Men's Basketball

    Hoosiers Knock off Butler

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    December 13, 2003

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    Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana men's basketball won its second-straight game thanks in large part to its free throw shooting and defense, 62-50 over Butler. Indiana shot 90-percent from the foul line making 18-of-20 from the charity stripe, while holding the Bulldogs to 28.6-percent from the field in the second half. The Hoosiers are now 4-3 on the year, while Butler falls to 3-4.

    "We are getting better as a basketball team," Indiana head coach Mike Davis said. "Butler is a well-coached team. Even though they may not have some of the same players as last year, they have a system that really works well for them. They are a team that will never quit. I thought we did a good job defending the three-point shot today. Coming in to this game, Butler was averaging over thirty-three points from three-pointers alone. I thought we did a great job today."

    Sophomore sharp-shooter Bracey Wright continued his solid play as he scored a game-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half. Sophomore forward Sean Kline picked up a career-high 10 rebounds on the afternoon, while Wright came up one board short of a double-double with nine. The Hoosiers finished the game with a 36-23 advantage on the boards.

    After Butler closed the second-half gap to two at 45-43 with 7:13 remaining, the Hoosiers went on a 17-4 run to clinch the win. During the run, Indiana hit 12-of-13 from the line. Junior guard Donald Perry was perfect on six attempts, while Wright made three. Butler gurad Avery Sheets added a cosmetic three-pointer at the buzzer for Butler to provide the final margin at 62-50.

    Sheets finished with 15 points to pace the Bulldogs. Senior forward A.J. Moye finished with a season-high 12 points to go with his five rebounds. Perry and sophomore guard Marshall Strickland each added nine points and two assists.

    "From the outside looking in, I just think (Moye) has such a great heart," Butler head coach Todd Lickliter said. "He's a guy anyone would want to have on their team. He can change the game without scoring. He told me after the game, `Coach, you've got a tough team.' I said `Coming from you, I appreciate that.'"

    Butler had closed the margin to two at 45-43 following a seven-point run. Duane Lightfoot finished the spurt with a three-point play. That was as close as the Bulldogs would get as Indiana went on its final run.

    Wright scored 13-straight Hoosier points in the mid stages of the second half to extend Indiana's lead to nine points at 45-36. During his streak, Wright hit a pair of three-pointers, went coast-to-coast on a lay-up and added three free throws after being fouled behind the arc by Butler's Bruce Horan. Horan had cut IU's lead to 32-30 with a three-pointer prior to Wright's outburst.

    "Bracey is definitely our go-to player," Davis said. "He has to get in a mindset that he's the guy for us. I thought he was very aggressive tonight. I was happy with the shots he took. If he doesn't put up a lot of shots, we won't win. We talked to him at halftime about putting up more shots and being more aggressive. He took nine in the second half , and I thought all of them were good shots."

    Following a Butler bucket that gave the Bulldogs a 12-10 lead with 12:30 remaining in the first half, Wright and Strickland hit back-to-back three's as the Hoosiers opened a 10-point lead with a 16-4 run. Freshman forward Pat Ewing capped the drive with an alley-oop dunk from junior guard Ryan Tapak that brought the Hoosier faithful to their feet. Tapak finished the game with a team and career-high three assists in 13 minutes of action.

    Butler responded with an 8-0 run on the strength of three-pointers form Horan and Sheets. Two free throws from Ben Crone closed the gap to 26-24 at the 3:10 mark of the first half.

    Horan sandwiched a three-pointer between A.J. Moye and Roderick Wilmont jumpers over the final 1:30 of the first half to go into the locker room with the Hoosiers leading 30-27. Moye came off the bench to spark the Hoosiers, leading them in the first half with eight points.

    The Hoosiers will return to the court next Saturday, Dec. 20, when they face interstate rival Kentucky in the IU/UK Rivalry Game presented by the Indianapolis area Volkswagon dealerships. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m. in the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis. The Hoosier-Wildcat match up will be televised on CBS and can be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (p-b-p), Todd Leary (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre game, halftime, post game) on the call.




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