Indiana handles New Mexico StateMar 16, 2012 - 5:21 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Jordan Hulls made four three-pointers en route to 22 points, as the Indiana Hoosiers handled the New Mexico State Aggies, 79-66, in a second round South Regional matchup in the NCAA Tournament.
Christian Watford, Will Sheehey and Cody Zeller added 14 points apiece for the fourth-seeded Hoosiers (26-8), who are appearing in the NCAA tourney for the first time since 2008.
Indiana, which shot 59.3 percent from the floor, will next do battle with 12th-seeded VCU on Saturday.
"We are extremely happy with the win," Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. "Not satisfied in the sense that there's -- we could have played better at times, and there's more basketball ahead of us, but happy to have the first game put away now. And the key for us was our approach. Our approach was outstanding, it's been outstanding all year."
Wendell McKines ended with 15 points and seven rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (26-10), who have lost their opening game in their last five trips to the NCAA Tournament and have not won a game in the event since 1993.
Bandja Sy and Daniel Mullings tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively, for New Mexico State, which won the Western Athletic Conference title game.
"So I was really proud of the way we played, obviously. I thought that my guys played really, really hard," New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies said. "But we just lost to the better team tonight. They were the better team. They shot it better. We out-rebounded them. But at the end of the day you've got to take care of the ball in championship play."
Zeller started the game with a jumper and Indiana led for the entire game. Watford made a three-pointer during a 9-0 run moments later, which gave the Hoosiers an early 14-4 margin.
The score was 33-22 with 6:11 remaining in the first half, when New Mexico State ripped off six straight points to get within five.
But Watford's layup before the break made it a 35-28 game.
The Hoosiers created some distance early in the second half. Holding a 45-36 lead, Indiana went on a 17-5 run. Hulls scored his team's final 11 points of the burst to make it 62-41 with 11:42 left.
New Mexico State failed to recover and it remained a double-digit game the rest of the way.
Thursday's game was the first meeting between Indiana and New Mexico State since 1961. The Hoosiers improved to 11-1 all-time versus teams from the Western Athletic Conference...The Hoosiers are making their 36th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They own a 61-30 overall record in the event...The Aggies made their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. They fell to 10-21 in the event...New Mexico State shot 55.1 percent from the field, but turned the ball over 17 times.
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 66
Mar 15 11:57 PM
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 28
Mar 15 10:42 PM
- NEW MEXICO STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 15 9:57 PM
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