip to No. 23 Seton Hall as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Wednesday.
Howard won’t get much time to rest. It travels to No. 18 Gonzaga on Tuesday. It will be the third of seven straight road games to open the season.