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October 26, 2013

Indiana overcomes shooting woes to defeat Southern Indiana

Hollowell scores 13 for Hoosiers

BLOOMINGTON — The video played on Indiana’s scoreboard before player introductions still ends with Christian Watford’s game-winning shot over Kentucky from December 2011.

The Hoosiers are no doubt expecting some similar big-play highlights from this year’s team. But judging from Saturday’s exhibition opener against Southern Indiana, there’s plenty of work to do.

While IU won 83-68, poor shooting allowed the Screaming Eagles to stick around for most of the game.

“We’ve got to knock down a few more shots when we’re tired,” Yogi Ferrell said. “That goes back to getting more shots up after practice.’

IU shot just 28-of-67 from the floor and 9-of-21 on 3-pointers, allowing the Eagles to stick around.

“Some of our misses were foot-related,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “A lot of times it’s how your body’s placed.”

It’s not as if USI was expected to be a pushover. The Eagles are 23rd in the Division II preseason poll.

“They have a great system,” Crean said.

But the Hoosiers might have expected a little better performance in the first half, when USI didn’t trail by double digits until the final minutes. The Eagles scored the opening basket, led 16-15 midway through the first half and tied the game at 22-22 on a Taylor Wischmeier layup with 6:18 to play in the first half.

And with just under eight minutes to play, Austin Davis hit a 3-pointer to pull USI within 64-57.

But Jeremy Hollowell hit a 3-pointer with 7:25 to play, and the Eagles couldn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Ferrell led IU with 20 points, showing off his improved touch from beyond the arc. After making just 23 3-pointers all last season, the sophomore was 6-of-10 on 3-pointers on Saturday.

Hollowell scored 13, Will Sheehey added 10 points and freshman Troy Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow freshman Noah Vonleh had nine points and 12 rebounds as the Hoosiers outrebounded the Eagles 54-36.

"Coach told me at halftime to use my athletic ability out there," said Williams.

Aaron Nelson led USI with 14 points, Wischmeier added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Davis scored 11 for the Eagles.

“For the first game under the lights, I think our guys played with a lot of energy,” Crean said. “It’s a great eye-opener for us.

“I think the fans are going to be like me, they’re going to enjoy this team, but there are times they’re also going to pull their hair out once in a while.”

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