Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana was a little bit too big, a little bit too fast, and ultimately much too good for Indianapolis.
Aided by a defensive effort that forced 31 Indianapolis turnovers, Indiana overcame a sluggish start to pound the Greyhounds 83-46 in an exhibition game at Assembly Hall. It was the final preseason tune-up for the Hoosiers, who open the regular season against Lafayette Monday in the first round of the Preseason NIT.
D.J. White was one of five Hoosiers in double figures, scoring 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half. Lance Stemler came off the bench to add 16 on 6-of-9 shooting, while Rod Wilmont chipped in 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
"They have a good team, and they're athletic," said Indianapolis Coach Todd Sturgeon, whose team lost to IU 96-49 a year ago. "Their defensive pressure wore us down. We didn't get very many good shots. Coach Sampson has them guarding really hard. They picked us up all over the floor all game."
That defensive effort was done in large part without a huge effort from Indiana's best on-the-ball defender, Earl Calloway. Sampson said Calloway was fighting the flu and had a 102-degree temperature, which limited him to two points, three assists and three steals in 23 minutes. He's the fourth player to be hit by the flu bug this week, following D.J. White, Joey Shaw and Wilmont.
"I thought we stated the game flat, and that was disappointing," Sampson said.
Indiana led by just one, 15-14, eight minutes into the game before the Hoosiers put together a 19-2 run to blow the contest open. Errek Suhr got the run started with a 3-pointer at the 10:52 mark, while Wilmont added 11 of his points during the pivotal run.
Indianapolis, meanwhile, committed six turnovers during the six-minute stretch and never challenged again.
"Eventually the bigger, stronger team, that wears on you," Sturgeon said. "They're just better than us, and certainly bigger and more athletic, and that wears on you."
What wore down Indianapolis more than anything else was the Hoosiers relentlessness on the defensive end of the floor. Indianapolis shot a 43.2 percent (19-of-44) from the floor, but the slew up empty they had due to turnovers was their undoing.
One of the players who played a big part in IU's defensive effort was Suhr, who chipped in ten points in nine minutes of action.
"You can tell we're still learning to play hard for 40 minutes," Suhr said. "That's something Coach Sampson has been really good with. We're playing a lot harder and we're going to be a tough team."
Suhr was one of a handful of players that gave IU a big lift off the bench. Stemler followed up his 12-point effort Sunday against North Dakota with his 16-point outing Friday. In two exhibition games, Stemler has scored 28 points while going 7-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc.
Armon Bassett, meanwhile, was 0-for-4 from the floor, but finished with 10 assists and only two turnovers in 26 minutes.
"I thought we were better (offensively) once we started to up the pace…that's where Armon is at his best."
Indiana played all 13 players on its roster Friday, with walk-on Adam Ahlfeld capping the Hoosiers' scoring with a 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Sampson has been experimenting with a variety of player combinations in the two exhibition contests to figure out who plays best with whom, but that will all change once the games start counting Monday.
"I'm not going to be experimenting Monday," Sampson said. "We're going to play the guys that will help us win."
D.J. White 3-3 11-14 17, Allen 2-2 1-4 6, Wilmont 6-10 2-2 15, Ratliff 3-8 4-4 13, Calloway 0-4 2-2 2, Bassett 0-4 0-0 0, Suhr 3-3 2-2 10, Stemler 6-9 0-0 16, M. White 0-0 1-2 1, Shaw 0-2 0-0 0, Keeling 0-0 0-0 0, Ahlfeld 1-1 0-0 3, Taber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-46 23-30 83.
Mills 1-2 0-0 2, Ludlow 1-2 0-0 2, Cockerham 2-4 0-0 5, Jackson 3-4 0-1 8, Brock 2-8 0-0 5, Brand 0-1 0-0 0, Rogers 3-4 0-0 6, Radcliff 0-2 0-0 0, Jo. Barnard 0-2 0-0 2, Ju. Barnard 2-4 0-0 4, Strahm 1-3 0-0 2, Drake 0-0 0-0 0, Thompkins 4-8 4-5 12, Woodford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-44 4-6 46.
3-Pointers: Indiana 12-24 (Stemler 4-7, Ratliff 3-6, Suhr 2-2, Allen 1-1, Ahlfeld 1-1, Wilmont 1-2, Bassett 0-3, Calloway 0-1), Indianapolis 4-17 (Jackson 2-3, Cockerham 1-2, Brock 1-1, Mills 0-1, Ludlow 0-1, Brand 0-1, Radcliff 0-1, Jo. Barnard 0-1, Ju. Barnard 0-2, Strahm 0-2, Thompkins 0-2). Rebounds: Indiana 29 (Wilmont 6), Indianapolis 21 (Rogers, Ludlow 4). Assists: Indiana 20 (Bassett 10), Indianapolis 6 (Cockerham 2). Turnovers: Indiana 19 (D. White 6), Indianapolis 31 (Cockerham 7). Blocks: Indiana 3 (Wilmont 2, D. White 1), Indianapolis 4 (Mills, Brock, Ju. Barnard, Thompkins). Attendance: 17,239. Halftime Score: Indiana 38, Indianapolis 24.
IU Overwhelms Indianapolis, 83-46
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