BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry had hoped No. 17 Indiana might overlook his team.
There was no way it was going to happen Monday night.
Six Hoosiers scored in double figures, they shot 67.3 percent from the field and matched a season-high with 11 3-pointers, blasting Howard 107-50 for the second-most lopsided victory in school history.
"Tom must have gave his team one heck of a speech because they were coming of a good Kentucky game, a good Notre Dame game and we were hoping that would be underestimating us," Nickelberry said of his old pal, Indiana coach Tom Crean. "They came out as hungry as I have ever seen them."
The Bison (3-9) simply could keep up with Indiana's intensity, focus, depth or shooters.
Howard shot just 30.6 percent from the field, finished with the same number of baskets (19) as turnovers and had only player score more than nine points. Simuel Frazier wound up with 13 points thanks to a late 3-pointer.
Scoring wasn't the only problem for Howard.
They gave up 43 points in less than 16 minutes and yielded the second- and third-most points scored in a half by any of Crean's teams in Bloomington — 52 in the first half, 55 in the second.
It was that kind of night for the undermanned Bison, who didn't have leading scorer Calvin Thompson (groin).
"If I wasn't coaching against them, I would have been impressed," Nickelberry said. "It was unbelievable to see how hungry this team came out from the beginning."
The result: Indiana produced its largest victory margin since Bob Knight's team beat Notre Dame 94-29 on Dec. 18, 1971, his sixth game as the Hoosiers coach.
It's also the fourth Indiana team to go 11-0, joining teams from 1942-43, 1974-75 and the last undefeated national champs of 1975-76.
The 107 points were the most in 13 years, dating to a 108-88 victory over George Washington in March 1999, and all that came on the same day Indiana celebrated its 500th all-time appearance in The Associated Press Top 25.
Jordan Hulls scored 16 points; Jones, Cody Zeller and Will Sheehey all had 12 and Christian Watford finished with 10. The Hoosiers tied a season-high with 11 3-pointers, including a left-handed, shot clock-beating 3 from the right-handed shooting Hulls.
"That was pretty cool," Sheehey said.
Jones added: "When we're shooting around (Hulls) always does stuff like that and we wonder what he's doing. But what he's doing is practicing for games like this, trick shots."
Indiana shot 67.3 percent from the field.
Crean couldn't quibble with the defensive effort, either. Howard needed 25 minutes to crack the 20-point mark and by then, they already trailed 64-21.
Howard never had a chance.
Watford wiped out Howard's only lead when his 3-pointer bounced through the net for Indiana's first basket. After making it 17-10 with 12:40 to go in the first half, the Hoosiers delivered their knockout punch, a 16-0 spurt that ended with two 3s from Jones and a third from Hulls.
Dadrian Collins ended that run with a driving layup, which was merely a speed bump for the Hoosiers.
Indiana answered with 10 more points to make it 43-12. By halftime, the lead was 52-15, and the lead grew to as many as 60 points twice in the second half. So much for any worries.
"I think it shows a sign of maturity and staying focused," Jones said. "We know with Christmas coming up, this was a game we could have lost focus, but we came out and attacked and did all the things we had to win."
Putting themselves in some elite company at Indiana.
"I was far more concerned with this game than I was Notre Dame, in the sense of being locked in," Crean said. "I had no doubt they would be ready to play Notre Dame, but this was the one that was concerning maybe but they locked in. They erased those coaching fears that you have, and it's only natural, but they erased those right away."