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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Sharp shooting sparks Hoosiers in blowout win

Coverdale's performance 'unbelievable' in 30-point victory, Davis says

It's not like sophomore guard Tom Coverdale has been unproductive lately --he's scored double digits in seven of the last 10 games, and he leads the Hoosiers in assists and steals. \nBut Saturday against Wisconsin, interim head coach Mike Davis said Coverdale was "unbelievable."\nIt was only the second time in Coverdale's career that he surpassed 20 points. The first time was Dec. 5 at Notre Dame, when he scored a career-high 30 points.\nSaturday, Coverdale's game-high 24 points and eight assists led the Hoosiers to an 85-55 win against No. 19 Wisconsin before an Assembly Hall crowd of 17,051. The Noblesville native finished with a career-high 6-of-7 three-point shots.\nJunior forward Kirk Haston said he looked around Assembly Hall to make sure they weren't back in South Bend. \n"He had that look in his eye, and every time he had an open look, before he even released it, everybody knew it was going to go in," Haston said. "That's the same feeling I had at Notre Dame. I was glad to see that fire back in his eye."\nBut it wasn't just Coverdale. Sophomore guard Kyle Hornsby, freshman forward Jared Jeffries and Haston each scored in double digits as the Hoosiers finished with a field-goal percentage of 70.2 on 33-of-47 shooting, good for the fourth-best in school history.\nAnd almost half the IU offense (49.4 percent) came from the guards behind the three-point arc, with Coverdale leading the way. The Hoosiers made 14-of-19 three pointers for 73.7 percent. Hornsby, who said he didn't even eat breakfast that morning, finished with a career-high 5-of-6.\n"Anytime you can beat a ranked team by 30 points it's a lot of fun," Coverdale said. "I definitely felt good during the game after I knocked down a couple of shots. Once you hit a couple shots, it kind of snowballs through the whole team. Kyle got us started off early, and we just kept hitting shots."\nThe Hoosiers were ahead 48-40 when Haston missed a shot with 12:45 remaining. But that was the last missed shot for IU until the 1:58 mark. During that span, the Hoosiers nailed seven three-pointers and two two-point shots for 25 points, extending the IU lead to 78-53.\n"It was exciting. Nobody got down when they missed a shot because they knew the next one would probably go in," Hornsby said. "We were playing good defense, so that wasn't going to get us down because they weren't scoring all that much. So it was a great overall game to be involved in."\nWith three-pointers pouring down from the guards, the pressure lightened on Jeffries and Haston inside. Jeffries finished 8-of-8 from the field for 18 points and Haston, who played one of his better defensive games, finished with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting.\n"We executed well, and it seemed like every time the shot clock was about to expire, somebody hit a tough shot. It was just one of those days," Haston said. "Wisconsin went into the game really focusing on us in the post and our guards really took advantage of it. They were getting a lot of open looks, and they knocked them down." \nThe Hoosiers compiled some of their best statistics against one of the conference's toughest defensive teams. The Badgers lead the conference in scoring defense, allowing 54.8 points per game. Wisconsin also leads the Big Ten in three-point field goal percent defense, allowing opponents to shoot only 27 percent from three-point range.\n"To shoot 70 percent against this team is saying a lot," Davis said. "These guys guard you hard. They contested almost every shot."\nWisconsin's only lead of the game was 4-2, in the first two minutes. The Hoosiers made seven of their first eight shots and went on a 17-2 run, ending the first half with a 38-29 lead. The Badgers crept within six points in the second half, but that was as close as they could get. \nIU held Wisconsin to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half on 8-of-24. Sophomore guard Kirk Penney led the Badgers with 15 points and senior forward Andy Kowske chipped in 13. \nProperly enough, Hornsby made a three-pointer for the last shot of the game.\n"It is a statement game," Hornsby said. "That's not what we were thinking going into it, but when you beat a team that is ranked -- and as good as they are on offense and defense -- it makes a statement on its own"

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