Indiana uses free throws to pull away from North Alabama

College Basketball

North Alabama’s Tavon King (1) works the ball into the defense of Indiana’s Armaan Franklin (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana won 91-65. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored a season-high 20 points and Rob Phinisee added 13 on Tuesday to help Indiana pull away from North Alabama 91-65.

Jackson-Davis, a highly-touted freshman, also grabbed eight rebounds and went 14 of 15 from the free-throw line, which proved the difference for the Hoosiers (3-0).

Jamari Blackmon made his first four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points to lead North Alabama (1-2). C.J. Brim and Christian Agnew each had 11 for the Lions.

But the second-year Division I program sure didn’t make it easy on the Hoosiers. Despite committing 10 turnovers, drawing 17 fouls and having five shots blocked in the first half — North Alabama kept hanging around.

Indiana used a 10-1 run to finally make it 41-31 late in the half, and it was still clinging to a 50-43 edge with 17:34 left.

Then came the decisive 12-2 run — with half of the Hoosiers’ points coming on free throws — and North Alabama never seriously challenged again.

BIG PICTURE

North Alabama: A trip to Assembly Hall could have been intimidating and overwhelming. Instead, the Lions went toe to toe with the Hoosiers until the turnovers and mounting fouls finally took a heavy toll. The future looks bright for Tony Pujol’s team, which started no seniors Tuesday.

Indiana: The Hoosiers remained poised as North Alabama refused to go away, then quietly put the game away with free throws and defense. Coach Archie Miller is one win away from his first 4-0 start since coming to Bloomington three years ago.

STAT SHEET

North Alabama: The Lions were called for 32 fouls, including a technical for flopping, and wound up with 22 turnovers. … Midway through the second half, North Alabama had as many turnovers as rebounds (19). … Two players fouled out and two more finished with four. … The Lions started 7 of 10 on 3s but went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc in the second half.

Indiana: The Hoosiers were 37 of 45 from the free-throw line. … Phinisee also had six assists. … Redshirt freshman Jerome Hunter scored a season-high 12 points. Al Durham scored 11 and Damezi Anderson had 10. … Indiana’s bench outscored North Alabama 46-23.

UP NEXT

After facing its second power-five opponent this season, North Alabama welcomes Samford on Saturday to start a nine-game stretch that includes no power-conference teams.

The Hoosiers host Troy on Saturday for the first of four games in the Indiana Challenge.

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