Defense Propels Indiana Hoosiers To Victory Over Illinois

By Eric Smith
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers‘ defense has really stepped up over the past three games. Yes, Indiana is only 1-2 over the last few games, but the defense has been the reason they’ve been competitive.

But if the defense can keep this string up and they can get some offense going, they can beat some real trouble for opponents down the stretch.

For the second time in the last three games, Indiana gave up less than 55 points in a game. They allowed only 54 in a loss to the Northwestern Wildcats last Saturday afternoon and backed that up with only giving up 46 points to the Illinois Fighting Illini in today’s victory.

The 46 points ties a season low in points given up as they gave up that same amount against Evansville back in November.

Indiana did a great job of getting a hand up on all shots today against the Illini and not allowing for second chances on missed shots. The Hoosiers held the Illini to only 33.3 percent shooting from the field (18-for-54) today in front of a capacity crowd at Assembly Hall. They did an even better job on three point defense as Illinois only shot 5-for-23 (21.7 percent).

What’s even better is the Hoosiers only allowed four offensive rebounds as Indiana had 33 rebounds on the defensive end. Mix that with forcing 13 Illinois turnovers and this game was a great performance by Indiana on the defensive end.

That’s the same way they played against Northwestern last weekend and against Michigan State on Tuesday. If it wasn’t for the team stalling on offense in the final 10 minutes of the game against the Spartans and hitting some shots against Northwestern the game before, then Indiana would be riding a five game winning streak.

That’s why this Hoosiers team can be good if they keep getting this type of defensive effort.

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