Archie Miller is a fiery coach on the sidelines and on Sunday he showed it. As his Indiana Hoosiers battled No. 9 Penn State, mounting frustration with missed free throws led Miller to a brief explosion where he punched a clipboard out of an assistant coach's hand. While their coach was exasperated on the sideline, the Hoosiers showed incredible toughness on Sunday, coming away with a huge win.
Indiana took a haymaker from Penn State early in the second half, but stuck with the gameplan, hunkered down on defense and came away with a huge 68-60 win.
The Hooisers jumped out quickly, taking 37-18 lead with 2:16 left in the first half. They were dominating the game in every phase. But, as has happened to Miller's team often this year, Indiana suffered a long lapse. Over the next 10 minutes of game time, the Nittany Lions went on a 30-5 run, taking a 48-42 lead with 12:17 to go. The Hoosiers have often wilted when that's happened this season, but on Sunday they recovered and fought back.
Indiana finished the game on a 26-12 run to put Penn State away. It was exactly the performance the team needed, as Indiana improved its record to 18-9 and 8-8 in the incredibly tough Big Ten.
All season Miller has struggled to get his team to play consistent defense and feed the post offensively. In three of their last four games, the Hoosiers have done that. With wins over Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State, they have begun to play in their coach's image. They've been tough and smart, and -- if you throw out a road drubbing at the hands of Michigan -- they've been building some momentum.
The Hoosiers picked up their sixth Quad 1 win on Sunday and have now beaten ranked teams five times this season. Only three teams have beaten more ranked opponents. Miller's system looks like it's starting to take hold, his players have been far more consistent and he's even altered his approach a bit to fit his roster. Things are headed in the right direction after a midseason swoon.
If they finish strong over the next two weeks the Hooisers will be safely in the NCAA field and with a stud like Trayce Jackson-Davis on the roster, they'll be a team few want to face.