Indiana was cruising, a victory over Ball State all but assured on Sunday
One thing was left for the Hoosiers to accomplish – hit the century mark and
give 100 of their fans free food at Qdoba.
Fitting that the player whose missed free throw was the missing point in
IU's last home game atoned for it against the Cardinals.
Austin Etherington finished IU's 101-53 victory over the Cardinals with a
coast-to-coast steal, layup and free throw for the game's final points.
Etherington had missed a free throw in IU's 99-45 win over Sam Houston State
on Nov. 15. But he scored the final five points for the top-ranked Hoosiers
(6-0) on Sunday.
"His eyes lit up when he saw it was 98," Will Sheehey joked when asked about
Etherington's atonement. "He's probably at Qdoba right now.
"It's redemption for him," Sheehey wisecracked.
Free food aside, the game was a cakewalk for the Hoosiers, even though the
Cardinals (2-2) were making a game of it early.
A layup by Jauwan Scaife tied the game at 6-6 at the 15:14 mark of the first
half. But the Hoosiers closed the first half with a 44-13 run to effectively
put the game away.
After hitting just two of their first six shots, the Hoosiers hit 20 of 28
the rest of the way in the first half.
"We've just got to get off to a better start," Jordan Hulls said. "If we
want to continue to win, we have to play all 40 minutes."
Hulls, who was recognized before the game for reaching 1,000 career points
earlier in the season, helped key the Hoosiers' run by hitting 5 of 5 from
the field, including two 3-pointers.
"I was just waiting to get in the flow," said Hulls, who finished with 17
points on 7-of-10 shooting. "I didn't really shoot in the first half until I
was able to hit a couple shots and continue to be aggressive."
Hulls was one of five Hoosiers to score in double figures, led by Sheehey.
The junior swingman scored 19 points in 19 minutes, hitting 8 of 9 from the
floor and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.
"I took open shots, my teammates found me," Sheehey deadpanned when asked
about his efficiency.
Also reaching double digits for the Hoosiers: Cody Zeller (15 points),
Victor Oladipo (13) and Christian Watford (11 points and 10 rebounds).
Majok Majok led the Cardinals with 18 points, while Scaife scored 11 before
fouling out. Ball State shot just 17 of 55 (30.9 percent) from the field,
including a 5-for-25 showing in the first half. Zeller, Hulls and Sheehey
each had five field goals of their own in the first half.
The Hoosiers won't have long to celebrate the victory, with No. 9 North
Carolina (5-1) coming to Assembly Hall on Tuesday night for the Big Ten-ACC
"They're a very good basketball team," IU assistant coach Tim Buckley said.
"You might want to bring a neck brace. That ball is going to be up and down