posttrib
IMPERFECT 
Weather Updates

Indiana wins 9th straight, but Austin Etherington suffers knee injury

Indiana's Victor Oladipo (4) dunks against Central Connecticut State's Terrell Allen (33) during first half an NCAA college basketball game

Indiana's Victor Oladipo (4) dunks against Central Connecticut State's Terrell Allen (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

storyidforme: 41350599
tmspicid: 15288328
fileheaderid: 6936141

Updated: January 10, 2013 6:43AM



BLOOMINGTON — Indiana will get suspended freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin back for its next game.

But Derek Elston will be joined on the injured list after Austin Etherington suffered a knee injury late in the first half of Saturday’s 100-69 victory over Central Connecticut State.

Etherington had just picked up his second foul when he crashed to the floor in pain. He was taken out on a stretcher and went to the hospital at halftime.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said it was too early to tell the extent of the injury, but noted it was significant.

Etherington’s teammates surrounded him as he was being put on the stretcher, and they acknowledged after the game that it was a tough situation.

“I’m proud of the way they bounced back,” Crean said. “Because they were really bothered. ... They were really concerned about their friend.”

Crean also said it was too soon to tell how Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin will fit into IU’s rotation. But if the Hoosiers keep playing the way they did against the Blue Devils (4-4), it might not matter how quickly they acclimate to college basketball.

The Hoosiers are 9-0 for the second straight season. IU last started that well in consecutive seasons in 1974-75 and ’75-76.

Central Connecticut kept the game close early, tying the game at 9-9 when Matt Hunter hit a layup, was fouled by Christian Watford, and hit the ensuing free throw.

But it was all IU the rest of the way.

Watford led the Hoosiers with 21 points, his best showing since a 23-point game against Sam Houston State on Nov. 15. Cody Zeller had 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, Victor Oladipo scored 15, Will Sheehey scored 12 and Jordan Hulls had 10 points as the Hoosiers, the nation’s top-scoring team coming into the game, padded their stats.

“We didn’t have a lot of answers for them defensively,” Blue Devils coach Howie Dickenman said. “It seemed like they got what they wanted, and when they missed, they got offensive rebounds.”

Hunter led Central Connecticut with 40 points. He tied the Assembly Hall single-game opponents’ scoring mark, set by Michigan State’s Terry Furlow in 1976 and tied by the Spartans’ Shawn Respert in 1995.

Hunter was 13-of-25 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line, while his teammates shot just 11-of-47 and 5-of-8 respectively. That included a seven-point game from Kyle Vinales, the nation’s top scorer coming into the game who hit just 3-of-15 from the field against the Hoosiers.

“He really had some bad looks, got a little frustrated and took a couple of questionable shots,” Dickenman said.

Much of that could be attributed to the defense on Vinales by Oladipo, Sheehey and Remy Abell.

Still, “we gave somebody else 40 points,” said Oladipo, who had 20 deflections for the second straight game. “We got to do better than that.”

“That’s unacceptable to give a guy that many points,” Crean said. “You don’t want to take away the top scorer in the nation and give it to another guy within the game.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.