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Hoosiers follow rules to win

Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 11:23 p.m. CST

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Hoosiers followed the rules Friday night.

They attacked the basket, drew fouls, and made free throws. Defensively, they blocked shots and avoided fouls. And, of course, they won another season opener.

Jeremy Hollowell scored a career-high 16 points and had four blocks, and Noah Vonleh added 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in his college debut, leading Indiana past outmanned Chicago State 100-72. It went just the way coach Tom Crean drew it up.

"We knew they were going to get up and press us," Hollowell said. "With the new rules, we wanted to take advantage of it and attack the basket and get fouled. I think we did a good job of that."

The Hoosiers (1-0) did all of that and more.

They blocked 13 shots, breaking the Assembly Hall record set in 1999 against San Francisco, and falling one short of their overall record set at Penn State in 2000.

They made 45 of 55 free throws, breaking the school record for made free throws (43) first set against Michigan in 1943, and tied against Ohio State in 1997.

They outrebounded Chicago State (0-1) 62-36, and had six players score in double figures.

They won their 16th consecutive season opener, and their 29th consecutive home opener.

And the loudest roar from the crowd might have come when Jeff Howard put in a layup with 11 seconds to go, giving ticket-holders some free food at a nearby restaurant, and Indiana its first 100-point game in its season opener since Murray State in November 1992.

It was a solid start for a team that replaced four 1,000-point scorers with a starting lineup of two freshmen, two sophomores and senior Will Sheehey.

This one will be hard to top.

Though Clarke Rosenberg led the Cougars with 27 points, only one of his teammates reached double figures. Eddie Denard finished with 10 on a night Chicago State shot a dismal 25.9 percent from the field and was just 8 of 36 on 3-pointers.

It was good enough to impress Chicago State coach Tracy Dildy.

"That's a really good, athletic team, which we knew coming in," Dildy said. "They changed a lot of our guy's shots just with their length, and I've been telling people this is going to be a team that's going to be in that hunt for that Big Ten [title] because they're not going to do anything but get better and get better and get better."

Crean certainly hopes so.

The perfectionist challenged his players to be even more aggressive contesting shots, forcing turnovers and taking care of the ball – three areas the Hoosiers did not fare as well Friday. Indiana committed 19 turnovers and forced 10.

But even he acknowledged it was a good start.

Without Cody Zeller to patrol the middle, Indiana repeatedly attacked the basket with zeal, hoping to score points or draw fouls. They did both.

The Hoosiers finally started to pull away midway through the first half with a 10-2 spurt and followed that with an 8-2 run that gave Indiana a 39-21 lead with 5:09 left in the first half.

Chicago State answered with seven straight points, all from Rosenberg – one of its few good stretches of the night.

"I wouldn't change the experience (in Assembly Hall), but I would change the performance," Dildy said. "We really just wanted to come and put on a good showing for the fans."

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