Wildcats Hand Hoosiers Worst Hall Loss Ever

BLOOMINGTON- Northwestern came to Bloomington Wednesday night looking for a couple of things. One was the season sweep of the Hoosiers, and the other was their first ever win at Assembly Hall. They got both as they handed Indiana its most lopsided loss ever at Assembly Hall, 75-53.

BLOOMINGTON- Northwestern came to Bloomington Wednesday night looking for a couple of things. One was the season sweep of the Hoosiers, and the other was their first ever win at Assembly Hall. They got both as they handed Indiana its most lopsided loss ever at Assembly Hall, 75-53.

The Wildcat victory marks the first time that Northwestern has swept the season series with the Hoosiers since the 1967-68 season. Northwestern coach Bill Carmody didn't even know that this was their first win at Assembly Hall.

"I just found out we hadn't won here. My radio guy just told me that. I'm glad we got a win," Carmody said.

Northwestern guard Craig Moore led the way, scoring a game-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-7 from behind the arc. He continually got open looks by constantly moving without the ball, which Indiana had a hard time defending.

"Tonight he was focused. That's real important to us," said Carmody.

If it wasn't Moore's marksmanship from behind the 3-point arc that was hurting IU it was Northwestern's ability to get easy scores with hard cuts to the basket for lay-ups. It's a style that Carmody has long employed at Northwestern, and it gave IU fits all night.

"It's tough, you have to go over every screen but you also have to protect the back cut. It's a tough offense to defend. He was able to pick apart our defense at times tonight and get open looks," said Indiana senior forward Kyle Taber.

Taber led the Hoosiers with 12 points, establishing a new career high for a second straight game. Taber also set a career high Saturday against Purdue with 10 points.

"He's certainly been the beneficiary of getting a lot of quality minutes. He's getting better all the time, and I think he epitomizes what you want this program to embody right now," Tom Crean said of Taber. "We don't want to leave home without him. We need him in there. He's made improvements. He's giving everything he's got."

Early on, Indiana appeared like it might have a chance to pick up its second win of the Big Ten slate. The Hoosiers hit their first three shots, all of which were layups, to open a 6-0 lead. Indiana used transition offense to build a 15-7 lead.

But Northwestern quickly erased the eight-point margin and eventually led at halftime, 30-25. The Wildcats steadily pulled away in the second half and eventually handed IU its worst homecourt loss ever at Assembly Hall.

"I think it has a lot to do with us [as opposed to Northwestern's defense]. We got beat by our own mindset as much as anything else tonight. We stopped being real aggressive," Crean said. "We just weren't physical enough. We didn't demand the ball enough."

Northwestern used a 28-12 run at the end of the first half and into the second half to build an eight point lead, and they never looked back. Indiana cut the deficit to two on a Matt Roth jump shot with 15:32 left to play, but Northwestern used a 22-8 run over the next eight minutes to put the game away.

Despite the loss, the newest Hoosier saw some playing time in the waning minutes. Team manager Michael Santa, just added to the roster on Tuesday, entered the game with 1:10 left to play. He didn't score but it was surely a night to remember for the 5'9" guard.

"It was a great experience, and hopefully it continues to be a great experience," Santa said. "I never dreamed that this would be possible."

Up next for the Hoosiers is a road trip to State College, Pennsylvania to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Coach Ed DeChellis has his team on the verge of an NCAA Tournament berth, but Indiana will look to play the spoiler on Saturday.

INDIANA 53
Pritchard 3-6 0-0 6, Taber 6-11 0-0 12, Jones 3-7 0-0 6, Williams 5-7 0-0 11, Dumes 1-7 1-2 3, Roth 3-9 0-1 8, Moore 1-2 0-0 2, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Gambles 0-0 0-2 0, Barnett 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 1-1 0-0 2, Story 1-5 1-2 3, Jobe 0-1 0-0 0, Santa 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 2-7 53.

NORTHWESTERN 75
Shurna 4-9 3-4 11, Coble 5-8 0-0 10, Rowley 0-3 0-0 0, Moore 6-10 0-0 17, Thompson 4-5 6-6 16, Capocci 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan 0-0 0-0 0, Houlihan 0-0 0-0 0, Mirkovic 4-7 0-0 8, Day 0-0 0-0 0, Fruendt 0-0 0-0 0, Nash 2-3 5-6 10, Curletti 1-1 0-0 3, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-46 14-16 75.

3-Pointers: Indiana 3-21 (Roth 2-8, Williams 1-2, Dumes 0-6, Story 0-3, Jones 0-1, Moore 0-1), Northwestern 9-16 (Moore 5-7, Thompson 2-3, Curletti 1-1, Nash 1-2, Shurna 0-2, Mirkovic 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 31 (Taber 6), Northwestern 25 (Mirkovic 7). Assists: Indiana 16 (Jones 6), Northwestern 17 (Thompson 5). Turnovers: Indiana 17, Northwestern 11. Steals: Indiana 5, Northwestern 11. Blocks: Indiana 3, Northwestern 8). Attendance: 14,690. Officials: Jim Burr, Tom O'Neill, Paul Janssen.

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