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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

IU defeats Mount St. Mary's 93-54 at home

After being outmuscled in its Dec. 15 loss to Butler, IU looked to rebound Wednesday against Mount St. Mary's.

They did so in several senses.

Led by their forwards, balanced scoring and a renewed tenacity on the boards helped the Hoosiers roll to a 93-54 victory against an undersized and overmatched Mountaineers squad Wednesday evening in Assembly Hall.

"We wanted to come out with good energy," sophomore guard Remy Abell said. "What happened in the past is in the past. We have to look forward to next game. We wanted to make the extra pass, move the ball, reverse it, get the ball to the other side of the floor, not just keep it on one side of the floor. When we did that we started getting easy buckets."

After never leading in rebounding against Butler, IU consistently controlled the glass against Mount St. Mary's by a 41-18 margin. Senior forward Christian Watford led with eight boards. The Mountaineers' 18 rebounds were the lowest total by an IU foe this season. Butler remains the only team to outrebound IU.

"I think we needed to fix some technique things and I think we did a better job tonight," IU Coach Tom Crean said. "It's really about making the first contact.

"We were a lot better in a lot of areas rebounding wise, but we were especially better in our free-throw rebounding. There are a lot of things that you can constantly improve on but there are certain things that you really pinpoint, and I think keeping our feet moving on our block-outs was really important."

Junior forward Will Sheehey and sophomore forward Cody Zeller paced IU with 16 points each. Five Hoosiers reached double figures for the seventh time in 11 games this season.

IU shot 70.6 percent from the field, the fourth-best single game mark in program history.

Helping on a number of those scores was freshman guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, who dished out nine of his team's 27 assists. The entire Mountaineers squad had only six.

"He just does a fantastic job of finding people," Crean said. "He has been incredibly consistent in his 11 college games and his demeanor, his attitude, his improvement level, his becoming a two-way player have all been great while never getting away from being able to find the open player."

Guard Rashad Whack led Mount St. Mary's with 17 points.

IU jumped to a quick 7-0 lead, but 3-point shots and free throws kept the Mountaineers within striking distance. The first five fouls of the game went against IU, and the visiting team was a perfect 8-of-8 on the ensuing free throws.

At the half, only six of Mount St. Mary's 29 points had come on two-point field goals.

"We played a team that stayed true to form: shooting a lot of threes," IU Coach Tom Crean said. "They lead the country in percentage of points coming from the three and they've got some guys that can really play on the perimeter. It was a good win for us."

The extra points allowed the Mountaineers to keep the game as close as 30-26 with 5:39 left in the period. However, IU rode its fast break and some 3-point shots of its own to give the Hoosiers their largest lead of the game up to that point.

Indiana edged Mount St. Mary's 23-2 in fast break points.

It was more of the same to start the second half. IU scored the first 11 points of the period, part of a 45-11 run spanning both halves. At one point in that run, during a combined 7:40, IU outscored Mount St. Mary's 20-0.

"We started getting out in transition a lot," Watford said. "We started to knock down some threes."

In front of a of different sort of crowd that was mostly devoid of students, several new faces debuted in Assembly during Wednesday's first half. Freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea was an early substitute in his first home game of his college career.

He and freshman center Peter Jurkin each served 9-game suspensions. Jurkin warmed up Wednesday, as he did Saturday before IU's loss to Butler, but has yet to see any game action.

Senior forward Derek Elston entered the game to a standing ovation later in the first half for the first time this season after suffering a torn meniscus in October. He played nine minutes total with a two points and two rebounds.

Crean said he did not decide if Elston was ready to play until Wednesday morning. Though his conditioning is not yet back to his standards, Elston told his coach he was ready to go.

"I've been on the bench for so long that if I could have had the opportunity to go out there and wipe down the floor when guys were sweating, I would have," Elston said. "When Coach Crean asked me, no matter what I was going to say yes."

In the second half, he made his presence felt with a clean block from behind on a seemingly open Mountaineer jump shot attempt.

When Elston exited the game for a breather several minutes later, he received an emphatic back pat from Crean.

"You can only go through so many practices before you want to actually get out there in front of a crowd and see what you can do," Elston said. "The standing ovation just showed that people haven't forgotten about me. It shows that I matter to this program. Sometimes when you get hurt like that and you're out for so long you feel like people forget about you."

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