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Indiana edges Northwestern 68-66 in Big Ten opener

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) The Indiana Hoosiers began conference play with a victory, defeating the visiting Northwestern Wildcats 68-66 on Saturday.

The Hoosiers (6-2, 1-0) were led by Romeo Langford's 20 points and Juwan Morgan's 17 points and 12 rebounds. The pair of stars each shot 8 of 13 from the field. Morgan left the game with an apparent right leg injury with 3:20 remaining and the Hoosiers leading 61-58.

Northwestern (6-2, 0-1) appeared to have momentum on its side, tying the game at 63 with 2:06 remaining. The Hoosiers were going to have to survive the final minutes without Morgan, their best player so far this season.

After a timeout, head coach Archie Miller seemed to give Langford one-on-one advice. Was he telling Langford that this was his time?

''I feel like that was already stated without saying,'' said Langford on if his coach told him to take over.

With the score knotted at 63 with 39 seconds left, Langford sank a floater through two Northwestern defenders to give the Hoosiers the lead for good. Langford wasn't finished, getting a deflection that went off a Northwestern player for a turnover.

Miller had high praise for his star freshman, ''He had his best all-around game tonight without question offensively and defensively.''

Northwestern coach Chris Collins had positive words for Langford as well. ''He is a terrific scorer and player. He made a leaning 14-foot shot under pressure. That's what really good players do. Credit to him for a big-time play.''

Northwestern was led by Dererk Pardon, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Vic Law added 16 points and nine rebounds.

Indiana survived a poor 3-point shooting performance (3 of 11) and struggles at the free-throw line (11 of 19) by attacking the basket, making 63 percent of their 2-point attempts. The Hoosiers scored 42 points in the paint.

The Hoosiers were able to get key defensive stops down the stretch, limiting the Wildcats to 37-percent shooting in the second half.

No team led by more than two possessions at any point, with the largest lead of the game being five points.

The back-and-forth nature of a tight game served as a reminder to Miller of what's to come in Big Ten play.

''We go to Penn State on Tuesday and that's going to be very, very difficult. And I just can't imagine playing in this league in January and February. I just don't see a team that's not very good.''

BIG PICTURE

Northwestern: The Wildcats were unable to continue their early-season momentum rolling, but their 6-2 start to the season still has them in position to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history.

Indiana: The Hoosiers rebounded after a rough loss at Duke in which everything seemed to go wrong. The Hoosiers get a quality win to begin conference play but will be hoping to receive good news regarding Morgan's injury status.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Romeo Langford's floater to give Indiana the lead: https://twitter.com/kgholler-/status/1068956586633248768

QUICK COMPARISON

The battle of the bigs between Morgan and Pardon was a throwback with Pardon winning statistically (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Morgan's team leaving with a victory.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday in front of their home crowd looking to knock off No. 7 Michigan.

Indiana: The Hoosiers hit the road to continue conference play at Penn State.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Indiana 0.0
  Ryan Taylor missed 3-pt. jump shot 1.0
+ 1 Rob Phinisee made 2nd of 2 free throws 3.0
  Rob Phinisee missed 1st of 2 free throws 3.0
  Personal foul on A.J. Turner 3.0
+ 3 Vic Law made 3-pt. jump shot 3.0
  Offensive rebound by Vic Law 8.0
  Ryan Taylor missed 3-pt. jump shot 10.0
+ 2 Justin Smith made jump shot, assist by Rob Phinisee 22.0
  Bad pass turnover on A.J. Turner, stolen by Romeo Langford 32.0
+ 2 Romeo Langford made jump shot 39.0
Team Stats
Points 66 68
Field Goals 27-61 (44.3%) 27-49 (55.1%)
3-Pointers 5-17 (29.4%) 3-11 (27.3%)
Free Throws 7-10 (70.0%) 11-19 (57.9%)
Total Rebounds 31 28
Offensive 7 3
Defensive 22 22
Team 2 3
Assists 9 9
Steals 4 7
Blocks 2 5
Turnovers 10 13
Fouls 20 16
Technicals 0 0
24 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
20 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Northwestern 6-2 333366
home team logo Indiana 6-2 373168
Team Stats
away team logo Northwestern 6-2 66.3 PPG 37.1 RPG 14.0 APG
home team logo Indiana 6-2 70.2 PPG 39 RPG 13.2 APG
Key Players
5
D. Pardon C 13.4 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.8 APG 57.4 FG%
0
R. Langford G 17.1 PPG 5.2 RPG 2.3 APG 46.3 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Pardon C 24 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
R. Langford G 20 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
44.3 FG% 55.1
29.4 3PT FG% 27.3
70.0 FT% 57.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Pardon 24 10 1 11/15 0/0 2/3 2 39 0 1 2 3 7
V. Law 16 9 0 6/14 2/4 2/3 3 33 1 0 2 2 7
R. Taylor 9 1 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 3 33 0 1 1 1 0
A. Turner 9 4 3 3/5 1/3 2/2 5 37 0 0 3 0 4
M. Kopp 6 0 0 2/8 1/2 1/2 2 15 1 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Pardon 24 10 1 11/15 0/0 2/3 2 39 0 1 2 3 7
V. Law 16 9 0 6/14 2/4 2/3 3 33 1 0 2 2 7
R. Taylor 9 1 2 4/11 1/5 0/0 3 33 0 1 1 1 0
A. Turner 9 4 3 3/5 1/3 2/2 5 37 0 0 3 0 4
M. Kopp 6 0 0 2/8 1/2 1/2 2 15 1 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Gaines 2 4 1 1/5 0/1 0/0 4 26 1 0 0 1 3
J. Ash 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 4 1 0 0 0 0
B. Benson 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
P. Nance 0 1 1 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 12 0 0 1 0 1
A. Falzon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Hall - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Malnati - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Greer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 66 29 9 27/61 5/17 7/10 20 200 4 2 10 7 22
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Langford 20 5 1 8/13 1/3 3/3 2 36 2 2 2 0 5
J. Morgan 17 12 3 8/13 0/2 1/3 3 36 2 2 4 2 10
J. Smith 8 1 0 2/5 0/0 4/6 3 18 0 0 1 0 1
A. Durham 7 0 1 3/4 1/1 0/0 4 12 0 0 1 0 0
R. Phinisee 3 0 1 1/2 0/0 1/4 0 28 1 0 2 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Langford 20 5 1 8/13 1/3 3/3 2 36 2 2 2 0 5
J. Morgan 17 12 3 8/13 0/2 1/3 3 36 2 2 4 2 10
J. Smith 8 1 0 2/5 0/0 4/6 3 18 0 0 1 0 1
A. Durham 7 0 1 3/4 1/1 0/0 4 12 0 0 1 0 0
R. Phinisee 3 0 1 1/2 0/0 1/4 0 28 1 0 2 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Green 6 2 2 2/5 0/1 2/3 0 19 1 0 0 0 2
D. Davis 4 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 2 7 0 1 1 1 0
E. Fitzner 3 1 1 1/4 1/4 0/0 2 20 1 0 1 0 1
Z. McRoberts 0 3 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 24 0 0 1 0 3
Q. Taylor - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Jager - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Blackmon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Moore - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Thompson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Forrester - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hunter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 68 25 9 27/49 3/11 11/19 16 200 7 5 13 3 22