Indiana Daily Student

Crushing the Cardinals

Junior forward Jeff Newton only had four points Saturday against Ball State. He also had seven rebounds. More importantly, Newton helped the Hoosiers take control of the frontcourt in their 74-61 win at Assembly Hall.\nWith 9:32 left in the first half, Newton blocked the shot of Ball State junior forward Theron Smith. On the Cardinals' next possession, senior guard Patrick Jackson was about to go for a layup on a fast break before he saw Newton fill the lane. Watching Newton the whole way, Jackson had to settle for a 15-foot jump shot that he missed.\nThe sequence set the tone for the rest of the game, with the Cardinals having to rely on jump shooting to keep them close. The Hoosiers (6-2) finished with 40 points in the paint. Ball State (5-2) had just 12. \nAlong with sophomore forward Jared Jeffries and sophomore center George Leach, Newton and IU dominated the lane on both sides of the floor.\n"Defensively, we had to do a great job on Smith and (Chris) Williams and Jackson and I felt like we did that," coach Mike Davis said.\nDavis knew his defense could take control of the game based on what he saw of the Cardinals' wins in the Maui Invitational, when Ball State knocked off top-five teams Kansas and UCLA before losing to Duke.\n"Kansas didn't play any defense. UCLA didn't play any defense," Davis said. "And Duke just kind of played when they wanted to."\nFor the game, the Cardinals shot 41 percent from the floor, including 10-of-21 from three-point range. Junior guard Chris Williams led Ball State with 18 points, but Jackson was held to eight points.\nBall State coach Tim Buckley said the Hoosiers disrupted the Cardinals' offense in every way.\n"The thing about Indiana is they have great length. All of their guys are pretty long players, so they can give you enough cushion so as you can't beat them off the dribble," Buckley said. "But at the same time, they can give you enough cushion so that they can challenge your jump shots.\n"So that makes it very difficult for you. They're just very well versed in good defense."\nThe Hoosiers finished with a 43-34 rebounding edge. Smith and senior center Lonnie Jones combined for 23 points and 17 rebounds for Ball State, but IU's trio of big men was too much to overcome. \nPlus, Smith played the last seven minutes with four fouls, making him less aggressive around the basket. Both Newton and Leach each finished with three blocks officially.\n"George and Newt are really good shot blockers. Having those guys behind myself and the guards out there makes it a lot easier because if somebody beats you, you don't have to foul," Jeffries said. "They're back there to block the shot."\nOffensively, the Hoosiers have recommitted to going through the inside part of their offense more often. Against Notre Dame, Jeffries had a career-high 28 points and threw in 22 more Saturday.\nDavis knows that if IU can get the ball to its star, there's a good chance somebody might score.\n"Our biggest problem this year is that we hadn't gone inside quick enough," Davis said. "Now once Jeffries catches the basketball you can double team him or play him single. If you play him single he can get to the basket. \n"And now his confidence is going sky high. We made a point in practice that we're going inside every time the guy's open. I don't care what play we're running, if he's open let's get the basketball to him. We did a good job tonight of getting the ball to Jeffries and Newton and Leach."\nDavis will continue to look for a strong effort from his trio of forwards. And he knows that if someone isn't performing, he has other options.\n"I have nine guys that I can play," Davis said. "If they're not playing hard, I can put someone else in"

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