Big Ten roundup: No. 9 Indiana cruises to a 42-point win

Associated Press

Bloomington, Ind. — No. 9 Indiana stayed focused on the task at hand.

Indiana forward Juwan Morgan, right, goes up to dunk after going around Houston Baptist guard Braxton Bonds in the second half.

With a huge, upcoming matchup against No. 16 Butler looming, the Hoosiers (8-1) made sure they didn’t look past Houston Baptist on Saturday.

James Blackmon Jr. scored 18 points, Robert Johnson added 16, and the Hoosiers dominated the Huskies 103-61.

Indiana had a slow start, trailing the Huskies (3-5) twice in the first 8 minutes of the game. The Hoosiers, trailing 12-10, put together a 21-2 run over the next 6 minutes, distancing the Huskies from any realistic chance at keeping the game close enough to flirt with a potential upset.

Indiana led 42-27 at halftime. The Hoosiers outscored Houston Baptist 30-15 through the first 10 minutes of the second half.

“I think the second half, we just decided to really sit down and get stops on defense and string stops together. And I think when we do that, that allows us to get out in transition and get easy baskets,” Johnson said. “I think it translated well for us.”

Thomas Bryant finished with nine points and 13 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who outrebounded Houston Baptist 45-31. The Hoosiers ran their offense with a heavy emphasis on ball movement, tallying a total of 19 assists on 33 field goals.

Johnson attributed Indiana’s offensive success to its ability to make the extra pass in an effort to always find the best shot. It’s something the Hoosiers have bought into heavily this season, Johnson added. Faster ball movement predicated on quick decision-making was a point of emphasis during practice for Indiana.

Sophomore Zach McRoberts finished with four assists for Indiana.

“I think a big focus this week was to — little less dribbling, a little quicker decision-making and just get the ball out, get the ball in front of us,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “(Zach) moves the ball. He’s such a willing mover, such a willing passer, such a ball mover.”

The Huskies trailed Indiana by as many as 42 points. The Hoosiers made 12 3-pointers, while Houston Baptist finished with two. Indiana had five players score in double figures and the Hoosiers’ bench came up big for Indiana, outscoring Houston Baptist’s bench 37-9.

Colter Lasher finished with 18 points for the Huskies. Houston Baptist shot just 37 percent from the field for the game (25 of 66). The Huskies also struggled from beyond the arc, missing 15 of their 17 3-point attempts.

“We weren’t shooting the 3-pointer nearly as much as we normally do,” Houston Baptist coach Ron Cotrell said. “We only shot 17 3-pointers tonight because we were trying to pound it inside. We wanted to try and finish some plays and get to the free throw line. We weren’t successful in doing that.”

More Big Ten

(At) No. 3 Kansas 89, Nebraska 72: Frank Mason III had 18 points and seven assists without a turnover, and Josh Jackson and Svi Mykhailiuk added 15 points apiece for Kansas (9-1). Tai Webster led Nebraska (5-5) with 22 points. Ed Morrow Jr. finished with 16.

No. 17 Wisconsin 89, (at) Marquette 84: Bronson Koenig scored 18 points, and Ethan Happ scored all 11 of his in the second half for Wisconsin (9-2). Markus Howard led Marquette (7-3) with 22 points.

(At) No 18 Purdue 77, Cleveland State 53: Isaac Haas scored 14 points, Caleb Swanigan had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Dakota Mathias added 12 points on four 3-pointers for Purdue (8-2). Bobby Word had 14 points to lead Cleveland State (3-6).

(At) Maryland 66, Saint Peter's 56: Justin Jackson scored 19 points and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter added a career-high 14 as Maryland (10-1) shot 68.4 percent from the floor in the first half. Chazz Patterson led Saint Peter’s (4-5) with 13 points. It was Maryland’s first wire-to-wire victory against a Division I team this season.

Pittsburgh 81, Penn State 73: At Newark, N.J, Michael Young had 29 points and nine rebounds as Pittsburgh held on to defeat Penn State in the Never Forget Tribute Classic. Mike Watkins had 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, while Tony Carr and Payton Banks scored 13 points apiece for Penn State (6-5).

(At) Ohio State 64, Connecticut 60: Trevor Thompson’s matching double-double — 17 points and 17 rebounds — pushed Ohio State past Connecticut. Adams made a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left and converted a 3-point play eight seconds later to pull UConn within three, but Ohio State’s Marc Loving’s free throw put the lead back to four. The Huskies missed their final three shots. Jalen Adams and Vance Jackson led UConn with 19 and 12 points, respectively.

Rutgers 71, (at) Stony Brook 66: Mike Williams sank two free throws with three seconds left and Rutgers held off Stony Brook, scoring its last 10 points from the line. Nigel Johnson led the Scarlet Knights (9-1) with 21 points. Corey Sanders added 13 points. Akwasi Yeboah led Stony Brook with 18 points.