Indiana rolls past Coppin St. after slow start
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent December 1, 2012 11:38PM
Updated: January 3, 2013 11:06AM
BLOOMINGTON — Coppin State, tied for eighth in the nation in steals per game, tried to steal a win from No. 1 Indiana.
The Hoosiers would have none of that.
Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey each scored 14 points as Indiana rallied from an early deficit to rout the Eagles 87-51 on Saturday night.
“We’re not always going to play the style we want to play, which is up and down,” Remy Abell said. “We’ve got to keep fighting (against) whatever the other team wants to bring.”
Coppin State’s zone had the Hoosiers struggling to hit shots early on. IU (8-0) missed its first nine shots from the field and trailed 9-2 before its first basket, a putback by Christian Watford.
Watford, who scored just two points in Tuesday’s win over No. 14 North Carolina, also put IU ahead for good on Saturday night when his 3-pointer broke an 11-all tie.
The Hoosiers never trailed again, although the Eagles (1-6) pulled within 37-28 early in the second half.
Jordan Hulls answered with a 3-pointer and IU’s lead didn’t fall below 11 points the rest of the way.
Watford finished with 10 points. Abell also scored 10 for the Hoosiers, who didn’t get a lot of production from All-American Cody Zeller. Coppin State’s zone held Zeller to nine points and seven rebounds.
“You look at the zone as the situation to take that away anyways,” Coppin State coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. “It worked for a while, but results said we need to do a better job to make it work.”
The Hoosiers know they’ll be facing more zone defenses as teams try to take away Zeller.
“But at the end of the day, we can still get the ball to Cody,” Oladipo said.
The Eagles were averaging 12 steals a game entering Saturday night. They had 10 against the Hoosiers, but IU had 11.
And Coppin State, fifth-worst shooting team in Division I, continued to struggle. The Eagles hit just 19-of-56 from the field, 33.9 percent.
“They were very aggressive on the defensive end, and we got ourselves into a situation that was very difficult to get out of,” Mitchell said. “I’m glad we got to 51 points, but you need more.
“It was a situation where they challenged basically all of the shots we took, and that’s what you’d expect from this kind of team.”
Taariq Cephas was the only Eagle to score in double figures, with 13 points. Michael Murray had nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Coppin State was playing against a No. 1 team for the first time in program history.
“We can build on that adversity from here, where if we did a few more things right, we may have been able to challenge them,” Mitchell said.