6:00 PM ET, November 21, 2005
Assembly Hall (Indiana), Bloomington, Indiana
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Indiana doesn't always need to overpower opponents this season. The Hoosiers demonstrated Monday they also have a strong outside game.With forward Marco Killingsworth bottled up by an aggressive zone defense, Indiana relied on four guards to reach double figures, had seven players hit 3-pointers and nearly tied a school record with 16 3s as the Hoosiers (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) routed Florida A&M 100-63."We made 16 3s," coach Mike Davis said. "I think teams are probably going to start saying, 'You can't zone Indiana because they've got an inside-outside game.'"The Hoosiers (2-0) have already shown they are a vastly different team than the one that struggled to score last season.They've averaged 99.5 points in their first two contests and topped the 90-point mark in each game for the first time since 1992-93. And when a defense tries to take away one of Indiana's strengths, the Hoosiers are now showing they can adeptly shift to Plan B.Monday's game was another example.After Killingsworth dominated the middle in the Hoosiers' season-opener, the Rattlers (1-1) dared Indiana to win from the perimeter.Bad move. Marshall Strickland freed himself for five 3s and 18 of his 20 points in the first half. Strickland also finished with seven assists."They really didn't want Marco to score, and they packed it in around him," Strickland said. "We have so many shooters, I think somebody will hit some outside shots eventually. We're just going to find the easiest shot we can."Strickland's teammates took the cue. Roderick Wilmont had 17 points, eight rebounds and three 3s in his first action of the season, while Errek Suhr had 13 points and three more 3s. Robert Vaden also overcame an ugly start to finish with 13 points and five assists.The combination was a devastating blow to the undermanned Rattlers, who knew they couldn't win if Killingsworth dominated the middle. Killingsworth had 10 points, nine rebounds and five of Indiana's 20 turnovers."Our goal was to not let Killingsworth beat us and we really surrounded him," Rattlers coach Mike Gillespie Sr. said. "But I think this team, if it shoots that way consistently, can compete with anybody."The Hoosiers won this one despite missing three key players. Guard A.J. Ratliff (broken thumb) and forward D.J. White (broken foot), both starters, have each missed Indiana's first two games. Backup point guard Earl Calloway hurt his hip flexor in Friday night's victory and sat out Monday.But even against a modified Indiana lineup, the Rattlers still couldn't match up with Indiana's athletes. Brian Greene finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, and Glen Elliott added 14 points and five rebounds off the bench."I thought our kids played as hard as they could for as long as they could," Gillespie said. "But we're 1-1, probably, for the first time in about 30 years."The Rattlers broke to an early 14-9 lead as the Hoosiers looked flummoxed against the zone.Strickland got them out of their early funk by scoring 13 straight points in an 18-5 run that helped Indiana build a 27-19 lead midway through the first half.Florida A&M never threatened again.Indiana scored the final five points of the half to make it 49-32, including a breakaway basket from Wilmont before the buzzer. That play led to a shouting match on the court between Gillespie and Jon Mason.In the second half, little changed.Florida A&M was within 15 points with 10 minutes left -- until Wilmont, Suhr and the other long-range shooters warmed up.The Hoosiers pulled away with a 12-4 run that extended the lead to 76-53 with 6:01 to go, and another late 3-point barrage helped Indiana tie for the second most 3s in school history. The record, 17, came against Illinois in 2002. The Hoosiers also had 16 against Alaska-Anchorage in 2001.
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