IU Defeats North Texas,79-70
December 29, 2003Boxscore
Denton, Texas - Coming off its most impressive all-around performance of the season, the Indiana men's basketball team continued its momentum with a 79-70 victory over North Texas. IU now sits at 6-4 on the season, while the Mean Green drops to 4-6.
Bracey Wright returned to Texas and put on an incredible shooting display in front of a large contingent of his hometown fans. The Colony, Texas, native scored a career-high 39 points, the most points since Andrae Patterson scored 39 points against Duke on Nov. 29, 1996. He also led the Hoosiers with seven rebounds and five assists, becoming the first player since Tom Coverdale on March 10, 2002 against Illinois to lead the team in all three offensive categories.
Wright finished with a career-high 15 free throws (15-of-16 from the free-throw line), a career-high four steals and ended the evening with six three-pointers (six-of-seven from beyond the arc), equaling his career-high.
As a team, IU hit 25-of-31 free throws and hit eight three-pointers in the game.
Indiana took control of the game in the opening half, where Wright did most of his damage. The Hoosiers took a 46-35 lead into the locker room behind Wright's 28 points. He hit his first seven shots from the floor and connected on nine-of-12 shots in the half. Additionally, Wright's 28 points were the most in a half since Damon Bailey scored 30 points in the second half at Kansas on December 22, 1993.
Wright accounted for IU's first eight points for the second-straight game as the Hoosiers jumped out to a 10-2 lead.
With the score sitting at 10-6, Indiana used a 10-0 spurt sparked by a Wright three-pointer and a three-point play by Marshall Strickland en route to a 14-point lead.
The Hoosiers pushed their lead to 25-10 before the Mean Green ran off seven straight points to close the gap to eight points. But Wright halted the rally, reeling off 12 of IU's next 14 points, capped by his fifth and sixth treys of the half, moving the Indiana lead to a game-high 18 points at 39-21.
North Texas trimmed the Hoosier lead to 11 points at the half and continued its comeback in the second half. The Mean Green held IU without a basket for the first four minutes of the half and closed the gap to seven points at 47-40.
However, Mike Roberts ending the scoring drought with a lay up and A.J. Moye converted a lay up and nailed two free throws after he was intentionally fouled, and Indiana once again grabbed a double-digit lead at 53-40.
The teams struggled to produce any offense until the Mean Green went on a 12-5 run to move within six points at 64-58 with 5:00 remaining.
Sean Kline responded by connecting on two free throw attempts and hitting an eight-footer as he traded points with North Texas to keep the margin at six points.
Holding a 71-64 lead, Ryan Tapak gave IU some breathing room, knocking down a huge three-pointer with 1:38 left, giving Indiana an insurmountable 10-point lead en route to its sixth victory of the season.
In addition to Wright, Moye reached double figures for the second straight game, picking up 11 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Kline added 10 points and five rebounds and Roberts contributed seven points coming off the bench.
The victory also gives the Hoosiers back-to-back road victories for the first time since winning at Northwestern and Iowa in January of 2002. IU is also 56-6 when scoring 70-plus points under head coach Mike Davis.
Up next, Indiana returns to Assembly Hall on Saturday, Jan. 3, against John Chaney's Temple Owls (3-5). The game is a noon tip time and will be televised on ESPN2. The match up can also be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (p-b-p), Todd Leary (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.
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