BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana routed an outmatched Savannah State team 95-49 Saturday night, following their win over Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC challenge.
After a sloppy start, Indiana (7-1) settled down and handled Savannah State's (3-6) full-court pressure, consistently knocking down open looks in the half court when the Tigers' fell back into a 2-3 zone.
The Tigers got their fair share of looks against Indiana as well, but struggled to convert, shooting 32.1 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from behind the arc.
Indiana was led by the backcourt tandem of junior point guard Yogi Ferrell and freshman James Blackmon Jr., with each scoring 18 points. Along with Ferrell and Blackmon Jr., the Hoosiers had a balanced scoring attack, with 10 players getting in the scoring column, including four players in double figures.
Savannah State head coach Horace Broadnax was impressed by Indiana's balance and unselfishness on the offensive end.
"They recognize whether it's my time to shoot, my time to pass, or my time to drive, and then they always make the extra pass and make their teammates look good on the offensive end," Broadnax said.
After leading by just three at the under 12-minute media timeout, Indiana closed the rest of the half on a 31-8 run to go into halftime up 43-17. After struggling with second-half letdowns in previous games this season, including a loss to Eastern Washington in which they had a 12 point second-half lead, Indiana didn't overlook Savannah State.
"We learned that from our Eastern Washington game; if you don't get up for a team they start to gain confidence and they think that they can play with you," Blackmon said.
Indiana freshman Emmitt Holt followed his 15-point performance in Indiana's win over Pittsburgh Tuesday by scoring eight points on three shots and going 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Holt also added five rebounds, two blocks on a steal, and was a consistent post presence on defense.
Savannah State: Savannah state is currently 3-0 at home, but winless on the road at 0-6. The loss at Indiana kicks off a five game non-conference road trip for the Tigers, and was the sixth of 18 road games for Savannah State this season.
Indiana: Improving team rebounding has been a point of emphasis for coach Tom Crean and the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers dominated on the glass against Savannah State, outrebounding the Tigers 42-24.
Indiana's ball security has improved, but despite eventually settling down and handling Savannah State's full court pressure, Indiana struggled with it some early and had 14 turnovers in the game. The experience against the full-court press will be much needed as they head into a matchup with Louisville and Rick Pitino's pressure defense on Tuesday.
"The bottom line is, Rick (Pitino) is one of the best that's ever done it. .They have as good of a pressure defense as I have seen to this point," Crean said. "We're going to have to really, really be great with the basketball and get through their press."
Savannah State visits Miami on Monday night.
Indiana travels to New York City to play Louisville at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night.