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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

IU trounces FAU 88-52 at home

Hoosiers Dominate Owls

The tale of Indiana's 88-52 win against Florida Atlantic can perhaps be best exemplified by two basketballs bouncing high above the court.

In the first half, freshman guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell launched a jump shot that deflected off the rim to the top of the glass before rolling forward and through the net.

In the opening seconds of the second half, however, FAU's Pablo Bertone found his shot in the same spot before the ball fell backward off the glass and out of bounds.

Friday night saw nearly every facets of the game go in IU's favor as the team trounced FAU in Assembly Hall.

"We have different players that can do a lot of different things," junior guard Victor Oladipo said. "When we play good defense and get out on break and get points off of turnovers, that's when we shoot well."

Sophomore forward Cody Zeller led IU with 24 points, scoring on everything from tip-ins to and-one baskets in triple coverage after running the floor off his own steal. He was just two points short of his career-high and shot 12-of-13 from the foul line.

"I did want to be aggressive and drive more on their personnel," Zeller said. "I need to be more aggressive overall."

Crean said Zeller has gone through extra practice for his free throws recently and sank 34-of-35 earlier Friday in practice.

"Cody's a very hungry player and works very hard on what he's good at and also works very hard on what he need to improve at," IU Coach Tom Crean said.

Three more Hoosiers joined him in double figures, led by senior forward Christian Watford's 17.

Despite size comparable to the Hoosiers and a noteworthy coach in Mike Jarvis, the Owls were outmatched throughout the game.

The Hoosiers outshot the Owls 50.9-33.9 from the field, outrebounded them 41-28 and missed only one of 27 free throws for the fourth best foul shooting performance in team history. The Owls had more turnovers and more fouls as IU hit the double bonus early in the second half.

Points of the paint, points off turnovers and second chance points all went IU's way.

The teams traded baskets at the outset, with FAU scoring first and owning a 6-4 advantage about three minutes in.

The Hoosiers then went on 20-2 run that pushed their lead well into double digits. Early on in the scoring spree, the team resorted to half court plays and crisp passing to counter the Owls fairly comparable size.

As the lead grew, though, IU returned to its familiar up-tempo transition attack, many possessions starting off of FAU turnovers.

As IU padded its lead, a number of reserves entered the mix, including freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea in his most significant playing time to date. He made his largest contribution in a game thus far with 4 points, a team-leading 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in 14 minutes.

He had an opportunity to attempt one of the highlight reel dunks he became known for as a recruit at one point, but missed the pass to him down low. Both he and his coach joked that he was getting ahead of himself on the play.

"I thought he played well," Crean said. "I reminded him that you actually have to catch it before you dunk it. He had a couple SportsCenter plays in mind before he caught the ball. He's still working through things, but to get 10 rebounds in that amount of time is pretty impressive."

Late in the first half, freshman center Peter Jurkin made his IU debut, putting to rest rumors of a possible redshirt season.

"Coach Crean doesn't treat them like freshmen," junior guard Victor Oladipo said. "They don't play freshmen minutes, and they don't practice like they're freshman. They continue to keep playing at a high level."

The second half saw some of both styles of offense form IU, but neither were as successful due to a combination of sloppy passing, a more physical FAU defense and less playing time for starters.

FAU's Greg Gantt tried to keep his team afloat by himself with 25 points. He was the only Owl in double figures and had more than half his team's points for the vast majority of the game.

"Players like him, you have to slow them down," Oladipo said. "Make him tired. Get him exhausted. He's a good player. He's got a nice release and a nice jump shot. He made a lot of tough shots tonight, but I think we did a good job on wearing him down."

Players are off for several days starting Saturday, with the team returning to practice next Tuesday. A home game against Jacksonville looms on Dec. 28.

"They really deserve a break, and the great thing about it is they're not playing like they need one," Crean said. "Some teams, this time of year, play like they need that break. Our team doesn't look like that at all."

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