MACOMB, Ill. (AP)—Marco Killingsworth was strong inside, and Indiana’s shooters were on target from the outside. The combination was too much for Western Illinois.
Killingsworth scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half, leading No. 20 Indiana to a 102-79 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Killingsworth shot 7-for-7 in the first half and helped the Hoosiers built a 53-32 halftime lead in their first road game of the season.
“They put on a clinic,” Western Illinois coach Derek Thomas said. “That’s an outstanding basketball team. Unfortunately we couldn’t slow them down. … They were just phenomenal outside.”
Robert Vaden scored 22 points and had eight of Indiana’s 29 assists. Roderick Wilmont added 15 points and Marshall Strickland scored 13 for Indiana, which shot 16-for-26 from 3-point range.
“The key to this basketball team is playing together and making the extra pass. When we make the extra pass, we have guys who can make the open shot,”’ Indiana coach Mike Davis said.
“I love this team because of the unselfish play. … Robert is one of our better players. I think he is one of the most underrated players in the country. I have to get on him sometimes about taking shots.”
The Hoosiers created a defensive problem for Western Illinois.
“I love it. It gives me open shots and it gives all of us open shots,” Vaden said.
Davis credited assistant coach Kerry Rupp for making sure the Hoosiers knew what to do, depending on where the ball was.
“The key for us this week was coach Rupp came to me and said we need to have an offensive plan for Marco in the post because of him being double teamed, and we worked on that Wednesday and Thursday,” Davis said.
The Hoosiers will have more of a test next week at home in Bloomington when they host top-ranked Duke.
Marlon Mahorn scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for led Western Illinois (1-2). David Jackson added 16.
A three-point play by Killingsworth and Vaden’s fourth 3-pointer of the game gave the Hoosiers a 64-38 lead a little more than 4 minutes into the second half.
The Hoosiers made four of their first six 3-point attempts, and when Wilmont hit Indiana’s’ fifth 3-pointer in the first 10 minutes, the lead was 16.
Troy Okeson’s 3-pointer got the Leathernecks within 10, but Ben Allen responded with another 3-pointer, pushing the Hoosiers’ lead to 13.
Indiana then broke it open. Errek Suhr and Vaden hit 3-pointers, Vaden made a steal and fed Strickland for a layup and Killingsworth bulled his way in for two more baskets, increasing the Hoosiers’ lead to 47-25 late in the half.
Indiana shot 59 percent in the opening half, shot 9-for-17 from 3-point range and had 19 assists, all while forcing nine turnovers.
Former walk-on Suhr, who was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, had 12.
Western Illinois was 13-for-23 from 3-point range but couldn’t keep up with the Hoosiers despite a noisy home crowd.
“The crowd was great. It was a great environment for us to play our first road game,” Davis said.