December 19, 2010

Hoosiers eclipse 100 points, stay unbeaten at home

Even though classes are let out for the semester, the Indiana men's basketball team put on an offensive clinic in Assembly Hall on Sunday.

The Hoosiers scored a season-high 102 points en route to a 42-point victory over South Carolina State, 102-60. The win moves IU to 9-0 in Assembly Hall this season and a perfect 2-0 in the IBN Las Vegas Classic.

Despite the large win margin, things weren't exactly easy for the Hoosiers early on. South Carolina State used a mixture of an up-tempo offense and a zone defense to stifle Indiana early. Add in IU's cold shooting early and SCSU stayed in the game for the first 20 minutes.

Sophomore Christian Watford buoyed the Hoosiers initially. The 6-9 forward tallied seven of Indiana's first nine points, but the Bulldogs (4-6) used a 10-2 run to take the first half lead. A lay-up by Westley Telafare at the 10:57 mark in the opening frame gave SCSU a 20-13 lead, their largest of the game.

However Indiana fought back. The Hoosiers were eventually able to close the first half on a 20-5 run, entering the break with a 43-35 lead.

The second half, though, belonged solely to the Hoosiers as the team opened up the frame with seven straight points. Indiana added second half runs of 14-3 and 20-2 for good measure to outscore the Bulldogs by 34 points in the second frame.

"That was probably our best 25 minutes of basketball all season," head coach Tom Crean said, referring to the final five minutes of the first and the entire second half.

The game also marked the reemergence of sharpshooter Matt Roth. After playing just 35 minutes all season, the junior found his range in the closing half, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the second half, including 3-for-3 from behind the arch. The Washington, Ill. native finished with 14 points.

Roth wasn't the only hot shooter in the second half. In fact, it appeared that the rest of the team was doing their best Roth-like impression. The Hoosiers shot a blistering 68 percent from the field in the second half, including 67 percent from three-point range.

However perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game for the Hoosiers was the team's ability to protect the ball. Indiana committed a season-low eight turnovers while dishing out 24 assists. The ball movement also opened up the looks of the three-point shot. IU finished the game 10-for-22, including eight of their last 12 deep balls.

"We moved (the ball) outstanding," Crean said. "If our guy's got a three-to-one assist/turnover ratio, he's got a chance to get drafted. When you've got a team that's got a three-to-one assist/turnover ratio, that's good ball movement."

Watford finished the game with a team-high 22 points. Verdell Jones III scored 13 points in just 18 minutes and saw limited action in the second half. Derek Elston added 10.

It wasn't all smiles for the Hoosiers on the evening, though. At the 8:32 mark in the second half, senior guard Jeremiah Rivers went down following an attempted spin move, apparently holding his left ankle/knee. No word was available following the game on Rivers' status.

Next up, Indiana will hit the road to conclude the IBN Las Vegas Classic. The Hoosiers will be back in action on Dec. 22 when they take on Northern Iowa in Las Vegas. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!