Hoosiers Hold Off Cornell For Convincing Win
Nov. 30, 2008
Indiana improves to 4-2 on the season, while the loss puts Cornell at 4-3 for the year.
Pritchard had a career-high 23 points and has hit double digits scoring in five of six games this season. Williams finished with 18 points, nearly doubling his previous best of 10 set against IUPUI and Notre Dame.
Pritchard was a perfect 7-of-7 on field goal attempts and converted nine of 13 free throws. Williams was also hot from the field, swishing eight of his 12 chances, including two of four from long range.
"We played a very good basketball team today," said head coach Tom Crean. "A team that returned 91 percent of their points and almost 90 percent of their rebounds, people that are battle-tested and NCAA tournament tested. They brought out the best in us. "
Consistent shooting extended throughout the Indiana lineup as the Hoosiers shot 55 percent (26-47) from the field and hit 15 of 19 free throw attempts. On the flip side, Cornell was limited to 33 percent (18-55) from the field. Indiana also won the battle of the boards, 37-24.
"For us to hold an excellent shooting team like this down into the low thirties in both three-point and regular field goals and to outrebound them was a great thing for us," Crean said.
Trailing by six to start the second half, Cornell cut Indiana's lead to 36-34 within the first three minutes. With the Hoosiers still holding a narrow 38-36 lead, Pritchard put home a hook shot and converted the freebie to make it a five-point game at 14:36.
Malik Story hitting Williams on the fast break followed Williams' put back off a missed three from Roth, and Indiana was back up by nine, 47-38.
The Big Red would not go away and climbed back to within four with 8:22 to play behind the hot shooting of Ryan Wittman. With 5:12 left in the game, Wittman, the son of IU great Randy Wittman, had accounted for half of Cornell's points with 24. He finished the game with a career-high 28, going 5 of 12 from three-point range.
Pritchard continued to be the go-to guy for the Hoosiers down low, converting a reverse layup for an eight-point lead. Indiana got the rebound off his missed free throw and Taber scored his first points of the game, tipping in a missed Story jumper for a 55-45 lead.
Story was the story late for Indiana with a pull-up three to put the Hoosiers up 60-48 with 3:44 to go. Indiana would lead by as many as 16 (69-53) in the waning minutes
Indiana jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and a three-point play from Pritchard made it 9-2 with 16:08 to play. Pritchard had seven of the Hoosiers' first 11 points. A fade away three from Williams at 14:46 forced Cornell to call a timeout, trailing 14-4.
A quick 10-3 run by Cornell, capped off with a three from Wittman, cut Indiana's lead to just one at 17-16 with 11:27 remaining. That got the Hoosiers' attention with a 10-0 run of their own, led by three-point buckets from Williams and Matt Roth.
Leading 29-18 with 6:05 to play in the first half, the Hoosiers suffered a scare when Verdell Jones had to be taken off the court on a stretcher after a hard fall. He was taken to Bloomington Hospital where so far he has cleared all tests.
Wittman and Chris Wroblewski combined for eight points in a minute-and-a-half span to cut the Hoosiers lead to 31-27 with less than two minutes to play. Free throws from Moore and Pritchard put the lead back to eight but a jumper from Cornell's Jeff Foote closed out the first half with IU leading, 35-29.
Williams had 14 for Indiana at the break, with Pritchard adding nine. Indiana was 13 of 21 (62 percent) from the field in the first half and shot 83 percent (5-6) from the charity stripe.
Indiana returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Wake Forest as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip-off in Winston-Salem, N.C. is set for 7:15 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
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