Hoosiers Handle Howard, 83-60, in a Sold Out Assembly Hall
Nov. 13, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean got his wish on two front. His second-year Hoosiers played in front of a sellout crowd of 17,383 in its home opener and his squad faced adversity and responded as they notched an 83-60 victory over Howard to start the 2009-10 campaign.
"I thought the energy level inside Assembly Hall was phenomenal," said Crean. To me it never gets old, and I know it's just got to be blowing our young guys away. When you have a crowd that has that kind of support and passion for the team, it just helps everybody in so many ways. To have 17,000-plus in here our first game, in our second year, to me after what we have gone through last year, I just think that's a really, really great thing."
The Hoosiers were able to win their 25th straight home opener and their 12th straight season opener with the victory. The 83 points scored by IU also matched their season high of 83 scored last year in the season opener against Northwestern State. Their 23-point margin of victory, however, is the largest for IU in the 32 games coached by Tom Crean.
Indiana never trailed in the game,but the visiting Bison were able to keep the game close and the Hoosiers led just 20-18 with seven minutes to go in the half. The Hoosiers then ignited the crowd by closing out the half with a 20-5 run to take a 40-23 lead into the locker room.
"I thought our players really responded to the crowd's energy," added Crean. "Which I thought we would have. There were some deer in the headlights type of action early in the first half. Defensively we got our break going. It really helped us and we were able to blow the game open in the first half."
The Hoosiers expanded the lead by starting the half with an 18-6 run and IU built a 58-29 lead with 14:26 to go in the half and never looked back.
IU shot 55.7% from the field, but its two-three zone flustered Howard into a four for 22 performance from long range and the Bison shot just 35.8% overall.
Individually, freshman Maurice Creek had 17 points to lead all scorers as he made seven of 11 shots. Freshman Christian Watford had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Freshman Derek Elston came off the bench and had 14 points and made six of seven shots. Sophomore Tom Pritchard also added 10 points and five boards.
The Hoosiers had eight players play 14 minutes or more. Sophomore Verdell Jones III added nine points, senior Devan Dumes added seven points and three assists and freshman Jordan Hulls had two points and five assists.
The visitors were paced by Calvin Thompson who had 13 and Indianapolis native Curtis White who had 10 points.
"We got a lot of good basketball from different people and we really, really shared the basketball," said Crean. "Anytime you have 20 assists that's a real benchmark, it means your offense is moving and really crisp. We are still going to be a hard driving team and a team that wants to get to the rim. There are a ton of things we need to improve on, and we are trying to do that. It's a very good start to what we hope is a productive and improvement-filled season."
The Hoosiers will host USC Upstate Monday night at 8:30 p.m. in a game televised by the Big Ten Network.
Check back soon