Wilmont helps Indiana get revenge on GonzagaMar 16, 2007 - 6:30 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Indiana didn't waste its chance to get revenge against Gonzaga.
Roderick Wilmont scored 22 points to lead the seventh-seeded Hoosiers to a workmanlike 70-57 victory over the 10th-seeded Bulldogs in an NCAA Tournament West Region first-round matchup.
D.J. White scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Indiana (21-10), which avenged a second-round loss to Gonzaga in last season's NCAA tourney.
The Zags (23-11) didn't have an answer for the inside-outside combo of Wilmont and White. Wilmont scored 16 of his points in the opening 20 minutes to stake the Hoosiers to a 34-29 halftime lead before White did the heavy lifting after the break.
"That was the game plan," Wilmont said. "Coach just said go out there and be aggressive and start throwing the ball to D.J. He's a great passer, he's going to look for open guys. He passed me the ball and I was wide open. I just knocked down open shots."
White had his way against Gonzaga underneath, taking advantage of a frontline that was without center Josh Heytvelt, who was suspended earlier in the season on drug possession charges.
Indiana also shut down the Zags' offense, limiting them to one field goal over eight minutes in the second half.
"The big difference is defense," White said. "Last year we didn't play any defense in this game. That's what we pride ourselves on all year. We just wanted to come into this game and play Hoosier basketball and defend. I think we did a pretty good job tonight."
White scored four points in an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 53-41 with 9 1/2 minutes to play and never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
"Indiana really stepped up and made shots, made plays, and pretty much out-toughed us in the second half," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "That's why they move on and we go home. Tip our hat to them.
"I'm proud of (my) guys, though. To get back to the NCAA tournament, make it nine straight, is an amazing accomplishment in lieu of everything we've been through. As I told them, I'm as proud of these guys as any team I've ever had."
Wilmont buried his sixth 3-pointer to push the lead to 66-54 with 2:05 to play and send Indiana into a second-round matchup with second-seeded UCLA on Saturday.
"UCLA is the number two team in the country, arguably number one," Hoosiers coach Kelvin Sampson said. "I think they have a better team this year and last year they were in the championship game. It's going to be a tough game for us. We'll see."
Derek Raivio and David Pendergraft scored 12 points apiece for the Bulldogs, who shot 35 percent (19-of-54).
"It just wasn't our night tonight," Raivio said. "We had a lot of close shots around the hoop. I missed one or two and a couple other missed a couple. That happens. Not all of them can go in. Sometimes you have a rough game like that."
Both teams started off on fire. With 5:30 left in the first half and the score tied at 23, Indiana was 7-of-15 and Gonzaga 5-of-8 from the arc. The Hoosier never hit another 3-pointer and the Bulldogs went 4-of-17 the rest of the way.
"At halftime we talked a lot about running the offense through D.J. on the block," Sampson said. "We really stressed not to shoot threes unless the ball went inside-out.
"D.J. did a good job of knocking down either shots or throwing it out. D.J. had four assists and no turnovers tonight. When you can get that kind of line from your post guy, it helps you."
- WEST REGIONAL
AT SACRAMENTO CA
NCAA BB WEST REGIONAL
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
GONZAGA 29 28 57
INDIANA 34 36 70 FINAL
Mar 15 11:53 PM
- WEST REGIONAL
AT SACRAMENTO CA
NCAA BB (10) GONZAGA 29
(7) INDIANA 34 HALFTIME
Mar 15 10:34 PM
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