BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (AP) — The first shot Race Thompson took Wednesday night bled to his left temple.

He spent the rest of the game counterattacking.

Thompson posted a season-high 20 points and had eight rebounds to help No. 11 Indiana beat Little Rock 87-68 and finished the game with a red-colored headband from the accidental punch he 1/1 after 11 put 2 minutes into play.

“I don’t even know (what happened),” the fifth year said. “I think it was someone’s elbow, but I have a really big cut.”

The Hoosiers needed everything they could get out of Thompson, especially with the previous season’s All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis missing with back pain and Jackson-Davis being substituted. Malik Reneau flirts with nasty troubles through most of the second half.

Thompson delivered a near-perfect night – making seven of eight shots and all six free throws to help the undermanned Hoosiers win 5-0 for the second straight season.

Reneau had 10 points and six rebounds, the most in the first half. Xavier Johnson had nine points and ten assists.

Reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week Myron Gardner had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Trojans. DJ Smith scored 20 points to lead Little Rock (2-4), who have lost all three in the series and are 3-13 against Big Ten opponents.

But they ran out of breath late.

Compete and come back and really last through the whole basketball game until the last seven or eight minutes. I thought it was something good to build on,” said Little Rock coach Darrell Walker.

Indiana took control first with a 15-5 run started with a four-point possession when Thompson was accidentally hit in the head by Gardner and Flagrant 1 was called. Thompson went to the locker room for medical attention and by the time the run ended Indiana was leading 37-22.

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

“Race and Xavier were great tonight”, Indiana Guard Jalen Hood-Schifino said. “They did plays and really stepped up tonight and guided us.”

BIG PICTURE

Little Rock: Three days after rebounding from an 18-point deficit to beat Jackson State, the Trojans put up an unexpectedly powerful 35-minute fight for Indiana. Little Rock is off to a solid start, but trainer Darrell Walker will have to wait until later this week to pick up the No. 100 career win.

Indiana: Without Jackson-Davis and playing for the third time in six days, the Hoosiers struggled a bit to put it in one way. But they never fell behind, staying in control for most of the game and keeping their perfect record intact.

SURVEY IMPACT

Indiana has another 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 showdown with No. 1 North Carolina. They just need some help from the teams in the Thanksgiving Day tournaments.

KINDFUL FINE, CHAPTER 2

For the second time this season, Woodson welcomed an old friend to Assembly Hall – this time it was Walker. Before serving as an assistant coach on Woodson’s coaching staff at the New York Knicks from 2012-14, Walker spent 10 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Knicks, Denver, Washington, Detroit and Chicago.

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

NEXT

Little Rock: Complete the Hoosier Classic on Saturday in Miami, Ohio.

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


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