Morgan leads Indiana past Arkansas State
Junior forward Juwan Morgan poured in a career-high 28 points as Indiana pulled away late in an 87-70 victory over Arkansas State in the Hoosier Tip-Off Classic on Wednesday night at Bloomington, Ind.
Morgan muscled his way for easy shots and frequent trips to the free-throw line as he hit 9 of 11 from the field and 10 of 10 at the line for Indiana (3-2). Sophomore guard Delonte Green (12 points), and sophomore forward De’Ron Davis (10 points) added double figures while senior forward Freddie McSwain grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
Senior swingman Deven Simms fulfilled his usual high-scoring sixth-man role as he led Arkansas State (2-3) with 21 points. Junior forward Tristin Walley added 12 points. While Simms canned 7 of 11 shots, his teammates combined to hit just 19 of 51 (37 percent) from the field. Junior guard Ty Cockfield, the team’s leading scorer at 17.8 per game, settled for nine points on 4 of 11 shooting.
Arkansas State showed no signs of intimidation early as the Red Wolves ran the fast break and attacked the basket at every opportunity. At the other end of the floor, Indiana struggled to deal with Arkansas State’s 1-3-1 zone.
The Red Wolves built a 16-12 lead before the Hoosiers started to clamp down and create opportunities in transition. In an 87-second stretch, senior guard Josh Newkirk delivered two fast-break layups and a jumper while Green hit a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 27-21 lead and force Arkansas State to call a timeout with 7:03 left in the half.
Indiana pushed its margin to 47-33 by the break, but Arkansas State shrunk the deficit to 57-52 on Grantham Gillard’s 3-pointer with 11:57 to go. Simms twice got the Red Wolves as close as three with highlight-reel drives to the hoop, but the Hoosiers went on a 7-0 run with five minutes left to ease the drama.