Dec. 28, 2009
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Christian Watford
had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead five players in double figures as Indiana routed Bryant 90-42 on Monday night in the Hoosiers final Big Ten tuneup.
Despite the convincing win, a subdued IU Coach Tom Crean announced that freshman Maurice Creek, who entered the game as the third leading freshman scorer in the country, suffered a broken left knee early in the second half and will likely undergo season-ending surgery tomorrow. Creek is averaging 16.4 points.
"I'll start with an update on Maurice, he has a fracture of his left knee and will have surgery tomorrow," said Crean. "I am in the process of getting his parents here so they can be here for the surgery. He is a very, very special young man. It's gut wrenching in so many fronts when you see a young man like that go down who works as hard as he does."
The Hoosiers controlled the game early building a 15-5 lead seven minutes into the game before leading 45-17 at halftime. All 15 players on the roster played in the first half.
Sophomore Verdell Jones III had 15 points and seven assists, freshman Jordan Hulls, making his first career start, had 12 points and was four of six from long distance. Senior Devan Dumes had a season-high 12 points and sophomore Tom Pritchard had 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Hoosiers shot 55.2 percent from the field, and held Bryant to 25 percent shooting from the field and 18.2 percent shooting from long distance.
"We had a very good performance tonight," Crean added. They did a lot of really good things. Obviously we are playing a team that is going through growing pains and doesn't have a great record, but when you hold a team to 25 percent from the field, and 18 percent from the three-point line, it's really about what your team is doing. We needed to have a game like that and we had a game like that."
The team will go back to practice on Tuesday looking to honor their fallen teammate as they prepare to open the Big Ten season on Thursday at noon against Michigan.
"They really, really feel for their teammate, and as a coach you hate to ever see anyone go through that," noted Crean. "But also as a coach and a leader of the program, you know that you have a program on the right path, when they care that way about their teammate."
Crean also talked about how tough it is to see Creek go through this after getting to know him and his family throughout the recruiting process which began during his sophomore year of high school.
"It's a little different for us as the Crean's and for the coaches , because he was probably going to be with us where ever we were at, whether it was Marquette," said Crean. "For him to come with us here sight unseen, and commit four months before he ever saw the campus, that's a speial young man from a special family. Obviously our number one concern is that everything goes well throughout that surgery and I have great condifence that it will. With the resources that we have here, it's tremendous. He is in great hands there."