June 18, 2024

Indianapolis, IND – Gainbridge Fieldhouse, normally awash with blue and gold, was all cream and crimson Sunday afternoon as the Hoosiers faced off against Harvard at the home of the Indiana Pacers. Mackenzie Mgbako would start off hot scoring 7 of the Hoosiers first 13. Harvard would then switch to that ever tough for IU to handle, 2-3 zone and the scoring would cool off and allow Harvard to come back into the game. At the under 12 Harvard held a slim 17-16 lead. The Crimson would stretch their lead against IU’s second unit all the way to 6 before an Mgbako 3 and a pretty alley oop from Reneau to Ware would cut the Crimson’s lead to 1 at the under 8. IU would take and hold the lead for the rest of the first half until a Malik Mack buzzer beating floater put the Crimson up at the half 40-39. Kel’el Ware would lead all scorers at the break with 12.

Indiana and Harvard would trade blows to open the second half. That is until our Hoosiers went on a 12-3 run over the span of 4 minutes midway through the second half. This was capped by a Malik Reneau and 1 with just under 12 left. IU would have to employ an interesting line-up throughout the middle of the second half due to the injury to Xavier Johnson, relying on seldom used Anthony Leal for a good stretch. IU would stall a bit but would build the lead back to 10 on a Kaleb Banks 3-pointer. The Hoosiers would keep the momentum going all the way to the end and come away with a comfortable 13 point victory 89-76.

Box Score

News and Notes

  • Xavier Johnson went down with an apparent lower body injury and did not play in the second half.
  • Malik Reneau took a hard fall and was out for a while with a back injury but did come back.
  • Anthony Leal provided some valuable minutes in relief on the injured Xavier Johnson.
  • IU scored almost 1.3 points per possession to Harvard’s 1.
  • IU finally shot the ball respectably from the free throw line at 76%
  • IU had 3 players with over 15 points in Kel’el Ware, Mackenzie Mgbako, and Malik Reneau with 28, 18 and 17 respectively.

Player of the Game

Kel’el Ware

Ware was dominant all night long on the way to an eye-popping 28 points (on 12-13 shooting) to go along with 8 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Talk about stuffing the stat sheet.

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