BLOOMINGTON-When the final horn sounded in Indiana's exhibition win over Indianapolis, Coach Mike Davis was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Davis' relief had nothing to do with the score. Indiana raced to a 56-19 halftime lead and eventually crushed the Greyhounds, 96-49, at Assembly Hall. Davis was pleased to walk off the court with not only a second straight exhibition win, but with everyone healthy.
After losing D.J. White for 6-8 weeks with a broken foot in last week's 28-point win over St. Joseph's, Davis circled "injury-free" as the top priority Thursday night, and Indiana did just that.
"Everybody is good," said Davis afterwards.
The 22nd-ranked Hoosiers also showed that they still have plenty of weapons with both White and A.J. Ratliff on the sidelines. Marco Killingsworth scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, Marshall Strickland added 15 first-half points as well, and all 11 Hoosiers who played scored.
Marshall Strickland scored all 15 of his points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting, while Ben Allen and Joey Show added 13 and 11 points off the bench, respectively. Earl Calloway, meanwhile, scored six points and had 10 assists and zero turnovers in 25 minutes.
"It shows how deep we were, with those two guys being out," said Davis.
Indiana took control of the game from the outset. Strickland scored eight points in the game's first 4:40 to help IU open a 12-0 lead, and the margin would quickly balloon from there. Killingsworth wound up with more field goals (eight) and points (20) in the first half than the Greyhounds (six field goals and 19 points).
Indiana did much of its first-half damage thanks to an up-tempo offense that created a slew of easy opportunities, helping the Hoosiers shoot 67.6 percent (23-of-34) in the opening 20 minutes.
"I thought in the first half we played the way we want to play," said Davis. "We pushed it up the floor and tried to get it inside."
Killingsworth was the primary interior target, and he responded with an 8-of-9 shooting effort in 14 minutes of action.
"We went inside a lot, and that's a lot better than we've ever done," said Davis.
The 6-8, 265-pound Killingsworth was too much for an undersized Greyhound frontline that had no answers for his presence inside.
"He's a monster," said Sean Kline, who started alongside Killingsworth and had four points and six rebounds in 15 minutes. "He's a beast – he dunks on everybody."
When the Greyhounds collapsed on Killingsworth and the rest of the IU frontline, it freed up Strickland and IU's other perimeter weapons for open looks. That was a welcome sight to Strickland.
"I think they were so keyed on stopping Killingsworth and (Sean) Kline they forgot about me," said Strickland. "It was a nice feeling to have."
Strickland said that he didn't get the same sort of looks during his first three seasons while spending the majority of his time playing the point. His new position, and the presence of some more inside scoring options, has the IU coaching staff expecting big things from the senior guard.
"We want Marshall to hit outside shots," said Davis. "If he's open he can knock down shots. Coach (Donnie) Marsh talked to Marshall about leading the country in 3s in percentage and makes…he should get opportunities."
Indiana, meanwhile, will get an opportunity to finally play a game that counts next Friday, when they open the regular season against Nicholls State at 6 p.m. in Bloomington.
It's Mission Accomplished Against Greyhounds
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