Dec. 5, 2000
By TOM COYNE
Associated Press Writer
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame could still have its best season in years, but it will have to wait another year to turn things around against Indiana.
Despite being unbeaten and No. 10 in the poll, their highest ranking in 15 seasons, the Irish couldn’t stop the Hoosiers on Tuesday night as Indiana cruised to an 86-78 victory – their sixth straight over the Irish.
“It leaves a bad taste in your mouth not being able to beat them,” Notre Dame guard Martin Ingelsby said.
The streak is the longest in the history of the series, which Indiana (4-3) leads 45-19, and marked the 11th victory in 12 years for the Hoosiers.
Tom Coverdale scored 30 points to more than double his career high, making more shots (11) than his previous high for attempts (10) and going 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. He also had six assists.
“I had no idea Coverdale would come out and get 30 points,” interim Indiana coach Mike Davis said. “Now he knows this is his team. I think guys defensively take him for granted.”
Coverdale hit a 3-pointer 34 seconds into the game and scored seven of Indiana’s first 11 points to get started.
“When someone is playing like that, you just give him the ball and let him go to work,” said freshman Jared Jefferies, who scored 14 points for Indiana.
Notre Dame, which shot 52.9 percent through its first four games, was held to a season-low 38.2 percent, and the 53.3 percent Indiana shot was the best against the Irish this season.
“We felt that they hadn’t seen a defense, the type of pressure we put on them, yet this season,” Coverdale said. “We knew it would get them frustrated a little bit.”
Irish coach Mike Brey said his team couldn’t stop with Hoosiers with any sort of consistency.
“You always hope your team doesn’t have to get their rear ends kicked to learn a lesson, but a lot of teams do,” he said.
David Graves, who scored 14 points for the Irish, said Indiana played great defense.
“That’s the signature of Indiana. Everything we tried to do they had a counter,” he said.
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame’s leading scorer who sprained his right ankle in practice Monday, played 37 minutes but was 5-of-18 from the field and scored 15 points.
The Hoosiers, who had beaten the Irish in overtime the past two seasons, were in control through much of the game, although the Irish did manage to tie it briefly late in the first half. The Hoosiers went on a 13-0 run early in the second half and led by double figures most of the rest of the game. The Irish finished the game with a 7-0 run to make it closer.
Kirk Haston, who did not play Saturday because of a sprained toe, had 19 points and eight rebounds for Indiana, while Kyle Hornsby had 11 points.
Ryan Humphrey had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Irish, while Matt Carroll had 12 points and Ingelsby scored 11.
After Humphrey scored early in the second half, Indiana went on the 13-0 run to open a 50-36 lead.
The Irish cut the lead to 67-59 on a 3-pointer by Graves. But the Irish turned the ball over and Murphy was called for an intentional foul as he reached out and grabbed Coverdale’s shirt on a fastbreak. Coverdale hit both free throws and Haston hit a jumper inside on the next possession to make it 71-59.
Coverdale, who twice before had scored 13 points, had 16 points at halftime, hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hoosiers a 37-34 halftime lead.
“I felt I could get by my man tonight so I tried to look for it as much as possible,” Coverdale said.