Indiana Daily Student

Taking shots pays off for IU

Shoot or sit.\nThat was the choice interim head coach Mike Davis gave his guards Saturday before their game against Southern Illinois.\nThe Hoosiers (3-3) knocked down a record-high 15 three-pointers in their 85-63 win against the Salukis (3-1) before 12,486 in Assembly Hall. The previous team record for three-pointers was 12 against Michigan in 1996.\nThe guards accounted for 56 percent of the offense, a change from previous games, when junior forward Kirk Haston and freshman forward Jared Jeffries shared the role of the go-to man because Davis stressed playing an inside game. The two have accounted for 41.7 percent of the team's total offense this season. But after three consecutive losses, Davis said he needed more than the forwards to contribute on offense.\n"I told our guards it was very important to come out and be aggressive offensively, look for your shots and work for your shots," Davis said. "When we play against teams, I want them to go into their scouting report and say 'Hey, you can't leave Indiana guards because if you do, they'll jump up and knock down shots'."\nWithin the first two minutes of the game, guards Dane Fife and Kyle Hornsby each knocked down a three pointer, setting the tone for the evening. IU maintained a lead from the time Fife made his first three-pointer 41 seconds into the game. The Hoosiers' defense held Southern Illinois to 24 percent from the field in the first half.\nWith the guards creating opportunities outside and spreading the defense, some pressure was relieved from Jeffries, who led the team with 21 points. He had help from sophomore guard Tom Coverdale, who led the team with a career-high 10 assists.\n"I can do some things as far as being able to post up and work inside that I wasn't able to do at the beginning of the season," Jeffries said. "And that helped me out a lot as far as being comfortable and not having a lot of pressure on me as far as handling the ball. When our guards are shooting like that, we're impossible to beat."\nHornsby, who scored all of his career-high 12 points from the arc, made a three pointer with an assist from Jeffries to start the offense in the second half. Jeffries followed with a pair of three pointers, extending the IU lead to 41-24 with 17:39 remaining.\nAbout a minute later, Jeffries completed an alley-oop off an assist by freshman forward Jeffrey Newton and Hornsby followed with another three pointer.\n"I felt like putting (Jeffries) back in his comfort zone, and his comfort zone is around the basket," Davis said. "And so if I put him in his comfort zone, then I think I have to play three guards. If Kyle Hornsby can shoot the basketball and be aggressive like he did today, then I have to play three guards."\nIU was ahead 51-28 when Coverdale tossed an underhand pass to Jeffries for a dunk. Coverdale pumped his fists in the air and glanced into the stands with an astonished look on his face, as if he couldn't believe the smoothness of the play.\nThe Hoosiers played one of their best games on defense, holding the Salukis to a 39 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Jermaine Dearman led Southern Illinois with 17 points.\n"They intimidated us inside," Southern Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "They were bigger and more physical than we're used to, and they played better half-court defense. You think you're pretty good but you face somebody like this and you realize you have to improve."\nWith 11:45 remaining in the game, the Hoosiers led by 32 points, their biggest lead of the season. And after three consecutive losses, Fife said they needed a big win to get their confidence back up before facing Notre Dame Tuesday.\n"We needed any kind of a win," Fife said. "I know the fans were probably pretty down on us, but this really picked us up and I think it really helped us as a team. We definitely grooved (Saturday) as a team. We showed that our guards can hit shots and we can play"

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