Thompson leads the No. 11 Hoosiers to beat Little Rock 87-68

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Race Thompson scored a season-high 20 points and eight rebounds despite being bloody in the first half, leading No. 11 Indiana past Little Rock 87-68 on Wednesday night.

Freshman Malik Reneau had 10 points and six rebounds in his starting debut and Xavier Johnson finished with nine points and 10 assists for the Hoosiers, who are shorthanded and are 5-0 for the second straight season. P reseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis sitting with back pain

Myron Gardner, the current Ohio Valley Conference player of the week, had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Trojans. DJ Smith scored 20 points to lead Little Rock (2-4), which has lost all three in the series and is 3-13 against Big Ten foes.

Indiana took control for the first time with a 15-5 run that it started on a four-point possession when Gardner inadvertently hit Thompson in the head and the Flagrant 1 was called. Thompson went to the locker room for medical attention and when the streak ended, Indiana led 37–22.

But Little Rock cut the deficit to 39-30 at halftime and scored the first three points of the second half when Thompson donned a new headband. The Trojans stayed close until Indiana went 12-3 to rebuild a 60-45 lead and after Little Rock closed again to seven, the Hoosiers sealed it with a 14-1 run.

BIG PICTURE

Little Rock: Three days after rallying from an 18-point deficit to beat Jackson State, the Trojans gave Indiana an unexpectedly strong 35-minute battle. Little Rock is off to a solid start, but trainer Darrell Walker will have to wait until later this week to get his 100th career win.

Indiana: Without Jackson-Davis and playing for the third time in six days, the Hoosiers had a bit of a hard time putting this together. But they never fell behind, staying in control for most of the game and keeping their perfect record intact.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE SURVEY

Indiana has one more winnable home game this week and a 6-0 start could put the Hoosiers in the top 10 for the first time since 2017, just in time for next week’s matchup with the No. 1 No. from North Carolina. They will only need help from the teams in the Thanksgiving tournaments.

FRIENDLY ENEMY, CHAPTER 2

For the second time this season, Woodson welcomed an old friend to the Assembly Hall, this time it was Darrell Walker. Before serving as an assistant coach on Woodson’s coaching staff with the New York Knicks from 2012 to 2014, Walker spent 10 seasons in the NBA, playing with the Knicks, Denver, Washington, Detroit and Chicago.

Woodson also faced a former teammate, Reggie Theus, two weeks ago when the Hoosiers beat Bethune-Cookman 101-49.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Little Rock: The Hoosier Classic closes on Saturday in Miami (Ohio).

Indiana: Host former NBA All-Star turned coach Mo Williams when Jackson State visits on Friday.

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AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll Y https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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