Zeller, Hoosiers cruise past Florida Atlantic
Bloomington, IN (Sports Network) - Cody Zeller poured in 24 points and three other Indiana players finished in double figures as the sixth-ranked Hoosiers rolled to an 88-52 victory over Florida Atlantic at Assembly Hall.
Zeller made good on 6-of-9 field goal attempts and 12-of-13 foul shots in just 22 minutes of action to lead Indiana (11-1) to a second straight lopsided win following Saturday's overtime upset loss to Butler in Indianapolis. The Hoosiers shot a scorching 70.6 percent from the floor in a 93-54 pasting of Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday.
"Our guys were locked in. They had a great week, they've had a great year," IU head coach Tom Crean said.
Christian Watford added 17 points and Victor Oladipo had 16 on 6-of-8 efficiency for the Hoosiers, with Jordan Hulls contributing 10 points to the rout.
Greg Gantt netted 25 points for Florida Atlantic (5-7), but the Owls went a poor 33.9 from the field and 3-for-15 from 3-point range en route to a third straight defeat.
"Tonight was tough. I knew it was going to be almost impossible," FAU head coach Mike Jarvis said. ""The kids didn't quit. They competed."
The game was close for the first five minutes, before Indiana embarked on a 13-0 flurry to turn a three-point edge into a commanding 24-8 lead.
Will Sheehey kicked off the spurt by knocking down a jumper and a 3-pointer in succession, and Zeller netted the final four points until Gantt temporarily stopped the Hoosiers' uncontested run with a basket from beyond the arc near the midway mark of the first half.
Indiana kept on rolling, however, with Watford and Hulls each burying treys during a 9-0 sequence that extended the margin to 42-17 five minutes before intermission. The Hoosiers would be ahead by as many as 33 points before eventually heading into the break carrying an overwhelming 55-25 advantage.
Both Zeller and Oladipo made 5-of-6 field goal attempts over the initial 20 minutes, with the former generating 15 points and the latter 12. As a team, the Hoosiers shot 61.8 percent from the field and went 8-for-8 from the foul line.
Indiana shot only 33 percent for the second half, but the Owls still were unable to get the deficit under 28 points during the period. The Hoosiers' lead was as much as 39 after a pair of Sheehey free throws with 4:57 left capped an 11-1 burst.
Indiana has now won 16 straight at Assembly Hall and registered an average margin of victory of 27.1 points over that stretch ... Florida Atlantic suffered its 12th straight setback against a top 25 opponent. The Owls have lost by an average of 28.9 points in those games ... The Hoosiers finished 26- of-27 from the foul line ... Hoosiers forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea, playing his third game since sitting out the first nine due to an eligibility issue, recorded a career-best 10 rebounds in 14 minutes.
12/22 02:55:10 ET