For seven minutes in Puerto Rico, Indiana looked capable of hanging with Ole Miss.
And just like that, the Rebels reeled off a 28-5 run en route to a comfortable 89-71 win in the opening round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Tip-Off Classic.
“I thought our guys responded to Indiana coming out and being aggressive, which you would hope an experienced team would do,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “We have some experienced guards and made some adjustments.”
Indiana had no answer on the inside for Ole Miss (3-0), which blocked 12 shots, out-rebounded IU 46-43 and shot 51.5 percent from the field.
Murphy Holloway scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Rebels and Chris Warren had 16.
“We tried to get Murph behind the zone, because they got so extended on the perimeter,” Kennedy said of Holloway. “It opened up some opportunities behind the zone.”
The Hoosiers (2-1) committed 21 turnovers, 14 in the first half, and shot just 12 of 27 from the foul line.
“We made too many mistakes to win the game,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “They were more physical and we didn’t do a great job of playing through that.”
After trailing by as many as 15 in the second half, Indiana had a chance to cut the lead to six with 5:40 remaining. But an errant pass from Devan Dumes to Jeremiah Rivers on a 3-on-1 fast break ended IU’s 9-2 run.
Maurice Creek led three Indiana players in double figures with 18 points. Verdell Jones added 17 and Rivers had 14. The bench, however, contributed just nine points.
“A loss is a loss,” Jones said. “We just have to come back and improve and get tougher.”
Pick to Click: Jeremiah Rivers
Up next: Boston University at 6:00 ET on Friday.
Tough game for Watford: The freshman from Birmingham (AL) hit just 2 of 10 shots and scored five points. Watford was averaging a double-double in his first two games.
Off the mark from outside: The Hoosiers shot just 3 of 15 from behind the three-point line.