No. 17 Indiana rolls to 12-0 start

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 22, 2011
Derek Elston and Will Sheehey already were sidelined and Verdell Jones went down in the first half. In their absence, Matt Roth stepped up for No. 17 Indiana. The senior guard scored a season-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc to lead the depleted Hoosiers to an 89-47 win over Maryland-Baltimore County on Thursday night. ''It's just part of the philosophy they've instilled in us where it's just the next man up,'' Roth said. ''It's unfortunate that it's through injury but you have to be prepared either way.'' The Hoosiers heated up from long range in the second half, shooting 69 percent (9 of 13) from the 3-point line after going 2 for 14 in the first half. Indiana came in as the No. 1 team in the country in 3-point field goal percentage at 47 percent. ''It just came down to our ball movement in the first half,'' Roth said. ''We moved the ball well but we just weren't getting shots to drop.'' Roth didn't have a long range attempt in the opening 20 minutes - he played just 6 minutes - and went into the break with only two points, but just 42 seconds into the second half, Roth knocked down a 3-pointer to end a 10-0 run by UMBC. ''It's big because he's a veteran,'' Indiana coach Tom Crean said. ''It's great to see him do that. It's great to see him go into this break and into the next wave of the season with confidence because we're going to need him. There's no doubt about it.'' Christian Watford, who led Indiana with 22 points, hit another 3 and Jordan Hulls added another, but Roth provided most of the damage. With just under 12 minutes left, Roth had hit four 3-pointers in an 8-minute stretch to push the Hoosiers' lead to 71-35. ''We didn't take care of the basketball,'' UMBC coach Randy Monroe said. ''You have to take care of the ball in situations and you've got to take good shots.'' Hulls said it was only a matter of time before Indiana took advantage of UMBC's zone defense. ''You love it when people play zone,'' Hulls said. ''It's good because we move the ball so well and we don't care who gets the shot.'' Hulls' Big Ten record of 58 straight made free throws came to an end, but he still scored 16 points and went 3 for 7 from beyond the arc. Indiana (12-0) outscored UMBC (1-10) 52-24 in the second half. Crean said he was relying on his 3-point shooters to step up in the absence of Elston, Sheehey and Jones. ''We really needed people like Matt Roth and Austin Etherington to step their play up,'' Crean said. ''Tonight, I think they did. It was tough to play without Verdell but there again Matt came right in and it was next man up and he did an excellent job with that.'' Chase Plummer, Quentin Jones and Ryan Cook each scored 10 points for the Retrievers. The Hoosiers will head into Big Ten play undefeated when they travel to East Lansing, Mich. to take on Michigan State in the conference opener on Wednesday.
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