December 23, 2003
Head Coach Quotes
Indiana Player Quotes
Bloomington, Ind. -- Employing a new starting lineup and a newfound intensity, the Indiana men's basketball team dominated Morehead State, 77-57, Tuesday evening at Assembly Hall. The victory moves the Hoosiers to 5-4 on the season and drops the Eagles to 4-4.
Hoosier head coach Mike Davis started Ryan Tapak, A.J. Moye, Bracey Wright, Sean Kline and Pat Ewing, Jr., together for the first time this season, and the group responded with a spirited effort.
Returning to the starting lineup for the first time since the Wake Forest contest, Pat Ewing, Jr., provided the Hoosiers with energy and a low-post presence, netting his first career double-double with career-highs in points, 12 (6-of-7 from the floor), and rebounds, 12.
"We came out here knowing what we needed to do," said Ewing. "We had two great practices after the loss, and we came out and did what we were supposed to do. We started to settle down at the end of the second half today, but I feel we played one of our better games of the year tonight."
Marshall Strickland regained his shooting stroke, draining a career-high six three-pointers and finishing the evening with a career-high 20 points.
"Coach wants me to be more aggressive," said Strickland. "After the Kentucky game, he didn't think I shot enough. A lot of games this season I didn't get enough reps in to be a contributor. Going into this game and the rest of the season, he really wants me to be aggressive."
Strickland joined Ewing, Wright (19 points) and Moye (14) in double figures, marking the first time this season four Hoosiers have reached the 10-point plateau in the same game.
Led by a hounding defensive performance, the Hoosiers headed into the locker room with a 44-21 halftime lead. The 44 points were the most points the team has posted in any half this season.
IU jumped out to an early 8-4 lead as Bracey Wright scored eight of his 14 first-half points, capping the scoring with a hanging 15-footer from the right baseline.
Following an Eagle miss, Ewing grabbed the rebound and dished a perfect pass to Moye on the right wing. Moye completed the fast break with a three-point play helping fuel a 14-0 Hoosier run.
Ewing capped the run with an emphatic dunk following a missed layup. Indiana held Morehead State scoreless for 7:22 during the stretch, building a 22-7 cushion.
The Hoosiers continued to pour it on defensively as a Moye steal led to the first of four consecutive three-pointers by Strickland as IU built its largest lead of the half at 38-10.
In the half, Indiana held the Eagles to 33.3% from the floor on 7-of-21 shooting, including holding Morehead without a field goal over a 12:38 stretch. The Eagles' 21 points tied the third-lowest output a Hoosier defense has allowed in a first half in the Mike Davis era.
"We worked a lot on defense, because that was a problem for us against Kentucky," said Davis.
"We forced them (Morehead State) to make turnovers early on and we played good transition defense."
Ewing remained active on the boards in the second half, opening the stanza with back-to-back buckets, including his second dunk of the evening following a missed layup.
A 10-2 Eagle run closed the gap to 52-36 before Wright and Strickland connected on consecutive three-pointers and Moye added a jumper in the paint, pushing the lead to 24 points.
IU matched its largest lead of the night at 74-46 as Roderick Wilmont dropped a pair of three-pointers, and Indiana cruised the rest of the way for its fifth victory of the season.
Moye turned in a solid all-around performance with a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in addition to corralling two offensive boards and four rebounds overall. Wright concluded the evening with 19 points, his 12th straight game scoring in double figures.
Additionally, Tapak added a career-high six rebounds to go along with three points and three assists.
Up next, the Hoosiers travel to Denton, Texas, to face the Mean Green of North Texas on Dec. 29 at 8:00 p.m.