Hoosiers stop Rebels, gain NCAA final again

Hoosiers stop Rebels, gain NCAA final again

Alford, bench hold off 70 by Banks, Gilliam

By Bob Hammel, Sunday Herald-Times

March 29, 1987

From the March 29, 1987 Bloomington Herald-Telephone

NEW ORLEANS – Indiana will play for the national championship Monday night, hoping to be able to come back with as much of a championship performance as it managed in getting past No. 1-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas Saturday evening, 97-93.

Indiana will go for its fifth NCAA basketball championship at 8:11 p.m. Monday against Syracuse, which defeated Providence, 77-63, in the other semifinal played before college basketball’s all-time record crowd – 64.959 in the Louisiana Super dome.

All-America Steve Alford scored 33 points, but Indiana had to have lots more to get past a remarkable two-man blitz from UNLV’s Freddie Banks (38 points) and Armon Gilliam (32).

Banks threw in 10 three-point shots, a tournament record. His 38 missed the NCAA semifinal record by just a point.

“I thought we had a lot of pressure on Banks,” Indiana coach Bob Knight said. “It wasn’t like he was out there shooting by himself. We got pressure on him and he shot it really well.

“And Dean (Garrett) did a pretty decent job on Gilliam. He’s just so strong and has such great hands – he’s tough to control inside.”

It was the first time two players ever combined to score 70 against a Knight team. It was just the second time in 16 years a team reached as high as 93 against a Knight defense (Iowa’s 101-point total earlier this year).

Indiana’s answer was offense. “We didn’t think it could be a game where we could play with all kinds of patience and a lot of passing and dribbling, because we thought their defensive pressure was too good,” Knight said.

“We thought if we tried to play a game with 60, they might score 85.”

So the sprint began immediately.

Indiana dropped back 14-9 in the first four minutes, after successive three-point baskets by Gerald Paddio and Banks. Indiana responded with even points in a row, tying the game on Alford’s first basket and taking the lead on an inside basket by Garrett (who had 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds).

Alford’s four-point play – a three-point basket launched as was fouled – capped a 32-13 spurt that opened a 41-27 lead with 6:10 to go in the half.

At that point, Alford, who had two fouls, was taken out. By the time he returned 2 1-2 minutes later, UNLV had zoomed to within 47-42, a nine-point bite out of the Hoosier lead.

“We didn’t take him out because of the fouls,” Knight said. “He was a little bit tired and he needed a blow.”

Alford didn’t score again the rest of the half, but Garrett and Rick Calloway had two baskets each to get Indiana to halftime up 53-47.

At that point, Indiana was shooting .588, had hit 11 of 12 free throws, had a 21-17 lead in rebound – and had UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian unconvinced.

“We were only 6-down,” Tarkanian said. “I thought we could come back the second half and exert more pressure.

“It’s a real myth – we’re not a great offensive team. But we’ve been a great basketball team because we’ve been playing good pressure defense and we’ve been running the ball real well.”

Tarkanian watched his team extract turnovers from Indiana on the first two Hoosier possessions of the second half and go in front, 56-55, on a basket by Jarvia Basnight off one of the tournament-record 18 assists by UNLV guard Mark Wade.

From the March 29, 1987 Bloomington Herald-Telephone

Foul trouble had accumulated for the Hoosiers by then. Their No. 2 scorer, Daryl Thomas, went out with three fouls in the game’s first three minutes. Steve Eyl came on for a relief performance that got him the second-half start, but Eyl also drew three first-half fouls and a fourth early in the second half. Keith Smart, who had 12 early points for the Hoosiers, drew his third foul early in the second half and sat down for Thomas’s return.

The game’s pace never changed, whatever the lineups.

Alford answered Basnight’s go-ahead basket with a jump shot, but Banks hit a three-point shot for a 59-57 UNLV lead. It was 63-61 when Alford used a screen on the right side of the court to tie the game with a jump shot, then used one on the left baseline to untie it, 65-63.

Indiana opened the lead to 73-65 and could have gone up 10, but – for the first time in his 124-game Indiana career – Alford missed both halves of a two-shot foul. Banks hit a three-point shot, and margin shrank to 73-68. A free throw by Joe Hillman and four points from Alford restored a double-figure lead.

With 3:40 to go, Alford hit both halves of a one-and-one for an 88-76 Indiana lead. However, two three-point baskets by Banks moved UNLV within 92-88 with 1:15 to go, and the Rebels used one-and-one misses by Eyl and Garrett for opportunities that could have tightened the game even more. Twice Banks missed three-point tries but the Rebels got the ball back on rebounds. With 28 seconds left, he missed a one-and-one, Alford came out with the rebound, at 0:23, Alford broke the Rebels’ comeback with two free throws for a 94-88 lead.

Eyl ran down a long rebound and drove to a three-point play that was the clincher – Indiana up 97-88 and 13 seconds left. The Rebels scored five points in that short homestretch, but their record-tying 37-victory season was over – with their second defeat. Duke’s 1986 NCAA runnerup team was the first in college basketball history to win 37 times.

NEVADA-LAS VEGAS 93
3FG FG FT R A BS ST PF TP
Paddio, f 2-8 2-13 0-0 0 1 0 0 1 6
Basnight, c 3-4 0-1 2 1 0 0 5 6
Gilliam, f 14-26 4-6 10 1 3 0 3 32
Wade, g 1-6 1-6 1-2 4 18 0 4 4 4
Banks, g 10-19 12-23 4-6 8 1 0 0 4 38
Robinson 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Graham 0-2 0-5 1-4 2 0 0 0 4 1
Hudson 3-4 0-0 5 1 0 1 2 6
Willard 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Team 2
Totals 13-35 35-82 10-19 40 23 3 5 26 93
INDIANA 97
3FG FG FT R A BS ST PF TP
Calloway, f 6-10 0-0 6 6 0 1 3 12
Thomas, f 3-5 0-0 4 1 0 0 3 6
Garrett, c 7-10 4-5 11 1 2 0 2 18
Alford, g 2-4 10-19 11-13 4 2 0 0 4 33
Smart, g 5-7 4-5 2 1 0 0 5 14
Eyl 3-3 1-2 5 2 0 0 4 7
Hillman 3-4 1-3 3 3 0 0 2 7
Meier 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0
Smith 0-2 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Team 3
Totals 2-4 37-60 21-28 42 16 2 1 23 97
SCORE BY HALVES
Nevada-Las Vegas 47 46 – 93
Indiana 53 44 – 97
SHOOTING
3FG Pct. AFG Pct. FT Pct.
Nevada-Las Vegas 13-35 .371 35-82 .427 10-19 .526
Indiana 2-4 .500 37-60 .617 21-28 .750
Officials – John Clougherty, Rusty Herring, Dick Paparo.
Attendance – 64,959.