IU powers past Kennesaw State, 99-72

These late-December games have a way of testing a team’s focus, and in the final tune-up of the non-conference season, Indiana resembled a team simply playing out the schedule.

On the way to a 99-72 victory over Kennesaw State Tuesday at Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers matched brilliant offensive moments with more of the same empty defensive possessions that have haunted the first two months of the season.

Now the only thing standing before Indiana and the challenge of the Big Ten season is a weeklong layoff and a brief Christmas vacation.

Freshman center Thomas Bryant scored a career-high 20 points for the Hoosiers, who also received 20 points from Troy Williams, who shot 3-for-4 from 3-point range. James Blackmon Jr. added 19 points and Yogi Ferrell scored 16.

The Hoosiers return for a matinee at Rutgers on Dec. 30.

While Indiana shot 64 percent from the field and hit 11 3-pointers, it allowed Kennesaw State to hang around through consistent looks from underneath the basket. The Owls scored 40 points in the paint, a concerning figure for one of the lowest-rated offenses in the nation.

Kennesaw State was the fourth IU opponent ranked in the 300s this non-conference season, and the Owls cut an 18-point IU lead to 46-38 at halftime. The 38 points were the most Kennesaw has scored in the first half this season, and the open door to the paint made it happen.

The Owls produced 24 points in the paint over the first 20 minutes, easily making their way to the basket and prolonging possessions through 10 first-half offensive rebounds.

Kennesaw inched as close as six points three minutes into the second half, but a flurry of fouls also helped IU reach the bonus before the first media timeout of the period. Indiana used an 8-0 run midway through the period to regain its 16-point lead and from there, the Hoosiers powered through for their fifth consecutive win.

This story will be updated.

4 comments

  1. Giving up 72 points to Kenesaw St. REALLY? And IU didn’t really go to the major reserves til under 27 seconds remaining in the game when we’re up by 30 points! Come on man! Crean desperately tries to make the team look better by keeping the starters in til seconds before the game is over. It’s not fooling anyone. It makes me sick to be so negative about this team, but these things need to be pointed out so IU can move on with a better coaching staff that can bring the program back to where it belongs.This one will never do it and all us IU fans need to read the writing on the wall…. This team was a projected top 10 team in the country this year…REMEMBER?

  2. Funny thing is, Kennesaw State (#46) has played a tough schedule than Indiana (#126).

    We should hang a banner every time we create a strength of schedule that is above #50.

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