Indiana cruises over Rutgers 84-54
Feb. 23, 2015
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Indiana bounced back in a big way, while Rutgers continued its downward spiral.
Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. scored 17 points apiece while Hanner Mosquera-Perea had a career-high 13 points to lead Indiana past Rutgers 84-54 on Sunday.
"It was all thanks to my teammates. We were just moving around," Mosquera-Parea said of his performance. "We knew we had to play harder than we did last game and I knew I had to set good screens. Coach (Tom) Crean told me I had to set a hard screen and then roll hard and I was going to be open, so that's what I did."
Greg Lewis had a career-high 13 points with eight rebounds and Myles Mack added 10 points for Rutgers (10-18, 2-13 Big Ten).
Nick Zeisloft added 13 points off the bench for Indiana (19-9, 9-6).
"Any of us can really do that. It's just a matter of when the ball is moving and finding you," Zeisloft said. "Sometimes you're not going to have your shots in the first half, you might have them in the second half. If we just keep moving the ball how we can and we're all unselfish out there it's going to touch each other's hands and it'll be good for all of us."
Rutgers took a 16-14 lead after Mack's layup midway through the first half. Indiana responded with a 9-0 run to make it 23-16 with 8:07 left in the half.
The Hoosiers then closed the half with an 8-3 run and held a 40-30 advantage after the first stanza.
Indiana came out after intermission with another 9-0 run to make it 49-30 just 2:27 into the second half and Rutgers never got within 15 points again.
The Scarlet Knights have lost 11 games in a row after defeating No. 4 Wisconsin on Jan. 11. It's the longest losing streak in Rutgers history since 1988, when the Scarlet Knights lost 16 games.
However, Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan isn't worried about the fight in his team despite the nearly six-week long skid.
"There's a lot of fight. I don't know why you ask that," Jordan said. "If it seems like there's not enough fight, we just aren't good enough right now to guard certain things. Good teams take advantage of a team that's not doing well. And it doesn't mean you don't have enough fight. It just means you're not good enough, sometimes not smart enough, but we've got plenty of fight, so that's not an issue for me."
Kadeem Jack — who averages 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for Rutgers — fouled out with 14:29 left and his team down 57-35 after posting just six points and one rebound.
After falling to Purdue at home earlier in the week, Indiana avoided losing back-to-back games for the second time this season. The Hoosiers lost at Ohio State and Purdue in the last week of January.
"I'm proud of the way our guys responded the past few days to get ready for this game after knowing that we didn't play nearly the way we wanted to play on Thursday night against Purdue. But that every game matters and that we have to turn right back around and be better," Crean said. "I thought that they were."
Rutgers: Former Rutgers defensive backs Jason and Devin McCourty, who play for the Titans and Patriots respectively, were in attendance, signing autographs for fans an hour before tip.
Indiana: This was the first time the Hoosiers played at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The last time Indiana played in New Jersey was Dec. 21, 1999, when the Hoosiers defeated North Carolina 82-73 at the Meadowlands.
HARTMAN HURTS KNEE
Collin Hartman injured his knee had ice on it on the bench in the second half.
"He took a blow to his knee," Crean said. "A direct hit on his knee when he went down, so we'll just see how it turns out, keep our fingers crossed."
Rutgers has lost seven of their last eight games by double-digits. The only loss not by less than 10 was at Indiana on Jan. 31, when Rutgers lost by eight.
HEATING UP FROM THREE
Indiana came into the game ranked fourth in the county in three-point field goal percentage (41.4 percent). Despite a 3-of-11 start from beyond the arc, Indiana finished 10 of 27 to go 37 percent from three.
Rutgers is at Purdue on Thursday.
Indiana is at Northwestern on Wednesday.