Quick Start Fuels Hoosier Exhibition Win Over Anderson, 103-71
Nov. 7, 2008
Bloomington, Indiana - Like a puppy in a cage waiting for its first venture into the backyard without a leash, the 2008-09 Indiana men's basketball team couldn't wait to run on the floor of storied Assembly Hall to face someone besides themselves.
With four freshmen and a junior college transfer who all were making their debut in the Cream and Crimson, the Hoosiers pounced on visiting Anderson with a 21-2 run that, much to the delight of the home crowd, showed displays of teamwork, unselfishness, heart and grit as they finished what they started by posting a 103-71 win over the Ravens in IU's first exhibition game of the season.
"I thought at the beginning of the game everyone was nervous," Crean said. "It was good to get a start like we did. I thought it gave us a lot of confidence."
Five players scored in double figures as Crean had 12 players see action, but none for more than 28 minutes. Indianapolis native Devan Dumes, a junior transfer from Vincennes led IU with 22 points. Freshmen starters Tom Pritchard had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Verdell Jones III had 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals to pace the Hoosiers.
"I felt once got going we saw capable of doing something special," said Dumes. "So get your jitters out and let's go. I looked up and it was 14-2, then 21-2. Wow."
Indiana shot 53.8% from the first half, had just three turnovers and outscored the Ravens 32-10 in the paint and 22-2 off of turnovers in building a 54-29 lead at the intermission.
Not much changed in the second half, which saw the hosts outscore Anderson 49-42. The Hoosiers finished the game shooting 55.9% and held the Ravens to 36.8% marksmanship from the floor.
Indiana, led by Dumes' 11 for 11 effort from the line, made 33 of 40 charity tosses, an 82.5% clip. The Hoosiers controlled the game inside by a 50-28 advantage, a 35-11 point edge off of turnovers and a 29-7 margin on the fast break.
Freshman Malik Story was an offensive spark off the bench with 14 points and led the team with two three-pointers. Fellow frosh, Nick Williams, had 10 points, five boards, two assists and two steals also finished in double figures.
To show their support for the effort the young Hoosiers gave, the fans were generous with their appreciation and enthusiasm for Coach Crean and the new-look Hoosiers.
"We're all in it together," Crean said. "The more our fans understand that and get behind this team - I saw their confidence grow the way the fans reacted."
Indiana will now finish the exhibition season Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against Bemidji State. The Hoosiers will open the regular season Saturday, November 15 against Northwestern (La.) State.
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