Thursday, January 16, 2003

Indiana 71, Northwestern 57

The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Tom Coverdale and Kyle Hornsby got the message Wednesday night. One day after Indiana coach Mike Davis challenged his seniors by publicly questioning their leadership, Hornsby and Coverdale responded with a knockout punch.

Hornsby hit five 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 19 points, while Coverdale had six 3-pointers and added 19 points and 10 assists to lead the 18th-ranked Hoosiers past Northwestern 71-57.

"You got to have pride in what you do. So, of course, we want to go out and prove him wrong when he makes comments like that," Hornsby said. "More importantly, we have to go play our game. We have to play well."

Coverdale appeared to take personally Davis' criticism, that he had not been as effective a leader since early December, and it showed. Davis even hinted at lineup changes.

When the game began, Coverdale wore a determined expression and played with the intensity that made him one of the Big Ten's most feared point guards last season.

Although his shooting touch wasn't perfect, his decision-making was, and afterward Coverdale uncharacteristically left without talking to reporters even though he became the 37th Hoosier to score 1,000 points in his career.

Davis could not have asked for anything more.

"I thought tonight we played with some passion for the first time in a month," he said. "I thought we'd played hard but not with passion and when you play with passion, you get to loose balls and get rebounds."

The Hoosiers (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten) were successful on just about every front Wednesday night.

They made 25-of-40 shots and shot 77.8 percent in the second half. They hit 13-of-22 from 3-point range and outrebounded Northwestern 30-16 despite playing without their leading scorer, Bracey Wright.

Wright sat out with a sore lower back and Davis said he was day-to-day. After the game, Wright said he could have played Wednesday and definitely would play Saturday against No. 8 Illinois.

Northwestern (8-6, 0-3) was no match. The Wildcats lost their 26th straight to the Hoosiers and fell to 0-29 all-time at Assembly Hall. They have not beaten Indiana since Jan. 11, 1988, and have not won in Bloomington since Jan. 13, 1968.

The Wildcats were led by Jason Burke with 14 points and T.J. Parker with 12, but what bothered Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was the way his team inexplicably defended the Hoosiers.

"It was my older guys, too," he said. "You have a choice of (Jeff) Newton at 27 feet or Coverdale, and we picked Newton and they knocked them down."

Coverdale was only part of the problem for Northwestern.

Hornsby opened the game by making his first five 3s and got the Hoosiers off to an 11-0 lead when Northwestern missed its first five shots.

It was a precursor of what was to come. By halftime, the Hoosiers had hit six 3s, four from Hornsby, and led 34-22.

Hornsby's short leaner and another 3-pointer early in the second half sparked a 7-0 run that gave Indiana control with a 43-24 lead with 16:55 to go.

"Some days it goes in and some days it doesn't," said Hornsby, 0-for-9 in Saturday's loss at Ohio State. "If you're a good shooter, you keep shooting."

Coverdale took care of the rest.

He finally got his second basket with 13:06 to go, which put him over the 1,000-point mark. He now has 1,015 points in his career.

When Northwestern closed to 55-43 with about five minutes to play, Coverdale sealed it with three more 3-pointers. His six 3s tied a career-high and gave Davis reason to smile - even if Coverdale wasn't.

"I thought Coverdale showed great leadership tonight," Davis said. "He was at his best for the first time since the Maryland game. If he continues to play like that, we're going to win some games."

NORTHWESTERN (8-6)-Blake 0-4 0-0 0, Jennings 4-10 0-0 10, Parker 5-10 0-0 12, Young 4-8 2-3 10, Burke 5-9 1-1 14, Tolic 0-1 0-0 0, Hachad 0-0 0-0 0, Maley 3-5 0-0 8, Seacat 1-1 0-0 3, Duvancic 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 3-4 57.

INDIANA (12-3)-Newton 3-6 2-2 8, Leach 2-2 2-2 6, Moye 1-3 1-2 3, Coverdale 6-11 1-3 19, Hornsby 7-9 0-0 19, Perry 0-1 0-0 0, Strickland 3-5 1-2 9, Kline 3-3 1-2 7. Totals 25-40 8-13 71.

Halftime-Indiana 34-22. 3-Point Goals-Northwestern 10-23 (Burke 3-5, Maley 2-3, Parker 2-4, Jennings 2-5, Seacat 1-1, Young 0-2, Blake 0-3), Indiana 13-22 (Coverdale 6-10, Hornsby 5-6, Strickland 2-3, Newton 0-1, Moye 0-1, Perry 0-1). Rebounds-Northwestern 16 (Young, Burke 4), Indiana 30 (Newton 10). A-17,086.

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