UMass Falls To No. 19 Indiana, 84-71
Nov 25, 2002
By JIM O'CONNELL
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Mike Davis was disappointed in what people were expecting out of his Indiana team coming off the loss to Maryland in last season's national championship game.
"Too low, too low," he said of his team's preseason rankings following Monday's 84-71 victory over Massachusetts in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
Judging by the way the 19th-ranked Hoosiers looked for most of their season opener, he may be right.
Tom Coverdale scored 20 points and George Leach added career highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers (1-0), who were playing for the first time since that loss in Atlanta.
Despite the loss of Big Ten player of the year Jared Jeffries, they looked like they hadn't missed a beat except for some shooting woes over the final eight minutes.
"I told the team I didn't agree with all the people who do the polls and I told them the only way to prove them wrong is to win and win big," Davis said.
The 13-point win advanced Indiana to Tuesday's semifinals against either Utah or No. 20 Gonzaga.
The Hoosiers set a school record with 270 3-pointers last season and they had nine in the first half in taking a 50-40 lead over the Minutemen (0-1).
Leach, a 6-foot-11 senior, was dominant inside for Indiana as he missed doubling his previous career high by just one point. His second career double-double easily outdid his first, when he had 10 points and 10 rebounds last season against Miami.
"If he plays like that all year we'll be a really good team," Coverdale said of Leach, who averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds last season. "If we get half the production from him we did today we'll be really good.
"I saw that potential in George when he got here. He has to stay with it and get his confidence up."
"We're trying to build," Massachusetts coach Steve Lappas said. "That's a team that is there. We're not."
Jeff Newton's rebound dunk of a missed shot by Coverdale gave Indiana a 72-54 lead with 7:57 to play. The Hoosiers then went 5:07 without a field goal, including five missed shots on one possession, and had just one basket the rest of the game.
The Minutemen weren't able to take advantage of the shooting slump, never getting closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
"We did a bad job of keeping the lead when it was 18 and we can't do that because teams will beat us," said Coverdale, 5-for-20 from the field, including 4-for-10 from 3-point range. "I don't think I've ever taken 20 shots in a game in my career."
Davis was quick to follow that with: "And you won't again."
Coverdale had six assists for Indiana, which finished 12-for-26 from 3-point range and outrebounded Massachusetts 51-36.
"We have four guys who can make 3s," Davis said. "Our point of emphasis has been rebounding. We go four to the board on offense and send five on defense."
Lappas said his team did a good job defending the 3-point shot.
"They made some tough shots. I thought for the most part we were all over them," said Lappas, who won this tournament with Villanova in 1995. "In the second half we did a better job of pressuring the ball."
Kyle Hornsby had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists for Indiana.
"There were points in the game when we played good defense but we didn't the whole game," he said. "That's not good defense."
This is Indiana's third appearance in the Maui Invitational. The Hoosiers lost in the championship game in 1990 and 1998, both times to Syracuse.