Central Connecticut State vs Indiana

No. 1 Indiana cruises past Central Connecticut State


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cody Zeller dominated inside. Victor Oladipo had another solid all-around game, and Christian Watford made three more 3-pointers. There was a little defense, too.

On nights like these, it's easy to see why Indiana is No. 1.

Watford scored 21 points, Zeller had 19 points and 19 rebounds, and the top-ranked Hoosiers routed Central Connecticut State 100-69 on Saturday.

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"I think we're playing well, but again I don't think we've even scratched the surface on how good we can be at both ends of the floor," said Oladipo, who had 15 points and held potent scorer Kyle Vinales in check. "I think if we keep (getting better), we'll continue to play at a high level."

Indiana is playing pretty well right now, off to a 9-0 start for the second straight season. The Hoosiers have won 13 straight at Assembly Hall and 27 in a row at home against non-conference foes. This was their third-most lopsided victory of the season, and they seem to be getting more dominant with each game.

Indiana shot 54.2 percent from the field while holding the Blue Devils (4-4) to just 33.3 percent. Vinales came in leading the country at 25.9 points per game, but was 3 for 15 against the Hoosiers, including an 0-for-4 performance from 3-point range. The sophomore finished with seven points, thanks primarily to Oladipo, who does a lot more than just play defense.

He also had nine rebounds, five steals, three blocks, two assists and repeatedly whipped the crowd into a frenzy with highlight-reel dunks and big plays.

Oladipo's effort was just one part of a balanced effort for the Hoosiers. Jordan Hulls had 10 points and four assists. Yogi Ferrell finished with eight points, six assists and two steals. Reserve Will Sheehey had 12 points and six rebounds.

"We came out with a lot of energy tonight, which is always big for us," Zeller said. "You can never come out slow. Like Vic says, it's back to the lab, and find out where we messed up and keep on getting better."

The matchup was supposed to be an intriguing shootout between two strong offensive teams.

Instead, Indiana took advantage of one full week to prepare for the game and took control during one six-minute stretch in the first half.

The Hoosiers had only two real concerns all night.

They lost sophomore forward Austin Etherington with a left knee injury that coach Tom Crean described as "significant" even before the official diagnosis was in.

Etherington was surrounded by his teammates and coaches as he was lifted onto a stretcher and then wheeled off the court late in the first half. It's another blow for a team that is still missing senior forward Derek Elston (knee surgery) and isn't sure how quickly freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin will get up to speed after serving the last game of a nine-game suspension imposed by the NCAA.

"I know they were really concerned about their friend and teammate," Crean said, referring to Etherington's injury. "It was important they continued to play well and they did."

The other problem was defending Matt Hunter, who was just 2 of 18 from 3-point range coming into the game. This time, Hunter connected on 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, 13 of 25 overall and finished with 40 points -- becoming the first player from outside the Big Ten to score that many points in one game at Assembly Hall. Two Michigan State players -- Shawn Respert in 1995 and Terry Furlow in 1976 -- are the only other visitors to score 40 at Indiana.

"When you have the leading scorer coming in and you're Indiana, you're going to make sure he doesn't get anything, OK?" Blue Devils coach Howie Dickenman said. "He really had some bad looks, got a little frustrated, took a couple of questionable shots. But his roommate from Detroit, Hunter, threw in 40. We never thought he'd get 40, we thought Kyle might get 40."

Central Connecticut State led only once -- after the first basket -- and hung around for about six minutes.

Then the Hoosiers dominated.

Ferrell started the decisive 22-2 run with a spinning 2-footer, Hulls followed with a 3, Zeller posted up for a layup, Maurice Creek hit another 3 and Zeller posted up for another layup. Oladipo closed the run three minutes later with a thunderous one-handed dunk that he turned into a three-point play, giving Indiana a 37-16 lead.

"Bottom line is there's a lot of room for improvement in our team, that will never go away," Crean said. "We can get better, we will get better."

Copyright 2018 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.
Indiana forward Cody Zeller scores 19 points with 19 boards to lead the Hoosiers to a 100-69 win. (AP)
Indiana forward Cody Zeller scores 19 points with 19 boards to lead the Hoosiers to a 100-69 win. (AP)
Central Connecticut State (4-4)343569
Indiana #1 (9-0) «5347100
CCTST:M. Hunter 40 Pts
CCTST:M. Hunter 7 Reb
CCTST:K. Vinales 5 Ast
IND:C. Watford 21 Pts
IND:C. Zeller 19 Reb
IND:K. Ferrell 6 Ast

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Central Connecticut StateIndiana
Matt Hunter
Cody Zeller
Central Connecticut State Blue Devils
M. Hunter, G3913-258-872140
K. Vinales, G373-151-22517
M. McMillan, G361-90-03233
A. Burbage, F261-50-01213
J. Efese, F234-100-23038
B. Peel, F161-30-07032
T. Allen, F131-22-21044
A. Hurd, G80-22-21012
E. Raleigh, F20-10-00010
D. Speech, GDid Not Play
S. Mickell, GDid Not Play
G. Andrade, GDid Not Play
K. Cumberlander, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-7213-1625111869
Indiana Hoosiers
C. Zeller, F307-125-6192219
K. Ferrell, G273-72-20608
J. Hulls, G264-70-054010
V. Oladipo, G227-91-292315
C. Watford, F208-122-251421
W. Sheehey, F244-83-460112
R. Abell, G172-50-02314
J. Hollowell, F152-52-23206
M. Creek, G142-70-02035
A. Etherington, F20-00-21020
J. Howard, F10-00-00000
T. Wayer, G10-00-00000
R. Smith, G10-00-00000
D. Elston, FDid Not Play
P. Jurkin, CDid Not Play
H. Mosquera-Perea, FDid Not Play
Totals 39-7215-20522016100
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Robert Morris6-212-9143
St. Fran.-Pa.5-311-8146
St. Fran.-NY5-38-12286
Mt St Marys4-410-11260
F. Dickinson3-56-13283
Sacred Heart2-67-14333

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Ohio St.8-017-414
Michigan St.5-217-326
Penn St.3-513-8134
Other games
TOWS 40 Final
ARK 67 Final
LBSU 55 Final
CLST 63 Final
UMES 60 Final
UMKC 47 Final
LOU 99
LOYC 61 Final
COLO 54 Final
KAN 90
TNST 38 Final
TEMP 67 Final
MOST 42 Final
BRO 57 Final
ND 84
MONM 56 Final
SYR 108
ETSU 55 Final
UNC 78
ARIZ 66 Final
NCO 54 Final
VALPO 52 Final
ILL 85 Final
MINN 71 Final
USC 57