BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) OG Anunoby gave No. 16 Indiana a jolt of energy, and the Hoosiers got themselves back in sync.
On a night when Anunoby had 19 points and nine rebounds, three of his teammates also reached double figures to help Indiana rout Delaware State 103-56 on Monday.
”The other day he played like it was his first game back a couple of times. Tonight, he played like he’s capable of,” Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said.
By avoiding a second straight loss, the Hoosiers (9-2) extended their home winning streak to 25 games – tied for the fifth-longest in school history.
The Hoosiers (9-2) know how much they need Anunoby.
When he was ill at IPFW, he was held scoreless in Indiana’s first loss of the season.
A healthier Anunoby helped Indiana win its next two, including a nine-point upset of No. 3 North Carolina.
But he injured his ankle late in that game, missed the next three and in his return Saturday wound up with his second-lowest point total (seven) of the season in another loss.
If Anunoby stays healthy and plays with the passion and precision he did against the Hornets (3-10), the Hoosiers know they will be tough to beat.
”We knew it would be hard without OG, just because of everything he brings on the defensive end and the guys he can guard and because of his versatility on offense,” teammate Robert Johnson said after finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
James Blackmon Jr. had 18 points and Thomas Bryant scored 14 for Indiana.
Anunoby, meanwhile, went 9 of 11 from the field, was 1 of 3 on 3-pointers, had a career-high four blocks, and added two steals and two assists.
DeVaughn Mallory led Delaware State with 14 points and Kobe Gantz had 13, but the Hornets never had much of a chance. They have lost five of six.
Less than 6 minutes into the game, Indiana already had a 20-10 edge. By halftime it was 54-30, and the Hoosiers extended the margin to 92-42 late in the game.
”We ran into one of them Hoosier buzzsaws tonight,” Delaware State coach Keith Walker said. ”After halftime, I promised the team they couldn’t duplicate that first-half shooting percentage. They went from 71 percent and then we did cut it down. It went to 67.”
Delaware State: The Hornets, who won at St. John’s in November, were no match for the defending Big Ten champs. They are 0-33 against opponents from the Big Ten and a long way from being competitive with college basketball’s big boys.
Indiana: Showed again it can rebound in style against an inferior opponent at Assembly Hall. Perhaps the most impressive part of the night was the offense. The Big Ten’s top scoring team has put up 100 or more points four times this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Perhaps the lopsided nature of the game got the best of the referees, too. After Indiana called a 30-second timeout with 6 minutes to go and another stoppage 11 seconds later, the officials started to put the ball in play. That’s when longtime Hoosiers public address announcer Chuck Crabb alerted the officials to a miscue and stopped play by saying, ”Timeout. That’s a television timeout.”
ON THE ROAD
Delaware State has played a daunting schedule. Following two home games to open the season, the Hornets hit the road for eight consecutive games. They returned home Dec. 10 for one game, then embarked on a six-game road trip that began in Binghamton, New York, before going to Bloomington, Iowa City and Honolulu. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference didn’t give them a break, either. They’ll open with two more road games to start league play. Their next home game is Jan. 14 against Hampton.
Delaware State: Plays at Iowa on Thursday, the third stop on its six-game road trip.
Indiana: Puts its home winning streak on the line again Thursday against Austin Peay.
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