No. 23/24 Indiana Overpowers N.C. Central, 75-56
Feb. 22, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Four Hoosiers scored in double-digits led by 17 points from freshman Cody Zeller as the No. 23/24 Indiana men's basketball team topped North Carolina Central, 75-56, in Assembly Hall.
Indiana finished its non-conference schedule with a perfect 13-0 record. It marks the first time the Hoosiers have had a perfect non-conference run since the 1989-90 season when IU went a perfect 11-0 against non-Big Ten foes.
Zeller sank 6-of-9 from the field and added seven boards and two assists. Sophomore Victor Oladipo scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting and added six rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. Sophomore Will Sheehey scored 12 points and added seven boards, two assists, one block and one assist. Junior Derek Elston netted 10 points off the bench and tallied two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
"First thing we said to the guys after the game is what the coaches were doing in 1989-1990," said head coach Tom Crean. "Everyone was able to age themselves a little as this is the first season since 1989-1990 there has been an Indiana team undefeated in non-conference play. That is a big deal and is something the players can carry with them. We wanted to have great preparation tonight for what we might see down the road."
The Hoosiers (21-7) opened the game outscoring the Eagles (14-13), 24-9, in the first 10 minutes and never looked back. Indiana held a double-digit lead on NCCU for the remainder of the game, leading by as many as 24 on two occasions in the second half en route to the 75-56 win.
The Hoosiers dominated the glass, outrebounding the Eagles, 35-16. Indiana shot 51.0 percent (26-of-51) from the field on the night, and sank 40.0 percent (4-of-10) from the 3-point line and 76.0 percent (19-of-25) from the charity stripe. Indiana outscored NCCU, 36-24 in the paint, 16-4 on second chance points and 23-19 off the bench.
"This time of year you are always going to play tough games with teams who have a potential pro or multiple pro players," said Crean. "You will play against teams who have a specialty and who play with a variety of styles. I thought our guys did a nice job inside the game tonight, not letting the slow pace they dealt with on defense affect them too much. At the same time, we needed to get better inside of the game and we did that in the second half. I thought we were much better in the second half in terms of activity and communication. That is how we have to be as the harder the games; the tougher we have to be. We have to be that much more hard-nosed and hard-lined. That is what our team is learning. We have not been a situation like we are in this season. There are a lot of lessons to be learned as we go through the rest of this season."
Indiana returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 26 when it travels to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota in its final regular season road game at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. Sunday's game will also air on the IU Radio Network.
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