Hoosiers Whip Ivy League Champs, 72-57

Bloomington - Cornell's Jeff Foote knocked out IU's Verdell Jones with a first-half screen, but the defending Ivy League champions couldn't deliver a knock out blow to Indiana. Tom Pritchard scored 23 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting night and Nick Williams added a career-high 18 points to lead Indiana...

Bloomington - Cornell's Jeff Foote knocked out IU's Verdell Jones with a first-half screen, but the defending Ivy League champions couldn't deliver a knock out blow to Indiana.

Tom Pritchard scored 23 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting night and Nick Williams added a career-high 18 points to lead Indiana to an impressive 72-57 win over Cornell Friday afternoon at Assembly Hall.

Indiana (4-2) came away with the win against a team that won 22 games a year ago and was a perfect 14-0 in conference despite the absence of Jones for most of the game. Jones ran into a Foote screen in the backcourt and appeared to be knocked out cold with 6:03 remaining in the first half. Jones was immobilized by the paramedics and was taken off the court on a stretcher.

IU Coach Tom Crean said afterwards that all medical tests were negative and that he didn't foresee any significant injury for Jones, who played eight minutes before departing. But he admitted it was a scary moment for himself, his team and particularly Jones.

"He could move his body, but he was so scared," Crean said. "That's when it hits you that they're your kids."

Crean was with Jones throughout the 10-minute period when he was being attended to and tried his best to ease his fears before he was taken off the court to cheers from the announced crowd of 13,325.

"I was trying to calm his fear," Crean said. "I didn't want him leaving like that. I didn't want him to leave fearful."

Jones' injury and absence did little to slow the Hoosiers, who led 29-18 at the time of Jones' injury and 35-29 at half. Cornell would get as close as four midway through the second half, but Indiana answered with a 6-0 run to push the lead back to 10, 55-45 with 6:38 left. The final 15-point margin was both impressive and improbable to many who expected the experienced Cornell squad to give the Hoosiers fits on their homecourt.

"We knew we were playing a very good basketball team today," Crean said. "They're battle-tested, NCAA Tournament tested…it brought out the best in us.

"I'll be shocked if they're not an NCAA Tournament team when that time comes."

Pritchard admitted afterwards that Jones' injury was unsettling for the team, but the team's most experience player did what he could to calm their nerves.

"Everyone was worried about Verdell and Devan (Dumes) brought us in and said he'd be okay, he's a strong kid and that we had to keep playing our game," Pritchard said.

Ryan Wittman scored a career-high 28 points with his father, IU legend Randy Wittman, watching from behind the Cornell bench. But other than Wittman Cornell got very little from anyone else offensively. The starting backcourt of Chris Wroblewski and Geoff Reeves combined to miss 16 of 18 shots, and Cornell shot just 18-of-55 overall (32.7 percent) and was out-rebounded 37-24 by Indiana.

"I didn't think we played very good basketball today," Cornell Coach Steve Donahue said. "Give Indiana credit, give Tom credit, but offensively, defensively, in all facets it was not one of our better efforts."

The opposite was true for the Hoosiers, who were whipped by Notre Dame by 38 and Saint Joseph's by 26 last week in Maui before slipping past Division II Chaminade by two to avoid an 0-3 road trip. Indiana shot 61.9 percent in the opening half, 55.3 percent for the game and held a very good shooting Cornell team in check.

Indiana got a quick start from Williams, who scored 14 points in the opening half, and a solid all around game from Pritchard. Pritchard's 23 points was a career-high, and he also had seven rebounds and a pair of blocks.

"I've been impressed with him, he knows how to play," Donahue said. "He's going to be a very good player in the Big Ten. He hurt us tonight, got it going early, got us in foul trouble."

INDIANA 72
Williams 8-12 0-0 18, Pritchard 7-7 9-13 23, Moore 2-2 4-4 8, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Dumes 5-12 2-2 13, Roth 1-5 0-0 3, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Story 2-7 0-0 5, Jobe 0-0 0-0 0, Taber 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-47 15-19 72.

CORNELL 57
Wittman 8-22 7-9 28, Tyler 1-3 4-4 6, Foote 5-8 3-4 13, Wroblewski 1-7 0-0 3, Reeves 1-11 0-0 3, Battle 0-1 0-0 0, Wilkins 0-0 0-0 0, Wire 1-1 0-0 2, Kreefer 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 18-55 14-17 57.

Halftime Score: Indiana 35, Cornell 29. 3-Pointers: Indiana 5-16 (Williams 2-4, Story 1-1, Roth 1-6, Dumes 1-6), Cornell 7-21 (Wittman 5-12, Reeves 1-4, Wroblewski 1-5). Rebounds: Indiana 37 (Taber 8), Cornell 24 (Foote 9). Assists: Indiana 10 (Moore 4), Cornell 9 (Foote 3). Turnovers: Indiana 20, Cornell 14. Blocks: Indiana 4, Cornell 2. Steals: Indiana 7, Cornell 11. Attendance: 13,325. Officials: Donnee Gray, Glenn Mayborg, Eric Curry.

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