Indiana Falls to Illinois
Jan. 10, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.- Host Illinois started the game on a 21-2 run and never looked back in defeating Indiana, 76-45, Saturday in Champaign. The Hoosiers, will now have a quick turnaround and travel to Ohio State on Tuesday.
"First off they played a great game from the start and we never matched their toughness on either end of the court or their intensity or physical play especially on the defensive side," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "But we did have some guys play real hard inside of that and after a point and time of the game that becomes part of the equation for me personally as much as trying to be in the basketball game. So they were excellent today and we never matched that toughness or mentality."
Despite the early deficit, freshman Nick Williams was the bright spot in the first half scoring 10 of his team-high 12 points. However, the Hoosiers missed several open looks inside and were never able to make a run at the Illini.
"We have to be ready tomorrow to go to practice and work hard," said Williams. "Any loss hurts, but you have to be tough minded.
IU freshmen accounted for 41 of the Hoosiers 45 points. Champaign native Verdell Jones III had 10 second half points for Indiana. Center Tom Pritchard also added eight points and five boards, Malik Story had seven points and Daniel Moore added five.
The Hoosiers were without their leading scorer, junior Devan Dumes, who sprained an ankle in the first half and did not return.
The biggest bright spot for IU was its 35-23 rebounding edge, including 15 on the offensive end. Senior Kyle Taber, who had a basket, led the Hoosiers with seven boards. In addition, junior Steven Gambles made his first appearance in an IU uniform and scored his first two points.
"For us to compete in these games we have got to be in the rebounding mode, said Crean. "The rebounding is something that we have to continue to build upon in practice and work towards getting to the offensive glass and frankly in the first half we missed so many layups, in situations where we should have been going up and dunking the ball and going up to create contact and contact was hard to come by today.
Check back soon