BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Josh Newkirk scored a season-high 20 points as Indiana bounced back from an ugly 20-point home loss three days ago with an 87-59 rout of visiting Tennessee Tech on Thursday.
The senior point guard hit six of nine shots, including three 3-pointers, and also had six assists and four rebounds for the Hoosiers (7-6).
Indiana’s scoring contributions from 10 players also included Robert Johnson with 12 and Freddie McSwain Jr. with 10.
The victory was a much-needed boost for an enigmatic Indiana squad, which lost 92-72 to Fort Wayne on Monday to suffer its fifth double-digit loss of the season.
Tennessee Tech (8-5) was outscored 49-33 in the second half.
Kajon Mack led the Golden Eagles with 14 points.
Tennessee Tech missed seven of eight shots to fall behind 25-15. The Golden Eagles managed to cut the deficit to 27-24 with a 9-2 run, but Indiana answered with an 11-2 spurt as Newkirk scored four and Johnson sank a 3-pointer for a 38-26 Hoosiers lead at halftime.
Tennessee Tech: Missed an opportunity for its best start since opening 9-4 in 2001-02. The Golden Eagles also dropped to 1-5 in away games. Tennessee Tech has never defeated Indiana in four meetings nor has it knocked off a Power Five conference opponent since Oregon State on Dec. 16, 2007.
Indiana: One home win against an underdog won’t erase the memory of losing so badly to Fort Wayne, but it’s a start. The Hoosiers needed a confidence boost, especially when considering they have only one non-conference game remaining before the start of Big Ten play.
Tennessee Tech: Aleksa Jugovic, the team’s leading scorer this season, managed just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting. He entered with a 14.3-point average. . The Golden Eagles shot just 24 of 64 (37.5 percent).
Indiana: The Hoosiers enjoyed a 17-10 advantage in assists and an 18-4 scoring edge in points off turnovers. . Finished 30 of 67 (44.8 percent) from the field.
SMILING THROUGH PAIN
Indiana sophomore forward De’Ron Davis flashed an amused but uncomfortable grin after being struck in the left groin while making a first-half hook shot. He hobbled down the floor, laughing and grimacing at the same time, and assured the coaching staff he was OK. The Hoosiers sat him down and applied a large bag of ice to the area.
Davis returned and finished with nine points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.
Tennessee Tech: Opens Ohio Valley Conference play next Tuesday with a home game against Morehead State.
Indiana: Hosts Youngstown State on Dec. 29 in final non-conference game on the schedule.