Pepperdine 77, Indiana 57
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Pepperdine made Bob Knight’s week a lot worse.
The 11th-seeded Waves beat sixth-seeded Indiana 77-57 on Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional, ending a week in which the Hoosiers coach was forced to defend himself against allegations he once choked a former player.
It was the second straight NCAA tournament loss by at least 20 points for Indiana, beaten 86-61 by St. John’s in the second round last season. That was the worst tournament loss in school history.
Pepperdine (25-8) took control right away against the Hoosiers (20-9), using a 12-0 run for a 24-8 lead with 10:07 left in the first half. The Waves were relentless in their defensive intensity and the Hoosiers missed 12 of their first 14 shots from the field. A 9-0 run made it 39-19 with 3:35 left and the West Coast Conference regular-season champions took a 45-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Waves will face third-seeded Oklahoma State, which beat 14th-seeded Hofstra 86-66, on Sunday in the second round. It will be the first time Pepperdine has played in the second round since 1982 when Jim Harrick was the coach. The Waves, who were making their first appearance since 1994, had lost six straight NCAA games.
The loss ended a two-year run of second-round appearances by the Hoosiers, who were in their 15th straight NCAA tournament. Prior to the last two years, Indiana had lost three straight first-round games.
Knight, who has led Indiana to three of its five national championships in his 29 seasons, was accused earlier this week by former player Neil Reed of choking him during a practice in 1997. Knight didn’t address the matter specifically in his pre-tournament news conference Thursday night, instead issuing a 20-minute opening statement defending his program and saying he didn’t think he had anything to apologize for.