Hoosiers Handle Pumas, 95-67, in Exhibition Finale
Nov. 9, 2009
Bloomington, Indiana - Freshman Maurice Creek scored 16 points and had seven rebounds to lead four Hoosiers in double figures as Indiana topped Saint Joseph's (Indiana), 95-67, Monday night in front of 15,289 in Assembly Hall.
"First off after three very hard driving tedious days of practice, we really wanted to try to challenge these guys to play fast, to play at a high level, and to play defensively very active," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "If we can't play at a fast pace at a fast level, we can't make good decisions. Certainly we don't have the experience to understand that yet. That's why these games are so invaluable to get that game experience for these guys."
After the Pumas Jake Hassler scored on a layup in the first minute to give SJC their only lead at 2-0, Indiana would then never trail after baskets by junior Jeremiah Rivers and sophomore Verdell Jones III. The Hoosiers would stretch the lead to 18-9 with 11:05 left in the half on a triple by freshman Jordan Hulls and then built their first double digit advantage when sophomore Matt Roth hit a long distance call to make it 23-11 with 10:47 to go.
The Hoosiers who hit 65.4% of their shots in the first half would lead 48-33 at halftime after limiting SJC to 34.1% shooting and 18.2% accuracy from long distance in the first 20 minutes.
"I was frankly a bit surprised at how well our guys ran throughout the game," noted Crean. "But again, when you have people playing at a fast level and you can go to the bench and those people can continue that pace and they will continue to work defensively, then you have a chance to do that."
The Hoosiers were able to stretch their lead to 61-37 before the first media timeout of the second halfand Indiana led by as many as 31 twice in the game.
Besides Creek, Rivers had 15 points, five assists and four rebounds with just one turnover in 23 minutes. Jones had 15 points and three assists, freshman Christian Watford had 13 points, including 10 in the second half.
Senior center Tijan Jobe made his first career start and had a block and a rebound, but was limited by foul trouble. Freshman Derek Elston had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds, Hulls had seven as did freshman Bawa Muniru who saw his first action after being cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center. He also had two rebounds and three blocks in eight minutes.
For the game, IU made 32 of 46 free throws, while the Pumas made just 14 of their 19 charity tosses.
Indiana will open the season on Friday, November 13 at 8 p.m., against Howard. The game will be on the Big Ten Network. A few hundred tickets remain for the game. A balcony four pack is $80 and includes a ticket to the game, a hot dog, a coke, and a popcorn for each member of the family. To order call 866-IUSports.
"I was shocked last week and still am when we come out in an exhibition game and see a crowd like this, added Crean. "To me this was like a mid-season crowd. Their energy level was high. I think they are having fun watching us. There's absolutely no reason to not have a sellout on here on Friday night. I really hope we do. I hope the students that haven't been here yet get in there. I hope the fans that have bought the tickets make sure they are here and the ones that are coming are reminding people that Indiana is coming back and we need everyone of them to be a part of it."
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