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Hoosier freshmen spark lopsided win over Bison

Friday, November 13, 2009


AP Sports Writer

BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana freshmen Maurice Creek, Christian Watford and Derek Elston gave Indiana a different look Friday night.

All three scored in double figures and together they led the Hoosiers past Howard 83-60 for Indiana's 25th consecutive win in a home opener.

Coach Tom Crean wasted no time in getting a glimpse at his highly touted recruiting class and the freshmen didn't disappoint.

Creek scored 17 points, Elston and Watford each had 14, and Watford finished with 11 rebounds. Tom Pritchard, a sophomore, was the only Indiana upperclassman to reach double figures. He had 10 points.

Indiana (1-0) won its first home game since Feb. 4 against Iowa. The Hoosiers lost their final 10 games last season.

Creek and Elston combined for nine straight points to extend Indiana's lead to 29-18. The Hoosiers finished the half on an 11-4 run to make it 40-23, then scored the first six points in the second half to seal it.

Howard (0-1) was led by Calvin Thompson with 13 points and couldn't keep up with Indiana's faster style.

The reason: Indiana got a major upgrade in talent, size, depth and energy, and the newcomers accounted for nearly two-thirds of the Hoosiers' points. They did more than just score, too.

Indiana limited the Bison to 30.8 percent shooting in the first half, and forced Howard to miss 15 of its first 16 3-point attempts. The Bison also committed 19 turnovers and made just 18 of 30 free throws.

For a team that won only 30 games in coach Gil Jackson's first four seasons, it was an all-too-familiar script.

The Hoosiers broke to a 10-6 lead in the first three minutes, then scored only five points over the next nine minutes. But when Watford knocked down two free throws with 8:18 to go in the first half, Indiana still led 17-14.

Creek followed that with a 3-pointer, a shot that seemed to get the freshmen in sync as Creek and Elston started the decisive run.

Curtis White was the only other Howard player to finish in double figures, with 10 points.

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