Hoosiers Close Exhibition Slate with 72-54 Win Over Bemidji State
Nov. 11, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Malik Story had 15 points and nine rebounds, including a pair of three pointers, and Indiana finished the preseason with a perfect 2-0 record after a 72-54 exhibition win over Bemidji State Tuesday night at Assembly Hall.
In addition to Story, Tom Pritchard had 12 points and nine rebounds, along with 12 points and seven boards from Nick Williams. Story and Williams combined to go 10-of-15 (66 percent) from the field on a night when the Hoosiers were not at their shooting best. As a team IU went 25 of 58 (43 percent) from the floor and was 17 of 29 (58 percent) on free throw attempts.
"I tried to stress to our team the last few days that competition level goes up, it doesn't go down," said head coach Tom Crean. "Every game it is going to be more and more, where we are playing against very talented teams and very talented players. That was a great learning lesson for a lot of people on our club today to understand."
Brady Fairbanks led the Beavers with 14 points, along with 12 from Seth Haake. Bemidji State was limited to 33 percent shooting (18-54) from the field and went 0-for-13 from the three-point line down the stretch after making four of its first seven shots.
The game marked the return of senior forward Kyle Taber. Taber missed the preseason as well as the first exhibition game while recovering from off-season surgery. Taber finished his season debut with four points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
"Getting Kyle (Taber) in is certainly a help, because now you have a very smart, well-school basketball player in there," Crean said. "It's great for him to get his legs under him."
Trailing 37-26 coming out of the break, Bemidji State opened the second half with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to one with less than four minutes gone. Williams finally got Indiana on the board in the second half with a hook shot at 15:41, and Daniel Moore's layup on a fast break at 15:26 had IU's lead back up to five.
Those two baskets set off a 14-4 IU run as Story nailed a jumper from just inside the three-point circle to give Indiana a 46-38 advantage. After a missed three from BSU's Gunther Zajic, Story laid in a high floater to put the Hoosiers back up by 11 at 51-40 with 11:01 remaining.
Indiana began to pull away as the clock ticked down, taking a 58-43 lead on Jones' layup off a nice feed from Moore at 5:58. The Hoosiers maintained their double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest, leading by as many as 21.
Down 7-5 in the early going, the Hoosiers rattled off a 7-0 run to take a 12-7 lead, capped off with a jumper from Verdell Jones at 14:56. The Beavers answered IU with threes from Haake and Fairbanks to narrow the gap and took a 15-14 lead on Zajic's jumper at 12:35.
Bemidji State was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc over the first eight minutes of action, including a three from Zajic that knotted the score at 18. Malik Story countered with a long ball of his own and Indiana was off on an 8-0 run to take a 26-18 lead into the media timeout at 7:05. Devan Dumes was 2-of-3 during that run.
The Beavers' outside shooting cooled off considerably, going 0-for-6 to close the half, and the Hoosiers stretched their lead to nine at 30-21 with 2:14 to play. Williams and Story turned BSU turnovers into points down the stretch and Indiana went into the locker room with a 37-26 lead.
Williams had 10 points to lead IU at the break, going 3-of-4 from the floor and hitting three of four free-throw attempts. Dumes had eight points, with both players pulling down four rebounds each. Taber also had four boards in seven minutes.
Indiana opens its regular season on Saturday, Nov. 15 as it plays host to Northwestern State at Assembly Hall. Game time is 7 p.m. ET.
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