Hoosiers Pound Leathernecks, 92-40
Dec. 6, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Five players scored in double figures as the Indiana men's basketball team posted a 92-40 victory over Western Illinois on Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall on Dec. 6. The 52-point victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Hoosiers since a 102-46 triumph over Drake on Dec. 27, 1998. The win improved Indiana's record to 5-2 on the season.
The Hoosiers turned in their best all-around effort of the season, combining stifling defense, efficient offense and good perimeter shooting in the victory. Indiana forced WIU to commit 18 turnovers while making just three of their own in the victory. IU posted a 19-3 advantage in assists and a 43-33 edge on the glass.
Indiana also stepped up its perimeter shooting in the victory, hitting a season-high 13 shots from downtown, led by 4-for-8 shooting by Lance Stemler. Roderick Wilmont scored a game-high 20 points and added 10 boards for the second straight game to earn his first career double-double. Joey Shaw had a career day from the field, going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and adding 6-for-8 from the line to score a career-best 14 points.
A.J. Ratliff and D.J. White also scored in double figures for IU, netting 13 and 12 points, respectively. Earl Calloway posted seven assists for the Hoosiers, including six in the first half. All 13 Hoosiers tallied rebounds in the contest, led by Wilmont's 10. Indiana held the Leathernecks to under 29 percent shooting, including just 4-for-20 in the second half. The 40 points allowed were the fewest let up by a Hoosier team since allowing 37 to Morehead State on Dec. 2, 1978.
The Hoosier defense forced a number of early turnovers, but the Leathernecks began the game 6-for-8 from the field, and IU clung to an early 15-13 lead. But Indiana then embarked on a 17-5 run to open a 32-18 lead with 7:05 to play in the first half. The highlights of the run included an alley-oop from Calloway to Ratliff, and a pair of threes by Stemler from the right wing.
The Hoosiers extended the lead to 20 points with an 8-1 run going into the locker room. Indiana's defense clamped down on the Western scorers, forcing the Leathernecks to hit just one of their final 14 shots of the half. The IU defense also forced seven turnovers in the half, and the offense committed a season-low one in the frame. Stemler led all Hoosiers with 11 points in the opening stanza.
With Indiana holding a 47-28 lead, IU scored seven points over a span of 30 seconds to stretch the lead to 26. After Stemler hit a three from the left wing, Rod Wilmont provided both the defense and the offense, making a steal and driving in for a one-handed jam. With the crowd of 16,906 on its feet, Wilmont struck again 17 seconds later, making another steal and laying the ball in on the fast break, forcing Leatherneck coach Derek Thomas to take a timeout.
Those seven points kicked off an 18-4 run over a span of 6:44 that gave the home squad a commanding 56-32 lead with 11:16 to play in the contest. IU hit four threes over that span, and drives to the basket by Wilmont provided the remaining six points for the Hoosiers.
White put on a show for the home crowd toward the middle of the second half with a pair of two-handed jams. On the first, Stemler drew a double-team then swung a pass over the top to an open White, who slammed it home. Then, with just under nine minutes to play, Stemler grabbed a rebound and fed a cross-court pass to Wilmont streaking up the left side. The senior drew the WIU defender, then dropped a pass to a streaking White, who electrified the crowd with his 10th point of the night.
The Hoosiers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 9, when they travel to Lexington, Ky., for a matchup with rival Kentucky. Game time is slated for noon EST and will be broadcast on CBS.
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