BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)Race Thompson had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and short-handed No. 18 Indiana beat Elon 96-72 on Tuesday night.
The Hoosiers were missing their two leading scorers. Center Trayce Jackson-Davis (16.4 points per game) sat for precautionary reasons with nagging back and hand injuries, and point guard Xavier Johnson (9.9 points) was sidelined by a foot injury.
But the Hoosiers (9-3) had too much depth against the visitors from the Colonial Athletic Association as they ended a two-game skid. Indiana was coming off losses to top-10 foes Arizona in Las Vegas and Kansas on the Jayhawks’ home floor.
”A big part of the season is ahead and honestly it’s about making guys come together,” said Indiana’s Miller Kopp, who had 13 points. ”I always say when the spider webs unite, you can tie up a line. At the end of the day, it’s just about getting guys to understand that we need everybody.”
Thompson made 9 of 13 shots for his ninth career double-double and first of the season. He came in averaging 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino had 17 points and seven assists for the Hoosiers.
”Everybody had a chance to play,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. ”Guys have got to step up and make plays, and I thought for the most part, everybody did that. I don’t like the fact that we gave up 72 points. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Woodson said he’s unsure if Jackson-Davis or Johnson will be back for the next game on Friday.
”Don’t know, I wish I could tell you that,” he said. ”We’ll welcome ’em back when the time comes.”
Max Mackinnon led Elon (2-11) with 19 points and Sean Halloran added 15.
”We’ve had some moments where we’ve looked really good,” Elon coach Billy Taylor said. ”I’m proud of the guys for the way we fought in the second half.”
The Phoenix kept the game close early because they made six of their first nine attempts from beyond the arc, but they missed their last five 3s of the first half and Indiana closed on a 20-4 run for a 47-29 lead. Elon never got closer than 14 points in the second half. Woodson didn’t play his starters for the last 5:16.
”That one significant run hurt us,” Taylor said.
Elon: Since becoming a Division I program in 1999, the Phoenix have lost all 30 games against ranked opponents. Elon hit 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions to close within 27-25 with 6:55 remaining in the first half before the Hoosiers pulled away.
Indiana: After double-digit losses to Kansas and Arizona, the Hoosiers got the bounce-back effort they expected against an outmanned opponent. The Hoosiers not having their top two scorers contributed to making the game more interesting for much of the first half.
Elon: Visits Drexel on Dec. 29.
Indiana: Hosts Kennesaw State on Friday.
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