Indiana Hosts Western Michigan
Dec. 19, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's basketball team welcomes Western Michigan to Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. EST. IU and WMU are meeting for the fifth time, with the Hoosiers sweeping the previous four contests. The game will be televised by ESPN Plus Local, with Eric Collins (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (analyst) on the call.
In its last outing, Indiana used a 12-0 run in the second half to pull away from a pesky Southern Illinois squad and hung on for a hard-fought, 57-47 win over the Salukis on Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall on Dec. 17. Junior guard A.J. Ratliff scored a team-high 14 points off the bench for Indiana (6-3), while freshman guard Armon Bassett netted 11 for the Hoosiers.
With the score tied at 39 with 7:45 left to play, freshman forward Xavier Keeling hit the front end of a two-shot foul to give IU the lead for good. Bassett and senior guard Roderick Wilmont then took over, with Bassett scoring four points on a pair of free throws and a jumper and Wilmont hitting a 3-pointer and scoring on a fast-break layup to push the Hoosiers' lead to 10 at 49-39.
On The Air
The Indiana-Western Michigan Series
All four meetings between the two clubs have been played in the Hoosier State, with three taking place in Bloomington. The other matchup was held in Indianapolis - a 70-63 IU win on Dec. 28, 1997 in the championship game of the Hoosier Classic.
The last time the teams faced off, the Hoosiers claimed an 87-59 victory on Dec. 8, 2000. Below is a look at the series history:
Date Outcome Location
Scouting Western Michigan
Joe Reitz is the lone Bronco in double figures, averaging 13.7 points per game in 28.6 minutes. The 6-7 junior center from Fishers, Ind., also leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game and is shooting 57.1 percent from the floor. Sophomore point guard Michael Redell is serving up 4.2 assists each time out and is scoring at a 9.2 clip.
Fourth-year man Steve Hawkins coaches the Broncos. Under his guidance, Western Michigan has earned one NCAA Tournament berth, made an appearance in the NIT, won the most games in school history (26 in 2003-04) and won back-to-back MAC West championships. Hawkins holds a 64-41 record in Kalamazoo and is 201-152 overall in 13 seasons on the bench.
Western Michigan Last Time Out
Reitz earned his second double-double this year and the 11th of his career in the Broncos' victory. Western Michigan's bench also came up big with 24 points, while its defense held the Redbirds to 39 percent from the field. WMU crashed the boards hard, outrebounding the Redbirds, 42-27, including 16 on the offensive glass.
"X" Marks The Spot
On the offensive end, Keeling poured in six points, hitting 4-of-6 from the charity stripe. He also contributed a pair of rebounds, one block and a steal. With Keeling on the floor, Indiana outscored the Salukis by a 33-14 margin, compared to a 33-24 deficit with him out of the ballgame.
Getting To The Line
Shutting The Door
In fact, Indiana held Southern Illinois without a field goal for 9:22 in the second half and limited its second opponent this season under 50 points (Western Illinois - 40). The last time IU held two opponents under 50 points in a season came back in 2002-03.
Points Hard To Come By
The Hoosiers held the Salukis to 47 points, nearly 12 below the 58.9 they had surrendered through their first eight ballgames. IU only mustered 57 points and the two teams' combined 104 points signified the lowest total in a game on Branch McCracken Court since the aforementioned battle against the Fighting Irish (100 points).
Freshman guard Armon Bassett added 11 points, nine of which came in the second half, in 24 minutes against SIU. Bassett has reached the 10-mark plateau in three contests this season and the Hoosiers are 2-1 in those ballgames.
Meanwhile, junior forward Lance Stemler added three points, as Indiana won for the first time when the Columbia, Ill., native was held under double figures. When Stemler scores at least 10 points, the Hoosiers are 5-0 compared to a 1-3 mark when he does not reach double digits.
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