Men's Basketball

    Indiana Set To Battle Ohio State in Big Ten Road Opener

    Go Hoosiers! Jordan Hulls
    Go Hoosiers!
    Jordan Hulls
    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 4, 2010

    INDIANA (7-6, 1-0 BIG TEN) vs. OHIO STATE (10-4, 0-2 BIG TEN)
    January 6, 2010 • 8:30 p.m. ET
    Columbus, Ohio • Value City Arena (19,049)
    Series Record: Indiana leads 101-73
    TV: Big Ten Network (Wayne Larivee, Shon Morris and Charissa Thompson)
    RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)

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    Indiana is in its 110th season of college basketball and will its first true road game of the year at Ohio State on Jan. 6. Indiana sits at 7-6 after knocking off Michigan, 71-65, in the conference opener on Dec. 31. The Hoosiers are in the second year of the restoration of the program under Coach Tom Crean. The Hoosiers are the 337th most experienced team (out of 347) in college basketball according to The Buckeyes have dropped their first two road games in the Big Ten, falling to Michigan, 73-64 on Sunday, and to Wisconsin, 65-43, on New Years Eve. Last year, the Buckeyes defeated Indiana, 77-53, in Columbus, and 93-81, in Bloomington.

    Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his second year with the Hoosiers. He reached the 200-win plateau on Dec. 8 with a 74-64 win over Pitt in Madison Square Garden. In his 10-plus-season career, he has a 203-127 record. He came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 (66.4) in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four. His 2009 recruiting class was ranked among the top 10 in the country. Thad Matta is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Buckeyes, and his 10th season as a college head coach after stops at Butler and Xavier before joining Ohio State. He is 137-50 and has won at least 20 games in each of his previous nine seasons and brought home the 2008 NIT title with the Buckeyes.

    Freshman Maurice Creek underwent surgery to repair an injured left knee on December 29 and is not expected to return this season. He is the top freshman scorer (T-5th overall) in the Big Ten Conference averaging 16.4 points per game. He also leads league rookies with 30 three-point field goals made and a 52.7 percent shooting effort from the field. He busted out for a 31-point performance against Kentucky and became the first IU frosh to score 30 or more points in the series against the Wildcats. At one point this season, he led all freshmen in the country in scoring.

    Junior Jeremiah Rivers' three-point play with 1:12 to go broke a 61-61 tie, and Indiana, thanks to six free throws from freshman Jordan Hulls in the final 23 seconds, held on to defeat Michigan 71-65 Thursday. Junior Verdell Jones III led the Hoosiers with 20 points and seven assists. Freshman Christian Watford had 19 points , senior Devan Dumes added 11 off the bench and Hulls chipped in 11, as Indiana surpassed its overall win total from last year and equaled the number of Big Ten victories it claimed last year.

    Despite growing up in Champaign, Illinois, Indiana sophomore Verdell Jones III has become an adopted Hoosier and has thrived against Big Ten competition since the middle of last year. He had 20 points against Michigan and he averaged 17.2 points per game in the final nine games of the 2008-09 season, including 23 points apiece in the final two games of the season against Wisconsin and Penn State.

    - Verdell Jones III (20), Christian Watford (19), Jordan Hulls (11) and Devan Dumes (11) all finished in double figures scoring, the first time the Hoosiers have had four players score in double figures in a Big Ten game since against Michigan State on March 3, 2009. It is the second straight game overall that IU has placed two players in double digits.

    - Trailing 21-14 with 10:44 to play in the first half, Indiana went on a 15-0 run to take a 29-21 lead with 5:18 remaining (its largest lead of game). Jones III led the way with seven of the 15 points during that span.

    - Head Coach Tom Crean has often emphasized the importance of guard rebounds this season, and it showed against Michigan. IU's top three rebounders were all guards (Jeremiah Rivers, 9; Jones, 8; Hulls, 5) and 25 of Indiana's 31 boards came from the guards.

    - Indiana has been victorious in its Big Ten opener two of the last three seasons. The Hoosiers defeated Iowa in Iowa City, 79-76, on Jan 2, 2008.

    - The Hoosiers turned the ball over eight times in the first 15:49 of play but gave the ball away just once in the final 24:11 to match a season low with nine turnovers.

    - Indiana's 71 points is the most scored in a Big Ten game since an 81-point output against Ohio State on Jan. 31, 2009.

    - IU's nine turnovers are the fewest by an IU team in Big Ten action since March 14, 2008, against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament (seven). It is the fewest in a Big Ten regular season game since Feb. 13, 2008, against Wisconsin (five).

    - Indiana's first lead of the game at 22-21 came on a layup from Jones at 9:18. Jones was 5-of-7 from the field in the first half.

    - Michigan opened the game 4-of-5 from behind the arc before missing eight in a row and 10-of-11 to end the first half. The Wolverines finished the game hitting 9-of-28 (32.1 percent) from three-point range.

    - Indiana started the game 2-of-7 from the field but finished the first half making 11-of-19 for a 50 percent average (13-of-26).

    - Michigan took a 56-55 lead with 3:16 to play, its first lead since 9:19 remaining in the first half. The Hoosiers responded with a 4-0 run to go back up 59-56. They would never trail again.

    - With the game tied at 61, Jeremiah Rivers converted a three-point play to give the Hoosiers a 64-61 lead with 1:12 to play. It was Rivers' first field goal of the game.

    - Jordan Hulls was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 23.8 seconds of the game. Hulls made his second career start and finished with 11 points, eight of which came at the charity stripe (8-8). He also had five rebounds and two assists in a career-high 35 minutes.

    - Verdell Jones III led the team with 20 points, shooting 50 percent (7-14) from the field. It is Jones' second 20-point game of the season (20 vs. Pittsburgh). Jones III has scored 20 or more points in three-straight Big Ten games dating back to last season. He also matched his career high with three steals.

    - Christian Watford had a career-high 19 points, topping his old mark of 18 set in the win over Pittsburgh on Dec. 8. Watford was 7-of-12 from the field while also pulling down three rebounds. Watford scored six of Indiana's first nine points, going 3-of-5 from the field. He had 10 points in 13 minutes in the first half. Watford has run his consecutive double-digit scoring streak to four games.

    - Devan Dumes started the game 2-for-2 from the three-point line and had nine points in the first half on 3-of-5 shooting. He finished the game with 11 points in 22 minutes of action.

    - Jeremiah Rivers tied his career high with nine rebounds. It is the most rebounds for Rivers in an IU uniform, as his previous tally came against St. John's in 2008 while he was at Georgetown. Rivers also added two assists, a block and a steal.

    - Tom Pritchard finished with just two points and two rebounds, but he posted a resounding block of Anthony Wright on a fastbreak during the Hoosiers' 15-0 run. He added an assist and a steal.

    - Daniel Moore contributed a rebound and a steal in eight minutes of action. His steal with 9:23 to play led to a layup from Tom Pritchard.

    - Derek Elston was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field for four points, while also pulling down two rebounds in 10 minutes of play. It is the third time this season Elston has been perfect from the field in a game.

    - Bobby Capobianco has now appeared in all 13 games, seeing five minutes of action against the Wolverines.




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