Men's Basketball

    Indiana Looks To Stay Unbeaten Against North Carolina Central

    Go Hoosiers! Christian Watford
    Go Hoosiers!
    Christian Watford
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 22, 2010

    Tuesday, Nov. 23 • 7:00 p.m. ET
    Assembly Hall - 17,357 (Bloomington, Ind.)
    SERIES RECORD: IU leads 1-0
    TV: Big Ten Network (Gus Johnson and John Laskowski)
    RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Royce Waltman and Joe Smith)
    Live Stats: Gametracker

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    Indiana is in its 111th season of college basketball and will play the fifth of six straight home games when it faces North Carolina Central. The Hoosiers are 4-0 for the first time in Coach Tom Crean's tenure with the Hoosiers after beating Evansville 67-54 on Sunday afternoon. NC Central is coming off a loss at Miami, but took Oklahoma into overtime last week before falling, 71-63 in Norman.

    Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and is entering his third year with the Hoosiers. He is 210-142 all-time as a head coach, collecting his 200th career win last year against Pitt at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. 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.

    LeVelle Moton, is in his second season as head coach at North Carolina Central University. The Eagles were 7-22 in Moton's first year, including a 81-58 loss in Assembly Hall. Moton was a guard for the Eagles from 1992-96.

    A victory would give Indiana a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season when they started 8-0.

    The Hoosiers are 39-1 in Assembly Hall in November dating back to a 75-64 loss to Louisville on Nov. 24, 1984. The only loss in that time was 75-67 loss to Duke on Nov. 30, 2005 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

    The Hoosiers will not have a four-year player in the program until Verdell Jones III, Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth, Daniel Moore and Kory Barnett enter their senior year.

    Indiana is holding opponents to 34.6 percent shooting from the field this year and have not allowed an opposing team to shoot above 40 percent in any half this season.

    Defense continues to key the Hoosiers this campaign. A 22-0 run over a 10:45 period in the second half against Evansville allowed the Hoosiers to rally from a halftime deficit and get the win. For the season, IU is holding opponents to 53 points per game and Indiana is out-rebounding opponents 38 to 29.

    Indiana trailed by six at halftime against Evansville but dominated the second half to comeback and claim a 67-54 win. It marked the first time in the Tom Crean era that the Hoosiers rallied from a halftime deficit to win.

    Sophomore Christian Watford is averaging 17.8 points and 8.0 rebounds and junior Verdell Jones III is averaging 14.3 points per game and Maurice Creek is pouring in 12 points per contest.

    North Carolina Central is 1-2 on the year and has lost its last two games entering Tuesday's contest against the Hoosiers. C.J. Wilkerson leads the Eagles in scoring at 19.0 points per game while Landon Clement is not far behind at 15.7 points per game. As a team, the Eagles are shooting 49.7 percent while holding their opponents to 34.7 percent. The N.C. Central defense has also forced 60 turnovers in the three games, for an average of 20 forced turnovers per game. One area they have struggled is in the rebounding category, where they get out-rebounded 41-33 per game.

    Junior forward Tom Pritchard recorded five blocked shots against Evansville, the first time an IU player has had five blocked shots in a game since D.J. White did against Purdue in 2007. Through the first four games this season, Pritchard has nine blocked shots compared to just four through the first four games in 2009-10.

    Against Evansville, the Purple Aces held a 31-25 lead at intermission. But Indiana came out firing on offense and the defense held UE off the board for over 10 minutes to aid a 22-0 IU run and help the Hoosiers claim a 67-54 win. The comeback win was the first time in the Tom Crean era that Indiana trailed at halftime and came back to win the game.

    Sophomore Maurice Creek, who had a fractured knee cap last season, had a season-high 19 points in the win over Evansville. He made four of seven three-pointers and all five free throw attempts. It was the fifth time in 14 games that he has made four or more three point field goals.

    He scored 13 points in his first regular season game back since the injury against FGCU. He is averaging 12.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game. He averaged 16.4 points last year prior to this injury and dropped 31 against Kentucky, which at that point in the season, made him the top freshman scorer in the country.




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