Indiana Wins 13th Straight Season Opener, 88-60 Over Florida Gulf Coast
Nov. 12, 2010
Bloomington, Indiana - Sophomore Christian Watford scored a career-high 24 points and sophomore Jordan Hulls notched 18 to lead Indiana to an 88-60 win over Florida Gulf Coast in Assembly Hall, Friday night.
It marked the 13th straight year that Indiana has won its season opener and 26th straight year the Hoosiers captured their home opener.
The Eagles had their only lead of the game at 4-2 when Hulls hit the first of his six three-point field goals to start a 10-0 run that was completed with five straight points off the bench from sophomore Derek Elston. The Hoosiers would make eight long distance bombs in the first half and led by as many as 18 before taking a 46-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"Key point in the game for us is we had a lull in the first half a little bit after we got up, we let them stay around, said IU Coach Tom Crean. "We got that figured out. We played with more energy. We didn't allow this to just become a 20-minute trade baskets, lets just go up and down the floor type game.
The Eagles scored the first five points of the half to cut the lead to 46-37, but a layup by Watford and back-to-back three pointers upped the lead to 54-37 over a 55-minute span. Creek finished the game with 13 points.
After the Eagles cut it again to 56-44, the Hoosiers went on a 9-0 run which was capped by a three-point play by freshman Will Sheehey with 13:16 left.
"As I said to the team after the game, when you play a game you want to first of all judge the game on did you win the game or not," added Crean. "Second of all, you look at the fact, did you impact the game and the plus-minus chart is usually the number one way to figure out if you've impacted the game. We had a lot of guys that were really high tonight, led by Jeremiah Rivers with a plus 21 inside of the game. So those are the kinds of the things that we want. We didn't play anybody over 25 minutes."
Rivers played 24 minutes and had two points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals, but was lauded by Crean for his defense and ability to make the extra pass.
Junior Verdell Jones III returned from an ankle injury and added seven points and two assists. Elston finished with seven points, four boards and two steals, freshman Victor Oladipo had five points and four rebounds, junior Tom Pritchard had two points and eight rebounds, while junior Daniel Moore played tremendous defense and had four assists in 17 minutes. Sophomore Bobby Capobianco also had three rebounds off the bench.
Three walk-ons scored the first career points at Indiana. Junior Kory Barnett had two free throws, freshman Jeff Howard had a free throw and two rebounds, and freshman guard Taylor Wayer hit a three-pointer.
For the game, IU shot 52.6 percent, 50 percent from three-point range and 70 percent from the line. IU outrebounded FGCU, 41-30 and had 22 assists on 30 made field goals.
The Hoosiers will face Wright State at 7 p.m., Sunday, in Assembly Hall.
"I think Wright State is a Big Ten style of physical basketball team," said Crean.
"They attack in the pick and roll, but they're a very physical, contact oriented team and we've got to play through that. That scares me with this team right now."
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