Sunday, February 10, 2002

Indiana 77, Louisville 62

IU's Odle answers coaches' call; Sparks Hoosiers to win over Cardinals

The Associated Press

        BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana coaches thought they could get more out of Jarrad Odle.

        Odle listened, learned and showed what he could do.

        He connected on 10 of 11 shots, scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the week as he led the Hoosiers past Louisville 77-62 on Saturday.

        “I'm just playing,” Odle said. “The coaches challenged me to come out with intensity and energy every game. That's what I'm trying to do.”

        What the Hoosiers have managed since January is to win big games by lopsided margins, and Saturday's game was no exception.

        Indiana (16-7) has won five straight by at least 10 points, and this victory came as the Hoosiers, the Big Ten co-leaders, played a nonconference game in the middle of conference play for the first time since 1973.

        Odle was one of the primary reasons for the win.

        “He's playing great basketball right now,” coach Mike Davis said. “That's back-to-back games. It was an outstanding game for him.”

        Louisville's defensive scheme — which was designed to take away Indiana's other forward, Jared Jeffries, and force the Hoosiers to knock down 3-pointers — worked to Odle's advantage, too.

        He ruined it by continually cutting hard and driving in for short baskets, and when Odle drew fouls, he was just as accurate from the free-throw line where he hit 5 of 6.

        While the Hoosiers managed to shoot a season-best 56.5 percent from the field, with four players scoring in double figures, their defense was just as effective.

        Indiana limited Louisville (13-9) to its second-fewest points and a 36.2 shooting percentage, its third-worst of the season. Even Reece Gaines, Conference USA's No.3 scorer, struggled. He hit just six of 19 shots and finished with 17 points.

        And Indiana did all that despite having its top defender, Dane Fife, saddled with early foul trouble and its top player, Jeffries, hampered by a bruised right thigh and a right ankle that he injured in the game's opening minutes.

        “They played extremely well,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “I think this is going to be a great rivalry. We have a long way to go to catch up to their level.”

        It also took Odle and the Hoosiers awhile to get used to Louisville's up-tempo pace.

        After Jeffries left with 16:20 to go in the first half, the Hoosiers went on a a 6-0 mini-run with Odle accounting for two of the baskets. Then the Cardinals rallied, with a 15-4 run that gave Louisville a 23-19 lead with 9:19 left in the half.

        Jeffries, who scored 11 points, returned at the 10:22 mark and that changed things.

        Indiana closed the half on a 14-2 run — the last basket coming on a 10-footer from Odle — and opened the second half with six straight points, four from Odle, to make it 49-32 with 18:18 remaining.

        “What teams are doing now is trying to double-team Jeffries and they're sagging off the others,” Davis said.

        After Louisville used a 15-4 spurt to get within 61-55 with 5:27 left, Odle stepped forward again.

        This time, he hit two free throws before ending a 6:12 stretch in which the Hoosiers failed to make a basket by racing to a loose ball and driving in for a layup. His three-point play made it 66-56 and Louisville never challenged again.

        “I'm finally feeling good again on the court,” Odle said. “For a while, I was feeling a little sluggish, but now I feel like I'm on top of my game.”

        LOUISVILLE (13-9) — Myles 3-6 1-4 7, Whitehead 5-9 2-3 12, Mohammed 0-1 1-4 1, Gaines 6-19 4-7 17, Brown 3-10 3-3 10, Northern 1-4 0-0 3, O'Bannon 3-8 0-0 9, George 1-1 0-0 2, N'Sima 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 22-61 12-23 62.

        INDIANA (16-7) — Jeffries 4-7 2-2 11, Odle 10-11 5-6 25, Coverdale 4-8 6-6 16, Fife 0-2 0-1 0, Hornsby 3-9 3-4 11, Moye 2-4 2-2 6, Leach 0-0 0-0 0, Perry 0-1 2-2 2, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Tapak 0-0 0-0 0, Newton 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 26-46 20-23 77.

        Halftime—Indiana 42, Louisville 32. 3-point goals— Louisville 6-19 (O'Bannon 3-5, Brown 1-2, Northern 1-3, Gaines 1-9), Indiana 5-11 (Coverdale 2-4, Hornsby 2-4, Jeffries 1-1, Moye 0-1, Fife 0-1). Fouled out—Whitehead, Fife. Rebounds—Louisville 29 (Myles 11), Indiana 37 (Odle 11). Assists—Louisville 11 (Gaines 3), Indiana 13 (Coverdale, Hornsby 3). Total fouls—Louisville 29, Indiana 20. A—17,456.


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