No. 24 Indiana 77, Arkansas-Little Rock 53
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Alan Henderson is beginning to roll, and so are the Indiana Hoosiers.
Henderson scored 28 points Thursday night to lead 24th-ranked Indiana to a 77-53 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock for the 13th Hoosier Classic crown.
Indiana (8-4) has won every Hoosier Classic championship and has a 26-0 tournament mark. The win also increased the Hoosiers’ current winning streak to six, the team’s longest since 1993.
Henderson scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Eastern Kentucky in the opening game Wednesday night. His performances earned the senior tournament MVP honors.
″Henderson was well-focused in both games. He did a good job on both ends,″ Indiana coach Bob Knight said. ″He’s much improved from the first game of the year.″
Henderson hit 12 of 18 field goal attempts and blocked three shots in the final game.
″I think he’s just really a strong player,″ Trojans coach Wimp Sanderson said. ″He’s much more physical and strong than you might see on television.″
Brian Evans added 18 points, while Todd Lindeman grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds for Indiana.
″Evans was much better in the second half,″ Knight said. ″I thought he was a double agent in the first half.″
Malik Dixon led the Trojans (6-2) with 22 points, while Tony Chime threw in 15.
The Hoosiers extended a nine-point halftime lead to 66-37 with under seven minutes to play. Indiana, helped by two technical fouls against Arkansas- Little Rock, then went on a 19-4 run to blow out the Trojans.
Sanderson received his second technical and was ejected with 10:48 left in the game. Dixon earned another technical at the 10:05 mark.
That call drew Sanderson back to the court to yell at the officials from behind the Hoosiers’ basket.
The Hoosiers held Arkansas-Little Rock to 32.4 percent shooting for the game, including 1-for-10 from the 3-point line.
The Trojans also committed 18 turnovers to the Hoosiers’ 12.
″Our kids just couldn’t penetrate through and get a shot,″ Sanderson said. ″I think Indiana has a real good team defensively.″
Indiana shot 43.5 percent from the floor and survived a 21-for-31 performance from the foul line.
The Hoosiers led 36-27 at the half on the strength of Henderson’s 16 first- half points.
Sparked by Henderson, who scored eight of Indiana’s first 10 points, the Hoosiers built a 23-6 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Arkansas-Little Rock rallied, reducing the deficit to 31-25 on Dixon’s lay- in. Dixon led the Trojans with 10 points in the half.
″Getting off to a good start was a point of emphasis for us,″ Knight said. ″And I think we did that.
″Then, Wimp made a real good move and went to a zone, and we played poorly against it.″
The Hoosiers regained control in the first half’s final minute with a dunk by Henderson and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Evans.
Evans and Michael Hermon, who scored nine points, joined Henderson on the all-tournament team. Dixon and third-place Pepperdine’s Monte Marcaccini also earned spots on the team.