Hoosiers swat away Hornets 103-56

Nobody at Indiana was happy with the film from Butler.

Not Tom Crean, not his players, not anyone.

So the No. 16 Hoosiers did something about it, taking out their frustrations on Delaware State in a 103-56 runaway win on Monday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“Our big thing tonight was no matter what we were doing offensively, let’s not let the offense dictate how we’re guarding, not at all, and I didn’t think we did,” Crean said. “I think we got off to a good start. Our deflections were up at the beginning of the game. We were active.

“We knew we had to challenge shots a lot better, and it was very clear in the film from the other day that that was the number one weakness that we had in the game, and they weren’t happy with those numbers. I wasn’t happy with the numbers. They weren’t happy with the film, and they showed really good resiliency and maturity, and responded in the short window that we had.”

Four players scored in double figures as the Hoosiers (9-2) swatted away the Hornets (3-10) in proper fashion. Delaware State entered play as the second-weakest opponent on IU’s schedule, ranked No. 338 in Monday’s KenPom.com advanced statistical metric.

OG Anunoby led IU with 19 points, James Blackmon Jr. added 18, while Robert Johnson scored 16 points and Thomas Bryant rounded out the scoring with 14 points.

Anunoby was highly efficient coming off the bench, hitting nine of his 11 field goal attempts. His only two misses came from behind the arc. He also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a career-high four shots, reminding the Hoosiers of what they had missed during a nearly three-week stretch of action when he was out with an ankle injury.

“I think it’s very big, especially when you have a guy back there like that,” Johnson said. “Like today you had four blocks, so when you know somebody can erase some of those mistakes if you’re out pressuring the ball and you happen to get beat, it makes the defense that much more connected and it allows the guards to pressure a little bit more.”

If the Hornets were feeling pressured Monday, it was because they were tasked with matching the best version of Indiana’s offense.

By the midway point of the first half, the Hoosiers owned a 32-18 advantage — the most points ever in the first 10 minutes by a Tom Crean-coached team at IU.

The Hoosiers finished with 11 3-pointers, starting the game by hitting six of their first nine and posting an effective field goal percentage of 83.9 percent by halftime.

“I thought the energy was really good there,” Crean said. “I loved the fact that we got better as the game went on. I think the last 26 minutes of the game they shot 11 percent from three. They shot 27 percent or so from the field. Those are all positive things, because we wanted to really focus on us tonight.”

Indiana shot 67 percent, committed one fewer turnover (11) than the Hornets (12) and scored 19 points off those errors. The Hoosiers also whooped the Hornets on the boards, grabbing 45 rebounds including 13 on the offensive glass. Those offensive boards led to 27 second-chance points.

“Especially coming off a loss moving forward you want to immediately get better doing some of the things you didn’t do well,” Johnson said. “And I think today we put forth pretty much a 40-minute effort.”