BLOOMINGTON – Talk about bouncing back.
Indiana rebounded from its first loss of the season by blasting Mount St. Mary’s 93-54 in front of 17,009 fans Wednesday at Assembly Hall.
Sophomore forward Cody Zeller and junior forward Will Sheehey each scored 16 points to lead the No. 6 Hoosiers.
Senior forward Christian Watford had 15 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Victor Oladipo and sophomore guard Remy Abell finished with 14 and 12 points.
Freshman guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell had eight points, four rebounds and nine assists.
I was really proud of our team and the way they responded, Indiana coach Tom Crean said. Certainly, when you come off a tough game and a loss, it creates a different level of urgency in your team no matter what. Our guys did an excellent job.
The game also marked the return of IU senior forward Derek Elston, who saw his first action of the season. He had been sidelined since late October with a torn meniscus in his left knee.
It felt great to get back out there again, Elston said. You can only go through so many practices without it hitting you that you want to get out there and get in front of a crowd and see how well you can do.
Elston received a standing ovation from the crowd when he entered with 9:59 left in the first half. He finished with two points and two rebounds in nine minutes.
He’s recovered at a good pace, Crean said. It was great to have him out there. He did a nice job.
Indiana played is first game since falling to Butler 88-86 in overtime Saturday as part of the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The loss dropped the Hoosiers from the top spot in The Associated Press men’s basketball Top 25 poll.
Indiana sharpened its defense, holding Mount St. Mary’s (4-5) to 31.5 percent from the floor.
The Hoosiers also shot a blistering 70.6 percent from the floor to improve to 10-1.
We reversed the ball, we moved it, everyone cut well and when you do that you break a press, Sheehey said.
IU stressed rebounding after Butler finished ahead in that department 40-38 Saturday. Indiana had 41 rebounds to Mount St. Mary’s 18.
We had to take care of the rebounding. So to come out and actually do it in a game, it feels great, Watford said.
Indiana opened the game by scoring the first seven points. Mount St. Mary’s got within 30-26 when Josh Castellanos made a three-pointer with 5:39 left in the first half.
And then the Hoosiers turned on another gear, closing the half on a 16-3 run.
They’re just talented, and they go on such large runs, Mount St. Mary’s coach Jamion Christian said. Because they share the ball, it is hard sometimes to stop where the bleeding is coming from because they share.
The Hoosiers began the second half by scoring 11 consecutive points. The combined 27-3 run put the game well out of reach.
We started getting out in transition a lot more, Watford said. The Hoosiers had a 23-3 edge in fast-break points. We happened to knock down some threes and get some layups and bust the game open a little bit.
AlsoCreek out indefinitely
Indiana guard Maurice Creek is out indefinitely after suffering an injury to his right foot Sunday in practice, the team announced in a news release Wednesday.
Maurice has been doing so much to improve and help our team, Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement. Hopefully this is just a temporary setback.
Creek, who is averaging 3 points and 1.6 rebounds this season, has had a variety of injuries during his time with the Hoosiers. He missed all last season after suffering a ruptured Achilles heel.
He was limited to just 12 games as a freshman when he suffered a broken left patella on Dec. 28, 2009, against Bryant. He played in 18 games as a sophomore before suffering a season-ending stress fracture in his right patella.