Game 3 November 16, 2011
INdIaNa 94evaNsvIlle 73
Ford CeNterevaNsvIlle, INdIaNa
“New” HoosiersCome Up Aces
er Indiana’s surgical evisceration o Evansville on Wednes-day night, the question posed to om Crean and his playerssounded like a reasonable one.In Crean’s our years, the Hoosiers had won games by biggermargins and earned victories o much more gravity against muchstronger teams. But those more important victories were mostly nailbiters, and none o those blowouts came against a team as re-spectable as this Evansville squad, which was coming o a 16-16season in the revered Missouri Valley Conerence and a seasonopening win over Butler.So was IU’s 94-73 win at Evansville in ront o 9,640 at the brandnew Ford Center the Hoosiers’ best all-around perormance inCrean’s three-plus years o rebuilding?Senior guard Verdell Jones, who has been with Crean or all 30 o his previous wins at IU and all 66 o his losses, says yes.“I think so,” Jones said. “On the deensive end and on the oen-sive end, the rst hal was really good.”Crean reused to take the bait.“Tis is a new team,” Crean said. “Tis is a new team. It’s a newyear.”Aer Wednesday’s perormance, he will receive very little argu-ment with that.Winning on the road provided signicant proo o that. BeoreWednesday, the Hoosiers (3-0) had won just one true road gamein Crean’s tenure, and it was at Penn State on Jan. 21, 2010. At nopoint in Crean’s previous three years have the Hoosiers displayedthis much repower, nor have they been able to put this many dangerous scorers on the foor at once. Tey certainly haven’t hada post presence like Cody Zeller.Evansville couldn’t handle any o that Wednesday night. Indianahad ve scorers in double gures and junior orward Derek Elstonwas one point away rom making it six. Te Hoosiers made 10 o their rst 12 eld goal attempts and 18 o their rst 26. Tey shot55.9 percent (33-o-59) rom the eld as a team, and made 51.9percent o their buckets in the second hal even though the start-ers watched most o it rom the bench.“It was great,” Jones said. “You couldn’t key on one guy. I think itall started with getting the ball to the big ella right here in Cody.He was just making plays. Tey were double-teaming and he waskicking it and we were driving and kicking it. It was good thing tohave Cody command a double team like that.”Aer admittedly having trouble playing through the post in pre-season practice, the Hoosiers seem to be developing more o anappreciation or Zeller’s ability to move the ball, and it showedWednesday. Zeller with nished with 14 points on 6-or-7 shoot-ing and nine rebounds, and as Jones said, his presence opened updriving space in the lane and room on the perimeter.Jones led all scorers with 17 points, knocking down a career-highour 3-pointers, and also had seven assists. Junior guard JordanHulls had 14 points, while sophomore swingman Will Sheehey added 10. Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo had eight points andour assists, mostly on drive-and-kicks to Jones in the corners.Junior swingman Christian Watord, meanwhile, had his best per-ormance o the season aer slinking to a combined nine pointson 3-o-14 shooting in the season’s rst two games. Watord bat-tled an Achilles tendon injury or most o the preseason, but heseemed much healthier on Wednesday, hitting 5-o-7 shots or 15points to go with eight rebounds.“I got it going tonight,” Watord said. “My teammates have beenhelping me do a great job keeping my head up and stu like thateven when times have been tough. I’ve been struggling.”Te Hoosiers’ oense also ed o the deense. Evansville shot51.9 percent in a garbage time to nish at 42.9 percent or thegame, but IU held the Aces (1-1) to just 34.5 percent in the rsthal.Tey also did a number on Evansville star guard Colt Ryan. WithOladipo draped on Ryan and consistent help deense behind him,Ryan shot 1-or-6 in the rst hal and scored just our points. Henished with 17 on 4-o-10 shooting, but by the time he ound arhythm, Evansville had no chance o a comeback.“Tere’s no doubt that our guys were locked in,” Crean said. “Ithought our deensive intensity and intelligence combined werereally, really good. Really good. When you go on the road, every-thing’s gotta turn up a notch.”It was obvious rom the beginning that it did, as IU took an 11-3lead out o the break and never again let Evansville get closer thansix points.Evansville cut a 13-point Indiana lead to 31-23 with 8:01 to go inthe rst hal, but IU nished the hal on a 20-6 run to take a 51-27advantage into the break. Tey toyed with the Aces in the secondhal, but still got to comortably enjoy victory on someone else’sfoor or the rst time in almost 22 months.
IU routs Evansville for 1st road victory in more than a season
By Dustin Dopirak
Indiana Hoosiers forward CodyZeller (40) tries to lay the ballin as Evansville Aces guard/ forward Kenneth Harris (32)defends during the IndianaEvansville basketball game atthe Ford Center inEvansville, Ind., Wednesday,Nov. 16, 2011.