Indiana Beats Dukes - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Indiana Beats Dukes

 

Tom Withers

AP Sports Writer

           

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Andre Nation hung his head and the freshman sniffled.

           

It was tough to talk about James Madison's season, and the bond he developed with his teammates. The Dukes made the NCAA field for the first time in 19 years and earlier this week won their first tournament game in 30 years.

           

They wanted more.

           

Then they ran into Indiana.

           

Unable to deal with the top-seeded Hoosiers' size or speed, James Madison fell behind by 33 points and were throttled 83-62 by Indiana, which very much looked like a team capable of winning it all this year.

           

"They threw the first punch, and they threw another punch, and they kept throwing them, and we weren't throwing any back," Nation said. "So it was physical. They came prepared to play."

           

Not taking any chances with a No. 16 seed, the Hoosiers (28-6) started fast, building a 21-point halftime lead. They pushed it to 33 in the second half before letting up and had little trouble with the Dukes (21-15), who beat LIU Brooklyn in the First Four on Wednesday and thought they could hang with the Hoosiers.

           

It was never close.

           

"It will be a learning experience, especially for my youngest guys," Dukes coach Matt Brady said. "They played a dynamite first half, and it really took us a first half to catch up to the speed with which they play."

           

After being bruised and battered all year in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers finally got a chance to pick on a little guy.

           

"I've been waiting for this all week," said Ferrell, who added eight rebound and six assists. "A lot of us are jacked up to get out here, play against some different competition."

           

Looking every bit like a team capable of cutting down the nets in Atlanta next month, Indiana, which spent a good chunk of the season atop the AP poll, will play Temple in the second round on Sunday.

           

Will Sheehey scored 15 and Cody Zeller 11 - eight on rim-rocking dunks - for Indiana.

           

Charles Cooke 18 for James Madison, which made the score somewhat respectable in the final minutes but never really threatened.

           

Of the many upsets in NCAA tournament, there still hasn't been a No. 16 over a No. 1. And any thoughts James Madison, which beat LIU Brooklyn in a First Four game to get here, had of making history were over shortly after player introductions.

           

Indiana wasn't fooling around.

           

"We played excellent," Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

           

With Ferrell, playing in his first tourney game darting in and around the Dukes, the Hoosiers unleashed their offensive fury on the Dukes and clamped down on a James Madison team that never experienced anything like Indiana's man-to-man pressure this season in the Colonial Athletic Association.

           

After falling behind by 20, the Dukes got within 34-20 when Nation made two straight 3-pointers. However, the spurt only seemed to anger the Hoosiers and they closed the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 43-22 lead at halftime.

           

As he headed to the locker room, Brady straightened his tie and scratched his head. Back in the staging area inside Dayton Arena even the Dukes' cheerleaders huddled to try and figure out what they could do better.

           

Too late.

           

"I thought in the second half we fought a lot harder," Brady said. "We caught up to the pace of the game.  We were a little more comfortable."

           

Indiana's size was a problem for James Madison right away. The 7-foot Zeller ran down a loose ball in the corner and grabbed a rebound as the Hoosiers had the ball for nearly a minute before Ferrell scored.

           

The lightning-quick guard scored on two more drives and then hit a 3-pointer to make it Yogi Ferrell 9, The Fourth U.S. President 0.

           

Brady called his first timeout, but there wasn't much he could say to his team other than to hang in there.

           

"We clearly lost to a better team," he said. "Watching them on tape and trying to prepare your team for Indiana is one thing, and then being on the court with them and having to play against the speed and power with which they play was really impressive."

           

It may have been short run, but it was a great one for the Dukes, who overcame injuries and slow start this season.

           

Brady feels the Dukes will grow from the experience.

           

"They saw up close and personal, firsthand, what it means to be part of a great team, watching it, playing against Indiana," he said. "We'll take some things from this and try to use it to make our program better. In defeat, that's what you're trying to do. You're trying to learn."

           

And sometimes the lessons end with tears.

 

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