Total Team Effort Leads Indiana Past Evansville to Open Season 3-0

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIINovember 16, 2011

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 11:  Tom Crean the Head Coach of the Indiana Hoosiers gives instructions to his team during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on December 11, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Cody Zeller delivered in his homecoming to Evansville, Ind. For those that didn't know, Zeller is from Washington, Ind., which is right up the road from Evansville.

His brother, Tyler, that plays for current No. 1 North Carolina came back home to play the Aces last year in Roberts Stadium. North Carolina won that matchup, 76-49, in which Tyler was the leading scorer and rebounder with 18 points and eight rebounds.

The youngest of the Zellers, Cody, almost outperformed his brother in just his third career collegiate game in which Indiana won, 94-73, in the new Ford Center in Evansville.

Zeller finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds. He shot 6-of-8 from the field and 2-for-4 from the free throw line.

Zeller wasn't the only star on the court tonight for the Hoosiers, though.

Five Hoosiers scored in double figures, including four of the five starters.

Senior Verdell Jones III led Indiana with 17 points. Jones III was 5-of-7 from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from three point land. Jones III was also 3-for-5 from the line with six rebounds and six assists.

Junior Christian Watford had 15 points with a team high eight rebounds.

Fellow junior Jordan Hulls matched Zeller with 14 points in the game.

The only other Hoosier player in double figures was sixth man Will Sheehey, as he had 10 points off the bench.

The leading scorer of the young season so far, Victor Olidipo, added eight points of his own and was the only starter not in double figures in scoring.

After a dominating first half where the Hoosiers led 51-27, they were outscored by the Aces, 46-43, in the second half.

The Aces were led by junior Colt Ryan and senior Kenneth Harris, who had 17 points each. The only other Aces player to reach double figures was senior Denver Holmes, who had 13 points in the loss.

Evansville shot 42.9 percent from the field, which was the highest percentage against Indiana in the three games so far.

The Hoosiers made 11 three-point shots, which is a season high.

Indiana also led Evansville, 35-26, on the boards.

Indiana opens 3-0 for just second time in the Tom Crean era. The Hoosiers opened 6-0 last year.

Evansville falls to 1-1 after beating in-state rival Butler on Saturday to open the new Ford Center.

The next Hoosiers game is against the Savannah State Tigers (1-2) in Assembly Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday night. The Tigers started off the season 0-2 before their 73-70 win over Jacksonville tonight.