Central Connecticut State vs Indiana

Time: 06:00 P.M. EST
  •  

While nobody in the country is putting up more points per game than Indiana, it's been a much-improved defensive display that's set it apart from the pack.

The top-ranked Hoosiers look to keep rolling on both ends of the court when they host Central Connecticut State and the nation's leading scorer Saturday.

After going a Big Ten-worst 28-66 during coach Tom Crean's first three seasons in Bloomington, the Hoosiers (8-0) returned to the national spotlight in 2011-12, reaching the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament behind an offense that posted 77.3 points per game to rank 18th in the country.

Though the Hoosiers are averaging an even more impressive 87.8 this season, their ability to clamp down defensively could prove to be the difference down the stretch. Indiana ranks 20th in scoring defense with an average of 56.0 points allowed after giving up 66.4 per game last season.

"We put a big emphasis on defense from the beginning of the year and throughout the year. Defense wins games, and we can't always rely on our offense too much," said junior guard Victor Oladipo, third in the conference with 18 steals.

"We score in transition and we score in multiple ways. But essentially we score off our defense. We've got to continue to play defense at a high level, continue to help each other so we can win big."

The Hoosiers had another strong performance last Saturday, limiting Coppin State to 33.9 percent shooting and forcing 17 turnovers in an 87-51 rout.

"They played extremely hard, even at the beginning when shots weren't going, we were having some turnovers," Crean said of his team. "These guys, they were ready to go. And if they're not ready to go, it shows up in effort, it shows up in your running ability, it shows up in lackadaisical travels and things like that. We didn't have any. It was just a matter of time."

The Eagles did a good job of containing preseason All-American Cody Zeller with their zone defense, holding the 7-foot sophomore to nine points on 3-of-5 shooting. Zeller leads Indiana with 15.0 points per game.

"We will see more zone," Oladipo said. "But at the end of the day, we can still get the ball to Cody."

Indiana isn't likely to take its foot off the pedal in its first matchup against Central Connecticut State (4-3). The Hoosiers have compiled 26 consecutive home wins over non-conference foes by an average of 30.2 points.

Indiana is surely looking forward to the challenge of slowing down Blue Devils guard Kyle Vinales, who ranks first in the country with 25.9 points per game.

The sophomore standout scored 27 to lead all five starters in double figures and dished out a season-best seven assists Wednesday in an 87-84 win at New Hampshire.

Central Connecticut State, which has won four of five, hasn't faced a ranked foe since falling 84-47 at then-No. 17 Arizona State on Dec. 29, 2008.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 

Northeast
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
LIU-Brooklyn5-112-7218
F. Dickinson5-17-10246
Mt St Marys5-17-12177
Wagner3-37-9286
Sacred Heart3-38-11300
St. Fran.-Pa.3-36-11282
Robert Morris2-46-13248
Bryant2-45-13275
St. Fran.-NY2-44-15341
CCSU0-62-15344
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Maryland4-116-228
Wisconsin3-114-348
Northwestern4-215-442
Michigan St.4-212-737
Purdue3-214-431
Penn St.3-211-766
Nebraska3-29-850
Minnesota3-315-410
Iowa3-311-8117
Illinois2-312-637
Indiana2-312-687
Michigan2-312-680
Ohio St.1-411-782
Rutgers0-611-8148

Related Video

January 4, 2017
Wisconsin wins a tight one in Indiana (0:33)
 

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

 
 
 
Other Games
TOWS 40 Final
GTOWN 46
ARK 67 Final
MICH 80
LBSU 55 Final
OHST 89
CLST 63 Final
NCST 80
UMES 60 Final
CINCY 92
UMKC 47 Final
LOU 99
LOYC 61 Final
MIST 73
COLO 54 Final
KAN 90
TNST 38 Final
MIZZ 68
TEMP 67 Final
DUKE 90
MOST 42 Final
OKST 62
BRO 57 Final
ND 84
MONM 56 Final
SYR 108
ETSU 55 Final
UNC 78
ARIZ 66 Final
CLEM 54
NCO 54 Final
WICH 80
VALPO 52 Final
NMEX 65
ILL 85 Final
GONZ 74
MINN 71 Final
USC 57