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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 22, 2016 4:56 pm

Halftime thoughts: Indiana 48, Austin Peay 31

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON — Here are four quick hits as the Hoosiers and Governors enter intermission:

1. Despite the lopsided score, Austin Peay's zone defense has worked. Instead of getting beat on pick-and-roll sets and post-up plays, the Governors' defensive strategy has largely taken away inside buckets. Indiana is knocking down jump shots, but the reason the zone proved to be effective is it took away the Hoosiers' pace. Coach Tom Crean shouted at his team to play faster, but the lead didn't hit double digits until 6:28 remained in the half. Austin Peay dared the Hoosiers to beat them from outside, and with 11 3-pointers, they certainly have.

2. From the 10-minute mark until the buzzer sounded, the Hoosiers outscored the Govs 31-16 going into halftime. Devonte Green heaved a 3 from midcourt as time expired, and it banked in. The only bad vibe in those final 10 minutes was that, inside of two minutes remaining, a hobbled Juwan Morgan went back to the locker room. It didn't appear to be serious, but Morgan may be out the rest of the game. He was back to coming off the bench as OG Anunoby returned to the starting lineup for the first time since hurting his left ankle last month against North Carolina.

3. Josh Newkirk stepped up. Attacking quickly when he has the ball in the halfcourt, Newkirk has seven points and eight assists. His ability to see the floor is a key to Indiana's passing.

4. Robert Johnson was looking to shoot from the very beginning. He has been dominant from 3-point territory for 15 points. At times, Johnson can pley hesitant, but tonight he's found his way into the offense for quality looks.