Wilmont, Calloway, Give Sampson First Win at Indiana
Nov. 14, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Behind strong play from senior guards Earl Calloway and Roderick Wilmont, the Indiana Hoosiers started the Kelvin Sampson Era off with a 91-66 victory over Lafayette on Monday, Nov. 13, at the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Season Tip-Off.
Wilmont and Calloway each tallied career-highs in points on the night. Wilmont led the team with 24 points, going 6-of-11 from three-point range. Calloway had 22 points for the Hoosiers (1-0), with a team-high nine assists.
The majority of the game proved to be a battle for both teams. In the first half, Indiana appeared to have the upper hand, holding as much as a 16-point lead on two different occasions. However, Lafayette continued to fight and began to chip away at the Hoosier lead with eight minutes left. The Leopards (1-1) whittled the lead down to five points at the half, 42-37.
With starters A.J. Ratliff, Ben Allen and D.J. White all on the bench for significant minutes with foul trouble in the second half, Calloway and Wilmont led the final charge that would prove to be the difference in the final score.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in the game, Lafayette's Andrew Brown netted a three-pointer to bring the Leopards to within two points of taking the lead, 51-50. Calloway would score five of the next six Hoosier baskets over an eight-minute span to prevent Lafayette from gaining the lead. Wilmont also had a basket during the drive, and the Hoosiers held a slim 63-60 advantage with seven minutes left.
Indiana broke the game wide open in the final seven minutes, as senior Errek Suhr and Wilmont hit back-to-back three-point baskets to start a 28-6 run to close out the game. Wilmont led the way with 11 points during the final drive.
Lafayette was nearly held scoreless from the field at the end. Jamaal Hilliard's three-point basket was the only Leopard field goal during the last seven minutes. The other three points came from the free throw line.
Indiana was also able to take advantage of turnovers, scoring 48 points off of Lafayette miscues.
Lafayette was led by Bilal Abdullah and Hilliard, who scored 11 points each.
Indiana will play Butler in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 9 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.
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