Rapid Reaction: Indiana 83, JMU 62
March, 22, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
DAYTON, Ohio -- Quick (OK, very quick) reaction to No. 1 Indiana's easy 83-62 win against No. 16 James Madison:
Overview: Just a day after Southern came as close to knocking off a No. 1 seed (Gonzaga) as any No. 16 seed ever has, the Indiana Hoosiers made sure there was no such such suspense in Dayton Friday afternoon. They opened up an 18-5 lead early, stretched it to 29-10 by the eight-minute mark in the first half, took a 43-22 lead into halftime and kept up the pace in the second half. There was no mini-comeback or turnaround; Indiana dominated from start to finish.
Turning point: The opening buzzer? The moment the buses pulled up to the back entrance of UD Arena? At the risk of being glib, it really was that commanding of a performance. The Hoosiers did struggle for stretches, as plenty of No. 1 seeds have, before finally opening a blowout in the second half. They didn't need Jordan Hulls to make a big a-la-Kevin-Pangos shot down the stretch. They just rolled.
Key player: Yogi Ferrell. When Indiana is at its best, it is offensively balanced, and it was Friday: Five players finished with double-digit scoring performances. Ferrell was one of them, but he stood out more for his other contributions, including eight rebounds and six assists. The former is especially important to Tom Crean, who wants to start an offensive break as quickly as possible -- and skipping the outlet pass is a handy way of doing so.
Key stat: Indiana went 29-of-55 (52.7 percent) from the field and scored 1.4 points per possession. Pretty simple stuff, really.
What's next: The Hoosiers move on to face Temple, where they could face a real challenge from a hot Khalif Wyatt-led team that has won eight of its last nine games. JMU finished 21-15 overall, but should be an intriguing team to watch next season, as four freshmen return for coach Matt Brady.