Bloomington, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Sophomore Cody Zeller scored 20 points and grabbed eight boards as No. 1 Indiana crushed No. 14 North Carolina, 83-59, for its seventh straight victory Tuesday at Assembly Hall.
The 7-0 Zeller tallied his ninth career game with 20 or more points and matched his career high with four blocks. He has scored in double figures 38 times in 42 career games and six times this season for the Hoosiers (7-0).
Juniors Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey backed up Zeller with 19 points apiece while Jordan Hulls scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and issued eight assists as the Hoosiers extended their home winning streak against ranked opponents to five.
The 24-point margin is the largest for Indiana over a ranked foe since defeating No. 15 Kentucky 81-53 on Dec. 10, 2005. The score was also the second-largest margin of victory over the Tar Heels a 107-81 win on Dec. 12, 1964.
Dexter Strickland scored 14 points, Marcus Paige had 11 and James McAdoo finished with 10 for the Tar Heels (5-2), who missed sophomore guard P.J. Hairston because of a sprained left knee.
The Hoosiers were nearly flawless for more than 20 minutes, committing just one turnover form the 3:00 mark in the first half until the 2:16 mark of the second half.
Indiana sparked a 13-6 run in the last four minutes of the first half to take a 46-37 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Hoosiers held North Carolina without a field goal until the 14:58 mark of the second half and started a 22-3 run that padded their lead to 68-40 after a layup by Oladipo.
The Hoosiers won the battle on the boards, outrebounding UNC 49-42, and scored a season-high 46 points in the shaded area, their biggest since scoring 52 against Kentucky in the final game of last season.
The Hoosiers had 19 points off 12 UNC turnovers and scored 19 second chance points. The Indiana bench scored 27 points, compared to 19 for North Carolina.