Plagued with injuries, Indiana escapes UT-Arlington 78-64
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana needs to get healthy, and fast. The Hoosiers were forced to play with only five scholarship players in the waning moments of Tuesday’s 78-64 win over UT-Arlington.
Archie Miller began the game with five players out with assorted health issues, including three rotation players in Zach McRoberts, Devonte Green and Deron Davis, who saw his repaired Achilles injury flare up.
During the game with the Mavericks, Al Durham went out with an injury and Romeo Langford went to the bench with less than five minutes to go when he was head-butted defending a play in the paint. The freshman star left with a bloody nose and didn’t return after a 16 point, 8 rebound effort.
The Hoosiers didn’t seem affected early on, building a 20-point lead early in the second half, but UT-Arlington, led by hot shooting guard Kip Warren, an Indianapolis native stroking the nets for 16, the margin was cut to one point at 61-60.
Juwan Morgan bailed out Indiana, the go-to guy down the stretch, finishing with a game high 23 points and 9 rebounds in the victory.
“If it gets to that point where we have to play five people 40 minutes a game, then that’s what we’ll do, “ said Morgan after the win.
Archie Miller realized having a veteran like Moran to rely on is critical.
“I thought the last six minutes, five minutes of the game our leadership from Juwan stood out. Guys started to play with more energy and were able to rally and finish the game, which is what you hope,” said Miller.
“It was a difficult game to be part of just due to the fact that we have so many guys not available right now that you can’t sub and you also are playing combinations that have never played together before and out of position at times, so I was really, really proud of the guys that were able to step up and find a way to win with some guys that hadn’t been out there in the past. And we’ll take it. We’ll move on. And we’ll work towards Friday against UC Davis.”
Indiana needs one more tune-up and a healthier squad before facing top-ranked Duke next week.