Hoosiers Classic champs again after 101-74 rout of Gobblers

Hoosiers Classic champs again after 101-74 rout of Gobblers

by Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

December 21, 1975

From the December 21, 1975 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

There’s no need quibbling over whether it was the best basketball Indiana has played this year or just some of the best. It was the best an IU team has ever shot and, overall, it was good enough to blow a solid, smart, poised and inspired Virginia Tech team into disarray and give the Hoosiers a successful defense of their Indiana Classic championship, 101-74, at Assembly Hall Saturday night.

The issue was over much, much earlier than folks who watched Virginia Tech destroy a good Oregon team on the tourney’s opening night would have suspected. The game wasn’t a quarter along when Quinn Buckner’s second 3-point play hoisted the Hoosier lead to 32-15 – followed in quick order by 9 more Hoosier points to put the lead at 41-15.

By then, DeVoe had spent three time outs trying to reorganize the attack that Indiana had destroyed. The Gobblers stabilized and almost matched points with the Hoosiers the rest of the way, but they never made any hint of a comeback against an Indiana team that, on this night, was taking no survivors.

IU’s Scott May, who scored at better than a point-a-minute pace in both tourney outings and hit 20 of the 24 shots he took the two nights, was a one-sided choice as most valuable player in post-game press balloting.

For the second year in a row, Indiana’s superiority was so overwhelming that the Hoosiers put four men on the all-tourney team – guards Bobby Wilkerson and Quinn Buckner and center Kent Benson joining Georgia center Lucius Foster on the honor team with May. It was a repeat for Buckner, last year’s MVP, Benson and May.

From the December 21, 1975 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

DeVoe’s first time out came 74 seconds into the game, after Indiana had whooshed away to a 7-1 lead. It came on May’s jump shot 10 seconds after the opening tip, a driving 3-point play by Buckner, and a mid-court steal and breakaway for a lay-up by Wilkerson.

Virginia Tech got the lead back to 7-5 by wrapping baskets around May’s only miss of an 18-point first half. But Tech had no more answers at either end of the floor for the next few minutes as Indiana scored virtually every time it had the ball and stopped Virginia Tech just as frequently.

The Gobblers had 10 turnovers, 5 of those on steals or interceptions, when the 41-15 lead was reached.

There were some Hoosier plays in there that put the tourney-record crowd of 14,641 up in the air howling.

IU was running as never before in the Bob Knight coaching era – Wilkerson and Buckner repeatedly centering fast breaks and dealing the ball off perfectly for layups.

“I thought we got the ball out and got it down floor in a break situation as well as in any game since I’ve been here,” said Knight, whose disdain for a running game vanished long ago – when he got running players.

Indiana hit 50 with 2:20 left in the half on two free throws by Tom Abernethy – the one Hoosier starter who didn’t make all-tourney, despite two solid performances.

The lead then was 50-25, and by the time IU hit halftime with a 56-34 lead, all five starters had been pulled.

The starters came back in to start the second half and delighted Knight by scoring the first six times they had the ball. The lead was 79-46 when four of the starters came out, and peaked out at 87-52 with 9:17 left when the last one – Buckner – was pulled.

From the December 21, 1975 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

Freshman walk-on Jim Roberson was the man who put the Hoosiers over 100 for the first time this year, the seventh time in the Knight era and the fourth time at Assembly Hall. He took a pass from Mark Haymore for a layup at 0:54 to get the basket.

Indiana shot .742 in the sensational first half (23 for 31) and .636 for the game – an all-time Hoosier record. It beat the .633 the Hoosiers hit in 1959 against the alma mater of both final game coaches – Knight and DeVoe, Ohio Staters.

May played 23 minutes and scored 27 points, after an 18-point, 16-minute showing when Indiana beat Georgia Friday night, 93-56.

Wilkerson hit 8 of 11 shots, including a couple of tip-ins, to hit his season high with 16, while Benson had 15 and Buckner 12 – each guard contributing 6 assists.

Reserve Mike Collins led Virginia Tech with 19 points, 14 in the last half. Russell Davis, who scored 27 against Oregon, was shot off from the ball so effectively by May that he managed only 12 in the title game – while missing only one shot.

It was the sixth straight victory for the Hoosiers, who divided after the game for a Christmas break that will end with resumption of practice at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Indiana leaves for New York Christmas afternoon and meets Columbia (2-1) at 3 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Holiday Festival Tourney at Madison Square Garden.

Virginia Tech now is 5-2, a loser to North Carolina on the Tar Heels’ home court in its only other smudge.

The victory stretched IU’s Assembly Hall winning streak to 25 and gave the Hoosiers a 49-2 record there. It also balanced an old account with Virginia Tech, which won the only other basketball meeting of the two schools, 79-70, in a first-round Mid-East Regional game in the 1967 NCAA tourney.

Classic all-tourney F - Scott May, Indiana F - Lucius Foster, Georgia C - Kent Benson, Indiana G - Bobby Wilkerson, Indiana G - Quinn Buckner, Indiana MVP - May VIRGINIA TECH 74 FG FT R A PF TP Davis, f 4-5 4-4 3 2 2 12 Thieneman, f 0-1 0-0 1 0 2 0 Wansley, c 1-4 0-0 6 1 2 0 Cooke, g 6-12 3-4 3 3 2 15 Sensibaugh, g 1-4 0-1 1 1 1 2 Thorpe 7-9 2-2 3 0 3 16 Edwards 0-3 0-0 0 1 3 0 McKee 0-7 2-2 2 1 1 2 Ashford 2-5 2-4 0 4 4 6 Collins 6-8 7-9 5 0 2 19 Team 5 Totals 27-54 20-27 34 13 28 74 INDIANA 101 FG FT R A PF TP May, f 11-13 5-6 6 1 2 27 Abernethy, f 3-5 3-4 2 3 0 9 Benson, c 2-12 1-1 6 0 2 15 Buckner, g 4-10 4-4 3 4 3 12 Wilkerson, g 8-11 0-0 3 4 3 14 Radford 1-1 1-2 0 1 2 3 Wisman 1-4 1-2 4 1 0 3 Crews 3-5 0-0 0 1 2 6 Valavicius 0-0 0-0 0 0 5 0 Roberson 1-1 0-0 1 0 2 2 Haymore 2-3 0-1 4 1 3 4 Bender 1-1 2-2 0 1 2 4 Eells 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Team 7 Totals 42-44 17-25 34 21 26 101 SCORE BY HALVES Virginia Tech 34-40 74 Indiana 54-45 101 Errors: Virginia Tech 28, Indiana 21 Steals: Virginia Tech 5 (Davis, 1, Thieneman 1, Cooke 1, McKee 1, Ashford, 1); Indiana 13 (Buckner 1, Abernethy 1, May 2, Benson, 1, Wilkerson 1, Radford 1, Valavicius 1, Bender 1). Blocked shots: Virginia Tech 1 (Collins). SHOOTING FG Pct. FT Pct. Virginia Tech 27-58 .464 20-27 741 Indiana 42-44 .636 17-25 .680 Officials: Charles Fouty and Mike Mathis Attendance: 14,641