Hoosiers Pull Away Late to Take 57-47 Win over Southern Illinois
Dec. 17, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana used a 14-1 run that spanned nearly five minutes in the second half to pull away from a pesky Southern Illinois squad and hung on for a hard-fought, 57-47 win over the Salukis on Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall on Dec. 17.
With the score tied at 39 with 7:45 left to play, Xavier Keeling hit the front end of a two-shot foul to give IU the lead for good. Bassett and Roderick Wilmont then took for over, with Bassett scoring four points on a pair of free throws and a jumper and Wilmont hitting a 3-pointer and scoring on a fastbreak layup to push the Hoosiers' lead to 10 at 49-39.
After a Tatum foul, Ratliff sank both free throws to cap a 12-0 spurt before SIU's Randal Falker stopped SIU's scoreless skein with a free throw of his own. Another Wilmont jumper pushed IU's advantage to 13 points at 53-40 with 3:05 left, and Southern Illinois would never get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Hoosiers won despite a slow start in the first half. Southern Illinois methodically worked out to an eight-point lead at 11-3, with Tatum and Matt Shaw combining for all 11 SIU points in the first 6:06 of play. A pair of Earl Calloway free throws pulled Indiana within six points, and Keeling hit the back end of a two-shot foul to make the score 11-6 in favor of the Salukis with 10:49 left in the first half.
Keeling's fast-break layup 29 seconds later woke the crowd and ended an IU field-goal drought of 8:30. D.J. White's thunderous dunk on the next possession brought IU within three, and Ratliff banked in a 3 from the top of the key to tie the game at 13 and send the crowd into a frenzy, causing SIU to call a timeout with 8:39 to play in the half.
The score remained tied for just under three minutes, before Ratliff's 3 from the wing put the Hoosiers on top for the first time on the evening, 16-13, with 5:50 to play in the opening stanza.
Southern Illinois quickly cut the deficit back to one point on a Tatum jumper, but Lance Stemler's pair of free throws with 3:07 left pushed the Hoosier lead back to three. After a pair of Wesley Clemmons free throws, SIU reclaimed the lead on another jumper from Tatum. White tied the score at 19 with a free throw with 1:54 to play, then put the Hoosiers back on top with another free throw with 1:12 to go before the break.
After a pair of Tatum free throws and a layup from Bassett, Indiana held a one-point lead with 30 seconds left on the clock. Southern Illinois capitalized on its last scoring opportunity, however, as Bryan Mullins hit a jumper in the lane with just four seconds left to give the Salukis a 23-22 lead at halftime.
Indiana took advantage of 27 Southern Illinois fouls to convert 19 free throws on the evening - one more than the Salukis even attempted. IU also scored 19 points off 20 SIU turnovers while turning the ball over just 11 times of its own. The Hoosiers held a 28-23 advantage on the glass, with Wilmont pulling down a game-high seven rebounds.
Indiana returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 20, when it will host Western Michigan at 7 p.m.
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