Indiana opened its basketball season with an 94-70 win over Northwood University in an exhibition game Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
The exhibition game came on the heels of a week of turmoil that left the Hoosiers' bench extremely thin. Indiana was without six scholarship players on Thursday night, three because of injury (Devin Davis, Jeremiah April, Max Hoetzel) and three because of suspension (Emmitt Holt, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson).
Nevertheless, Indiana was able to turn its focus back to basketball, albeit after a slow start in the first half. The Hoosiers trailed for much of the first half, but used a run late to gain advantage and take a five-point lead into the break.
The Hoosiers quickly buried Northwood in the second half, and they did it with balanced scoring. Five Indiana players finished in double figures.
"Everybody was anxious to play. I know that," Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward. "They love the game. The joy of the game was present out there for them tonight. Now they'll have something else to go talk about with Devin. But they were excited to play. There's no doubt about that. They were a little apprehensive, a little nervous, but once they got out there and settled in, I thought they did an excellent job."
Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. led all scorers with 26 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added seven rebounds. Blackmon Jr., a McDonald's All American, made all 10 of his free-throw attempts and made 2-of-5 shots from beyond the arc.
"It was a stressful week," Blackmon Jr. said. "But we're a positive team."
Nick Zeisloft contributed 24 points for the Hoosiers on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, in his first game as a Hoosier. Zeisloft, an Illinois State transfer, also made all 10 of his free-throw attempts and pulled down six rebounds.
Yogi Ferrell added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. Ferrell turned the ball over only two times in 34 minutes. Freshman Robert Johnson had 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting and Hanner Mosquera-Perea had 10 points and 12 rebounds in a career-high 33 minutes.
The Hoosiers shot 47 percent from the field (27-of-57), 33 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-27) and 82 percent from the foul line (31-of-38). IU had 10 turnovers, five in each half.
To cap it off: Tim Priller banked in a 3-pointer in the closing minutes and had his name chanted by the student section. You really can't make this stuff up.Ferrell: It's on us, not Tom Crean
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