Indiana Rallies Past Evansville, 67-54
Nov. 21, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -Strong defense allowed Indiana to post a 27-2 run over nearly an 11-minute stretch and Maurice Creek scored 12 of his 19 points in a two-minute burst early in the second half to help Indiana rally past Evansville 67-54 Sunday. It marked the first time in 36 games that IU has trailed at halftime during the last two-plus seasons, that the Hoosiers have rallied for the win.
"I think the fact that we had some very good runs inside this game especially from I think the 16 to the 8 minute mark and the 16 to the 5 minutes mark said a lot about our defensive," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "I think they stuck with their game plan in the first half and we didn't stay with ours.
Indiana scored the first six points off the game, before the visiting Purple Aces settled down and broke open a back and forth game with a three-pointer by sophomore Colt Ryan to take a 28-21 advantage with 2:59 to go. After Evansville added a free throw, the Hoosiers tried to cut the lead on a dunk by senior Jeremiah Rivers and a layup by junior Verdell Jones III. A steal by Rivers gave IU a chance to whittle the lead even further, but sophomore Jordan Hulls missed a triple and Pieter van Tongeren added a layup to give the visitors a 31-25 halftime lead.
"What we are learning is that to win at this level against anybody is very hard to do," said Crean. "When you earn it like our guys did today it's a great feeling and now we'll get to turn right back around and do it again."
Evansville extended the lead to 39-34 with 16:05 to go, when Creek nailed the second of his four three-pointers, to make it 39-37. Creek was fouled on a three-point attempts prior to the media timeout and give IU its first lead of the game after the break when he sank all three charity tosses.
The Hoosiers would continue their run with 16 more points and led 61-41 on a jumper by Christian Watford with 5:43 left. Creek would lead IU with 19 points and Jones III added 18 points, three assists and three steals. Watford had his fourth straight double digit scoring effort with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Junior ard_tom00.html" >Tom Pritchard had eight points, eight rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots.
"He did an excellent job," said Crean. "We've seen that the last couple of days in practice as well. He had 12 deflections and a plus 12 on the day for the plus-minus. So that's very good. He did some excellent things there. And he played through foul trouble as well."
The Hoosiers will be back in action this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when it hosts North Carolina Central. IU is looking for its first 5-0 start since the 2002-03 season.
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