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Hoosiers take big step in revival

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Christian Watford's buzzer-beating shot Saturday night put Indiana right back on the basketball map.

He never even got to see whether the 3-pointer counted.

With students pouring onto the court and officials scrambling to reach the scorer's table for a replay review, Watford's teammates and Indiana's fans didn't even bother waiting for the call. They already knew Indiana's 73-72 upset of No. 1 Kentucky would hold up.

"I thought it was good, so I would have been, like, stunned if it wasn't," said coach Tom Crean, who stood next to the officials, pressed up against the table. "And I have no idea how we would have got that game finished if it wasn't."

He wasn't joking and, fortunately, nobody had to figure out how to get everyone back in the stands.

A few minutes later, when the call finally came, Crean pumped his fist and raced through the crowd, looking for his wife and kids.

He wasn't the only one trying to get through the chaos. Victor Oladipo went into the stands looking for his mother, who had traveled from Maryland to watch. And Watford still had to get up after hitting the deck, looking up and seeing all the students, signs and raw emotion around him.

"I was scared for him because there were people all over him," said Jordan Hulls, a Bloomington native and the only player on the roster who could remember such a crazy scene at Assembly Hall.

The last time it happened was Jan. 7, 2001, when Kirk Haston hit a buzzer-beating 3 from the right wing to beat then-No. 1 Michigan State. The only difference this time was that it came from the left wing.

It gave Indiana the biggest win of Crean's four seasons in Bloomington.

"It felt great," Watford said of the shot after scoring the last of his 20 points. "You can't really tell if it's going in. But I got it off, it felt great, it looked like I got enough rotation on it and it went in."

Indiana is 9-0 for the first time since 1989-90. Kentucky (8-1) will likely lose its hold on the top spot this week after a two-week reign.

NO. 13 KANSAS 78, NO. 2 OHIO ST. 67: Thomas Robinson had 21 points, and the host Jayhawks (6-2) never trailed against the Buckeyes (8-1), who played without injured star forward Jared Sullinger. Kansas lost starting guard Tyshawn Taylor for about three weeks with a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his right knee.

NO. 3 SYRACUSE 85, GW 50: Dion Waiters had 19 points and six steals, both career highs, to lead the host Orange (10-0), which is poised to move to No. 1 in the national rankings.

NO. 4 UNC 84, LONG BEACH ST. 78: Former Sickles standout John Henson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the host Tar Heels (8-2), who rallied from a 45-40 halftime deficit.

NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 80, FDU 58: Gorgui Dieng had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Cardinals (9-0) to their 17th straight win at the KFC Yum! Center.

NO. 7 DUKE 86, WASHINGTON 80: Freshman Austin Rivers scored 18 for the Blue Devils (9-1), who hung on at Madison Square Garden despite making only 12 of 18 free throws over the final 2:30.

NO. 10 MISSOURI 84, NAVY 59: Marcus Denmon had 22 points for the host Tigers (9-0), who matched their best start since the 2006-07 season.

NO. 11 MARQUETTE 79, GREEN BAY 61: Jae Crowder had 21 points and seven rebounds as the host Golden Eagles (9-0) romped.

NO. 14 WISCONSIN 62, UNLV 51: Ben Brust came off the bench to score a career-high 25 for the host Badgers (8-2), who blew it open with a 13-0 run midway through the first half.

NO. 15 PITT 74, OKLA. ST. 68: Ashton Gibbs had 17 points, including three free throws in the final 17 seconds, to lead the Panthers (9-1) at Madison Square Garden.

NO. 17 MISS. ST. 106, TROY 68: Dee Bost had a season-high 28 points, Arnett Moultrie added 20 points and 12 rebounds and the host Bulldogs (9-1) won their eighth straight game.

NO. 18 G'TOWN 62, HOWARD 48: Playing their first game this season as a ranked team, the host Hoyas (8-1) held the Bison scoreless for nearly 10 minutes at the start then staved off a strong comeback bid.

SAINT JOSEPH'S 80, NO. 19 CREIGHTON 71: Carl Jones had 29 points as the host Hawks spoiled the first week in the Top 25 in five years for the Bluejays (7-1).

NO. 20 MICHIGAN 90, OAKLAND (MICH.) 80: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 of his 21 in the second half, and the host Wolverines (7-2) held off their in-state rival.

NO. 22 TEXAS A&M 67, LA.-MONROE 54: Khris Middleton returned after missing seven games with a torn meniscus in his right knee and scored 24 for the host Aggies (8-1).

MICH. ST. 74, NO. 23 GONZAGA 67: Draymond Green had 34 points for the Spartans, who upset the Bulldogs (5-1) for their first road win over a ranked non-conference team since 2002.

NO. 25 HARVARD 76, BU 52: Kyle Casey had 20 points and 11 rebounds to give the visiting Crimson (9-1) hope of holding onto its first-ever ranking.

UCF 53, B-CU 51: Isaiah Sykes hit two free throws with 3.5 seconds left and scored the final eight for the host Knights (6-2).

W. VA. 77, MIAMI 66: Darryl "Truck" Bryant scored a career-high 27 for the host Mountaineers, who handed the Hurricanes (5-4) their fourth loss in their past five games.

ECKERD 68, NOVA SE 58: Lance Kearse and Walade Wade had 12 points and five rebounds each, leading the host Tritons (4-2, 1-1 Sunshine State).


NO. 9 MIAMI 76, OLE MISS 48: Riquna Williams had 17 points for the host Hurricanes (8-1), who secured the win on an 11-0 run during a 2:08 stretch midway through the second half.

FSU 90, AKRON 64: Cierra Bravard had a career-high 28 points and added 12 rebounds, and Natasha Howard had a career-best 24 points and tied a career high with 13 rebounds for the visiting Seminoles (5-5).

ECKERD 71, NOVA SE 55: Linsey Niles had 14 points for the host Tritons (6-1, 2-0 SSC), who blew it open with a 14-0 run bridging halftime.

TAMPA 53, SOUTHEASTERN 27: Sarah Wickham had 12 points for the host Spartans (5-5), who never trailed.

NO. 3 NOTRE DAME 66, NO. 12 PURDUE 38: The Irish (9-1) used their pressure defense to hold the host Boilermakers (7-2) to 24.1 percent shooting, fifth worst in school history.

NO. 13 OHIO ST. 84, CANISIUS 41: Tayler Hill had 21 points and Samantha Prahalis 20 for the host Buckeyes (8-0), who matched their best start in coach Jim Foster's 10 seasons.

NO. 15 LOUISVILLE 92, GARDNER-WEBB 27: Antonita Slaughter scored a career-high 23 for the host Cardinals (8-2), who opened with a 10-0 run.

NO. 25 TEXAS 61, MICH. ST. 53: Cokie Reed returned to the court after a hard fall in the first half and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for the host Longhorns (6-2).

Hoosiers take big step in revival 12/10/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 10, 2011 11:35pm]
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