Published January 31, 2017
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- No. 16 Indiana isn't just unblemished at home, the Hoosiers have made a habit of embarrassing teams that visit Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Austin Peay (4-8) faces a daunting challenge Thursday at Indiana (9-2), which has won its eight home games by an average of 30.3 points. The only team to lose in single digits to the Hoosiers at home was No. 3 North Carolina, 76-67.
Delaware State was the Hoosiers' latest victim in a 103-56 rout on Monday. It's the fourth time Indiana has eclipsed 100 points this season and third 103-point game.
Indiana is looking to extend a home winning streak to 26 games, which would break a tie for fifth longest in program history.
Coming off a 99-85 home loss to Lipscomb Tuesday, Austin Peay has lost six in a row and is 0-5 in road games. What's particularly noteworthy about the latest loss is the Governors allowed 18 3-pointers.
"We're scoring enough points, but we sure aren't doing the job on the defensive end," said longtime Austin Peay coach Dave Loos, per The Leaf Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn.
That's a rather inviting trend when considering Indiana averages 9.3 3-pointers per game and shoots 38.3 percent from beyond the arc (102 of 266). Junior guard James Blackmon Jr. averages a team-high 17.9 points and has hit 33 of 76 3-pointers (.434). Six Hoosiers have hit at least eight 3-pointers.
Indiana is averaging 88.1 points while Austin Peay is scoring at a 77.5-point clip. But the Governors are allowing 84.8 points while the Hoosiers are giving up 66.4 points per game.
While scoring is a given for the Hoosiers, head coach Tom Crean grilled his players about their lack of defensive intensity after an 83-78 loss to Butler Saturday in the Crossroads Classic at Indianapolis. His team responded by limiting Delaware State to 33.3 percent shooting (21 of 63).
Crean has been harping on not letting any offensive lapses impact the defensive effort.
"Absolutely we want to keep being more efficient defensively with our hands," he said. "We don't want silly reaches."
Three other Hoosiers are scoring in double digits. Junior guard Robert Johnson averages 13.2 points, sophomore forward OG Anunoby 13.2 points and sophomore center Thomas Bryant 12.4.
Indiana leads the country with a 15.0 rebounding margin. Bryant is pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game. Anunoby and sophomore forward Juwan Morgan are averaging 6.5 rebounds.
Austin Peay is averaging just 31 rebounds, 14.5 fewer than the Hoosiers, and are a minus-6.7 in rebounding margin.
Governors junior guard Josh Robinson is averaging a team-high 20.8 points, including 29 of 88 3-pointers (.330). Senior forward Kenny Jones is averaging 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. Senior guard/forward John Murry is averaging 12.7 points.
Jones and Murry are Indiana natives, Jones from South Bend and Murry from Indianapolis.
Loos is the most successful coach in Austin Peay and Ohio Valley Conference history with a 413-398 record in 27 seasons at the school and 495-451 in 31 seasons overall.
Crean has a 157-121 record in nine seasons at the Big Ten school and is 347-217 in 18 seasons overall.