Indiana beats Kennesaw State 99-72 for fifth straight win
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — In the first 12 games of the season, Troy Williams had made a total of four 3-pointers — shooting 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Looking confident against Kennesaw State on Tuesday night, Williams made 3 of 4 3-pointers and had 20 points with a career-high six assists to lead Indiana to a 99-72 victory.
Williams made 7 of 8 shots from the field and also had four rebounds in 26 minutes. For the season, he’s shooting better than 55 percent from the field.
"When you’re really locked in and moving well and playing both ends well, it’s amazing how open you get and how good you feel with your shot," said Indiana coach Tom Crean about Williams.
Thomas Bryant scored a career-high 20 points and hit 8 of 9 shots for Indiana and James Blackmon Jr. had 19 points including four 3-pointers.
It was the fifth victory in a row for Indiana (10-3) and the final non-conference tune up for the Hoosiers.
Williams has been playing at a very high level for Indiana. In the last six games, he is averaging 16.5 points per game. Against IPFW recently, he had 15 points and 19 rebounds.
He said the Hoosiers have so many offensive weapons that no one really cares who scores the points.
"Like I’ve said before, it could be anybody’s night," Williams said. "Anybody could have a bad game, anybody could have a great game or an in-between game. But on the offensive side, it’s just that we all trust each other. We trust each other to make the right play."
Bryant, who was slowed early in the season by a foot injury, played 26 minutes Tuesday. That’s just two off his career-high of 28 against Wake Forest. He was dominant inside and even scored a layup when he got out and ran the floor and took a pass in stride from Yogi Ferrell.
"He’s getting healthier, pure and simple, which is allowing us to do more with him and allowing his confidence to grow," Crean said. "He’s in practice longer. I don’t come up here and talk much about it because it would be written as excuses. But he’s getting to practice more."
Yogi Ferrell added 16 points for Indiana, which shot 64.7 percent from the field, including 11 of 19 3-pointers.
Indiana only led by eight points with under 12 minutes to play at 59-51. But a 15-2 run gave IU a more comfortable 21-point lead. Indiana led by 20 points or more for the final 7:15.
Yonel Brown had 26 points and Kendrick Ray added 22 to lead Kennesaw State (3-11).
Kennesaw State coach Al Skinner said he was impressed with how hard Indiana played.
"Their point guard (Ferrell) did an outstanding job of running the team," Skinner said. "Their big men got on the backboard and got them some second opportunity points. Overall, they had a really fine team effort."
Kennesaw State: The Owls are now 1-1 against Indiana schools this season. One of Kennesaw State’s three victories was a 71-63 victory over IUPUI. .. This was the final game of a three-game road trip for Kennesaw State which also took the Owls to No. 16 Louisville and Chattanooga. The Owls lost all three games. … Kennesaw State shot 50.8 percent from the field. It came into the game shooting 39.8 percent for the year.
Indiana: The Hoosiers just missed eclipsing the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season. Nick Zeisloft made only 1 of 2 free throws with 27 seconds remaining that could have given IU an even 100. The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten with an average of 88.8 points per game. . Indiana made 10 or more 3-pointers for the eighth time this season and the third game in a row. . Troy Williams was just three points off his career high of 23 points scored against Georgetown last season.
Kennesaw State hosts Mercer on Dec. 30.
Indiana faces Rutgers on Dec. 30.