Saturday, March 18, 2000

Pepperdine 77, Indiana 57

AP Basketball Writer

        BUFFALO, N.Y. — Pepperdine made Bob Knight's week a lot worse.

        The 11th-seeded Waves beat sixth-seeded Indiana 77-57 Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional, ending a week in which the Hoosiers coach was forced to defend himself against allegations he once choked a former player.

        It was the second straight NCAA tournament loss by at least 20 points for Indiana, beaten 86-61 by St. John's in the second round last season. That was the worst tournament loss in school history.

        “Not a bit. That didn't even enter the game,” Knight said when asked if the early part of the week had been a distraction to his team.

        Pepperdine (25-8) took control right away against the Hoosiers (20-9), using a 12-0 run for a 24-8 lead with 10:07 left in the first half. The Waves were relentless in their defensive intensity, and the Hoosiers missed 12 of their first 14 shots from the field.

        A 9-0 run made it 39-19 with 3:35 left, and the West Coast Conference regular-season champions took a 45-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

        “I thought we went out and executed our game plan extremely well,” Pepperdine coach Jan van Breda Kolff said. “We got our confidence right away and got the press going which is the key to our team.”

        The Waves face third-seeded Oklahoma State, which beat 14th-seeded Hofstra 86-66, in the second round. It will be the first time Pepperdine has played in the second round since 1982, when Jim Harrick was the coach. The Waves, making their first appearance since 1994, had lost six straight NCAA games.

        “We came with a goal of making it to Syracuse,” van Breda Kolff said, looking ahead to next week's regional. “We have another game to win to do that.”

        The loss ended a two-year run of second-round appearances by the Hoosiers, appearing in their 15th straight NCAA tournament. Prior to the last two years, Indiana had lost three straight first-round games.

        “When we were really good, we didn't make an early exit,” Knight said. “Lately, we haven't been really good. We just got beat badly. I don't think there's any way to go about it. ... We just got pounded.”

        Knight, who has led Indiana to three NCAA titles in 29 seasons, was accused earlier this week by former player Neil Reed of choking him during a practice in 1997. Knight didn't address the matter specifically in his pre-tournament news conference Thursday, instead issuing a 20-minute opening statement defending his program and saying he didn't think he had anything to apologize for.

        “I know Coach had prepared us the best way he could but we didn't come out and execute,” guard A.J. Guyton said, when asked if the controversy surrounding Knight was a distraction. “It seemed they were a step quicker than us at everything. We had a difficult time making layups and easy baskets and they converted everything.”

        Brandon Armstrong had 18 of his 22 points in the first half for the Waves, while Nick Shephard added 17.

        “I think we really shocked them with our intensity and playing our game,” Armstrong said. “You could see their faces going down, and I knew that was the time to attack them.”

        Guyton, a senior All-America, had only three points — all on free throws in the first half — and took only two shots, one in each half.

        It matched the lowest point total of the year for Guyton, who had three points in an 87-63 loss to Illinois, the Hoosiers' worst of the season. Guyton averaged 20.3 points this season and finished as the fourth-leading scorer in school history with 2,100 points.

        “A lot of things were involved in that,” Knight said of Pepperdine's defensive job on Guyton. “They changed people and stayed with him. We knew he would be the focal point of their defense.”

        Kyle Hornsby had 15 points to lead Indiana, and Jeffrey Newton added 13.

        Van Breda Kolff, in his first year at Pepperdine, was working as hard as his players on the sideline, spending most of the game with his hands up and dropping into a defensive stance. It was van Breda Kolff's second NCAA tournament game; he lost in the first round with Vanderbilt in 1997.

        “Brandon established our perimeter game early and they extended their defense and that let Nick go one on one and he had a great game,” van Breda Kolff said.

        The Waves shot 50 percent in the first half (17-for-34), while Indiana was just 9-for-31 (29 percent).

        Pepperdine went after every pass and rebound and seemed to corral all the loose balls.

        Indiana closed to 49-38 with 11:50 left, but the Waves went on a 10-0 run and the outcome was never in doubt again.

        “We got back to 11 and now you've just to keep it going and they just took it completely away from us and the game was over,” Knight said.

        The sellout crowd of 19,357 at the HSBC Arena was solidly behind the Waves except for the solid block of Indiana fans behind the Hoosiers bench.

        Indiana lost starting center Kirk Haston to a right knee injury early in the first half. He was on the bench in the second half, using crutches.

        “He sprained the outside of his knee,” Knight said. “It's hard to imagine he would made a difference in the way they played.”

        It was the Hoosiers' third straight loss. They closed the regular season at Wisconsin, then lost to Illinois in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

        “If we could have stopped three games ago, we would have had a hell of a season,” Knight said.

Controversial week for Knight ends with exit
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                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Prince          26   2-6   3-4   1-6  1  3    8
Gibbs           20   3-7   0-0   1-4  0  4    8
Sheppard        20  8-12   1-3   5-8  2  3   17
Armstrong       29  9-19   0-0   2-5  3  1   22
Archie          34   2-7   2-2   0-2 11  2    6
Roy              2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Lewis           13   3-4   1-2   0-3  1  4    9
Fomby            3   0-0   1-2   0-1  0  0    1
Berry            3   0-1   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
Minahan         13   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Brazzle          3   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Lalazarian      17   0-4   2-2   0-0  2  1    2
Suitt           17   1-1   2-4   3-4  0  2    4
TOTALS         200 28-64 12-19 13-34 20 20   77

Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Prince 1-1, Gibbs 2-3, Armstrong 4-6, Archie 0-2, Lewis 2-3, Lalazarian 0-2). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (Suitt 3). Turnovers: 15 (Prince 4, Armstrong 3, Archie 2, Gibbs 2, Lalazarian, Lewis, Minahan, Suitt). Steals: 13 (Armstrong 6, Archie 2, Sheppard 2, Gibbs, Lewis, Prince).

INDIANA (57) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Newton 34 5-13 3-4 2-9 3 1 13 Washington 14 2-4 2-2 1-3 0 1 6 Haston 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Lewis 26 2-6 1-2 1-5 3 3 6 Guyton 34 0-2 3-5 0-1 2 0 3 Coverdale 4 0-1 0-0 0-1 2 0 0 Fife 25 1-4 2-2 1-2 1 5 4 Jimenez 17 0-3 0-1 1-2 1 1 0 Hornsby 19 6-6 1-2 0-1 2 2 15 Richardson 16 2-7 2-2 0-4 0 4 6 Odle 6 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 3 0 Geyer 3 1-3 0-0 2-2 0 0 2 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 20-52 14-20 8-31 14 21 57 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.385, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (Lewis 1-4, Guyton 0-2, Fife 0-2, Jimenez 0-3, Hornsby 2-2). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3 (Newton 3). Turnovers: 21 (Lewis 4, Washington 4, Fife 3, Hornsby 3, Guyton 2, Jimenez 2, Newton 2, Odle). Steals: 8 (Fife 3, Lewis 3, Guyton, Jimenez). __________________________________ Pepperdine 45 32 - 77 Indiana 27 30 - 57 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. A: 19,338. Officials: Mark Whitehead, David Day, Carl Hess.

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