Devonte Green's Hot Hand Helps Indiana Beat No. 21 Iowa

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana never knows what it's going to get from senior guard Devonte Greeen, but it got the best of him early Thursday night, and his hot start helped the Hoosiers upset No. 21-ranked Iowa at Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall. 

Green came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers in his first 2-plus minutes of game action and finished the night with 27 points. His play helped Indiana (16-8, 6-7 in the Big Ten) snap a four-game losing streak and helped keep its  NCAA Tournament bid hopes alive with the 89-77 win. 

"I thought our defense in the first half triggered offense,'' Indiana coach Archie Miller said. "And I also thought Devonte stepped up and obviously really got cooking there for a brief stretch and really gave us a shot in the arm, which is hopefully what a senior likes to do down the stretch is be ready to go.

"But we had a lot of contributions, and we're going to enjoy it. This league is absolutely brutal. What it feels like game in and game out, to just be able to go against these type of players and coaches, it's hard. And to get one feels great. I'm proud of our guys. ''

Iowa (17-8, 8-6 Big Ten) trailed by double digits almost the entire game. They cut Indiana's second-half lead from 20 to 10 at one point, but could get no closer.

Green is that love him/hate him streaky player that drives Indiana fans nuts, but when the senior from North Babylon, N.Y., is hot, he can fill up the stat sheet in a hurry. He came off the bench at the 15:14 mark in the first half, and proceeded to his his first four 3-point shots in the span of 2 minutes, 34 seconds.

He's had a few nights like this against ranked opponents earlier in the season, most notably the night he went for 30 in the win over Florida State and 19 in beating Ohio State. But he's also scored only 12 combined points in six recent games and barely got off the bench after starting most of those games poorly,

He put on a great show for his brother, Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green, who was in attendance Thursday with the NBA All-Star break this weekend. After that hot start, Green also made three free throws when fouled on a 3-pointer.

He kept firing and made only 1 of 8 shots, but hit another 3-pointer in the final two minutes. Indiana went to the half leading 49-34 and was 7-for-12 from 3-point range and had 30 points from its bench in the half. The bench contributed 43 total points in the game.

Iowa's Luka Garza was a problem all night long. He made 8-of-13 shots in the first half and had 21 points early. He finished with a season-high 38 points on 14-of-22 shooting. 

The Hoosiers did a good job of attacking in transition and forcing Iowa mistakes. The Hawkeyes turned it over 18 times.

Iowa's 3-point shooting was a problem, too. The Hawkeyes were just 4-for-14 from beyond the arc on the night.

Indiana built its lead to 20 points with 15:32 to go in the second half, but Iowa slowly scratched back in the final third of the period and got it to 10 at 68-68 with 5:51 to go. 

Indiana pulled away in the final four minutes on a Green 3-pointer and a basket by Race Thompson after a steal and score on the other end.

“It really is a function of what Green does,'' Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Indiana's 11 made 3-pointers on the night. "If he shoots it, the guy made seven, you have to give him credit. He’s done that before. They still made four others. Phinisee made two. We doubled off him, we weren’t supposed to, there’s no reason to. You can block, but you can’t double, and they found it. So, give credit to the passer, I think it was Race (Thompson) who hit them both times.

Indiana freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis added 17 points. Thompson had 10 and sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee added 12.