Friday, November 13, 2015

Indiana opens season with 88-49 rout of Eastern Illinois

The regular season kicked off tonight across college basketball and the Indiana Hoosiers came flying out of the gate with an easy 88-49 win over visiting Eastern Illinois. The Hoosiers were led in scoring by sophomore James Blackmon Jr., who poured in 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior Yogi Ferrell added 13 points and Robert Johnson and Troy Williams dropped 12 each. The game was never in doubt for Indiana, who took a 7-5 lead just over two minutes into the game and never looked back.

The hyped Indiana offense did not disappoint, putting up an impressive 88 points despite shooting just 33.3% from beyond the arc (9-of-27) and 60% from the FT line (15-of-25). Star freshman Thomas Bryant kicked off his Indiana career with 11 points and 9 rebounds, going 4-4 from the field and 3-4 from the stripe. His night was punctuated by an emphatic slam dunk late in the second half that earned him a technical foul. The whistle didn't damper the Bryant's enthusiasm, who plays with a ton of emotion. After the game, coach Tom Crean said he decided to leave Bryant in the game after the technical because "he handled it well."

Perhaps the most telling stat of the night was the rebounding margin: the Hoosiers out-rebounded EIU 51-17, including 21 offensive boards. The aforementioned Bryant led the way with 9 boards, followed by Williams (8), Max Bielfeldt (8), Blackmon Jr (7) and Ferrell (7).

Fifth-year transfer Bielfeldt came off the bench in favor of Collin Hartman, but made the most of his time on the court. The big man from Peoria scored 11 points on 3-3 shooting to go with those 8 rebounds in just 15 minutes. Every Hoosier was able to get on the court due to the blowout and perhaps the loudest cheer of the night came with Tim Priller grabbed an offense rebound and scored on a put-back lay-up.

#15 Indiana did exactly what they needed to do: take care of business against a weaker opponent and start the season off on the right foot. Full box score after the jump:


Indiana Hoosiers, Eastern Illinois, James Blackmon Jr, Thomas Bryant, Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, Robert Johnson

The Hoosiers return to action on Monday the 16th, as the welcome the Austin Peay Governors to Bloomington.

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