Rapid Reaction: Hoosiers Get Signature Win Against No. 17 Florida State

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — That talk about Indiana not playing anyone? File that complaint away, because it doesn't apply anymore.

The Hoosiers hosted No. 17 Florida State Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall and blew past the Seminoles with a 19-5 run late to win 80-64. Senior guard Devonte Green led the way with 30 points. 

"He played as well as he's played all year long,'' Indiana coach Archie Miller said of Green. "He's sort of the head of the snake when the pressure's on, and he answered. Devonte has always been a guy who's about scoring. He knows some of the stuff we'll live with, but he's at his best when he's scoring.

"He was the best player on the floor tonight, without question.''

With the win, the Hoosiers moved to 8-0 on the season and, for the first time all year, beat someone with a complete resume.

Florida State was the only team in the country to have beaten three teams who had been ranked in the AP poll this year (Florida, Tennessee, Purdue). They had won seven in a row prior to Tuesday.

Indiana did too, but it came against one of the worst schedules in the country, ranking 343rd out of 353 teams. Six of their seven wins were against teams ranked No. 200 or worse.

But Tuesday night was different. The Hoosiers were sharp defensively most of the night and were very efficient against what had been a stifling Florida State defense all year. Indiana shot 56 percent from the field; Florida State had been allowing teams to shoot only 35.8 percent all year.

Miller has been saying for a month that Indiana can be pretty good if they guard people, and that was on full display in the first half. 

After a sluggish start where Florida State jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first 3 1/2 minutes,  the Hoosiers then held them to just 11 more points over a 14-minute stretch to go ahead 37-22. 

Guarding the 3-point line has been an issue for Indiana in the early going, but it did a much better job of closing out on shooters against FSU. The Seminoles made only 2 of 8 long balls in the first half, and Indiana's aggressive defense made it tough for the Seminoles to get the ball inside as well. 

Indiana built that big lead thanks to the hot hand of Green. He got into that mode where he was looking for his shot, and he hit three straight 3-points to stretch that lead to 15 points. FSU got it back to within nine points, but Justin Smith got an offensive rebound and scored at the buzzer to give Indiana a 41-30 lead at the break. 

Leonard Hamilton's lecture at halftime had to include better ball movement, because Florida State came out and hit three quick 3-pointers to cut Indiana's lead to six in the first four minutes of the second half.

Indiana kept turning it over, too, making seven errors in the first nine minutes as Florida State cut the lead to 53-50.

The lead was 59-56 with 8:17 to go, but then Indiana started pulling away. They got to the free throw lane often, Green stayed hot with a 3-pointer and a drive to the basket and Damezi Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 3:23 left to put Indiana up 72-58. The 19-5 run put the game out of reach for the suddenly cold Seminoles.

Green finished with 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting, including 5 of 7 from the 3-point line. Trayce Jackson-Davis had 15, and Justin Smith had 14 points. 

NEXT UP: Indiana begins Big Ten play on Saturday with a road trip to Wisconsin. The game starts at 4:30 p.m. ET. Wisconsin in 4-3 and plays N.C. State Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

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