Second Half Rally Leads Hoosiers To Victory
Dec. 20, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Five players scored in double figures as the Indiana men's basketball team held off a determined Western Michigan squad for a 77-69 victory at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Earl Calloway led the way with a game-high 20 points for IU, as the Hoosiers moved to 7-3 on the season with the win.
D.J. White netted his third double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The 12 boards matched a career high for White. Three others finished in double figures for the home squad, with Rod Wilmont scoring 14, A.J. Ratliff totaling 13 and Armon Bassett netting 12. It marked the third game this season that five players have scored 10 points or more for IU.
Calloway went 5-for-11 from the floor and led a stellar effort from the free throw line from the Hoosiers by going 10-for-11. As a team, IU went 15-for-21 from the line on the night. White added five blocks, tying his career high, while Calloway made four steals and Ratliff added three thefts.
Western put together a solid start to the contest and held the lead for the majority of the first half. After Ratliff opened the game with a 3-pointer from the right wing, the Broncos went on a 19-9 run to open up a 19-12 lead just over midway through the half. WMU hit three shots from beyond the arc during the run, while Joe Reitz added a pair of layups inside. The Hoosiers trimmed the deficit to as little as one, but the Broncos stayed strong and took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
Indiana came storming out of the break, with Calloway scoring the first four points of the half to take a 31-30 lead, IU's first advantage since early in the opening half. The second of Calloway's two lay-ins came on a fast break after Wilmont posted his first steal of the contest. Those points sparked an 11-4 run for IU that extended the home squad's lead to 38-34.
With a 59-55 lead with just over five minutes to play, IU embarked on a crucial 7-0 run. White picked up the opening points on an inside layup, then Wilmont took over with five straight points to extend the Hoosier lead to 11. Wilmont buried a three to ignite the crowd, then White registered a block at the defensive end to sustain the run. Wilmont delivered the final points with a drive and layup that made the score 66-55 with 4:24 to go.
Still, the relentless Broncos would not go away, and trimmed the lead to eight on a pair of baskets. Ratliff put the final nail in the coffin, scoring four straight points and tallying steals on back-to-back possessions to stretch the lead to 12 with just under a minute to go. WMU got no closer than eight the rest of the way as IU took the victory.
The Broncos became the first team this season to outrebound the Hoosiers, grabbing 43 boards to IU's 31. But Indiana forced 21 WMU turnovers and committed just 10 of their own, their fourth consecutive contest with 11 or fewer. Reitz had 14 points and 12 boards for the Broncos, including seven on the offensive glass. David Kool led WMU with 18 points.
The Hoosiers return to action on Friday, Dec. 22, when they face IUPUI at Conseco Fieldhouse. Game time is set for 8 p.m.
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