Indiana basketball managed to secure the first contest of Big Ten competition Saturday, but it came at a costly price. Senior forward, Juwan Morgan left the game with an apparent leg injury after bumping it on Northwestern’s Vic Law. The 6-foot-8 Hoosier did not return to the game, which caused a bump in minutes for fellow teammates, Zach McRoberts and Evan Fitzner.
Indiana managed to squeak by an impressive Wildcat team at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall with a final score of 68-66. Before exiting the contest, Morgan swallowed up 12 rebounds and secured four takeaways. Freshman standout, Romeo Langford accompanied his impressive showing, and also added 20 points with four takeaways. Although the Hoosiers are happy to reside 1-0 in the conference, the loss of Morgan will make upcoming contests challenging to win if he is unable to return to action in a timely fashion.
Langford and Morgan contributed 36 minutes while shooting just over 60 percent collectively on the night. The power duo scored 37 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, four steals and four blocks, thereby leading Indiana over the Wildcats. Northwestern had four players log over 30 minutes with Dererk Pardon and Law tallying 40 points of their own. Luckily for Indiana, the Wildcats were unable to secure a last second shot from half court at the final buzzer, resulting in a Hoosier victory.
Head coach, Archie Miller has relayed that he does not have any further details regarding Morgan’s injury. Miller added that Morgan is receiving extensive medical treatment, including an X-ray, but remains optimistic of the results. It appeared that Morgan made an awkward step earlier in the contest, resulting in him hobbling off the court. He stayed in the game, but nearly moments later, Morgan’s play time came to an end after bumping into Law’s lower half. Indiana is patiently waiting for news regarding his status, but until then, the team will lean on Langford to lead the way.
The Big Ten conference is one of the strongest conferences in basketball this season with seven teams appearing in the Top 25 rankings, according to ESPN. After a draw in the ACC – Big Ten challenge, the rankings will likely change, but it will not take away anything from what the conference has to offer. Indiana faces a tough matchup Tuesday against Penn State, before returning home to host the Louisville Cardinals. Be sure to monitor the status of Morgan in the coming days, as well as cheer Indiana onto victory Tuesday evening.