Cheaney's 32 send Indiana into the Final 8 Hoosiers turn back Louisville, 82-69

March 26, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Indiana coach Bob Knight likes to say that when Calbert Cheaney is at his best, the All-American forward is "hard to guard."

Last night Cheaney was virtually impossible to guard. Louisville tried three different players and nearly as many different defenses. None worked.

In a typically dazzling 32-point performance, Cheaney hit 10 of 12 shots from both the field and the foul line to lead the top-ranked, top-seeded Hoosiers past the fifth-seeded Cardinals, 82-69, in the first NCAA Midwest Regional at the Arena.

The victory put Indiana (31-3) into tomorrow night's regional final against the winner of last night's second game between second-seeded Kansas (27-6) and sixth-seeded Cal (21-8).

The game still in doubt, with a little over seven minutes left and the Hoosiers leading by only three, 62-59, when Cheaney took over, hitting four straight shots in an 11-3 run that all but secured the victory.

Louisville (22-9) stayed close by hitting its outside shots, but they started to fall short or go long as the Cardinal wore down against the bigger, brawnier Hoosiers. Though the Hoosiers opened the door momentarily by missing a couple of one-and-ones with a nine-point lead, Louisville didn't have the strength to knock it down.

Both teams came out shooting the ball extremely well. Even though the Hoosiers hit seven of their first eight, 10 of 12 and 13 of 16, all they could manage was a seven-point lead, 35-28, with a little over six minutes left in the first half.

The Cardinals weren't too cold themselves, making 11 of their first 22, including four of their first seven three-pointers. Included in that was a three that was banked in from straightaway by Dwayne Morton.

The play that got Louisville back into the game involved Morton and Cheaney. Morton went in for a dunk and Cheaney went up for the block, fouling Morton. The two players turned immediately, jawing nose-to-nose at each.

Both players were assessed technical fouls. Morton made both free throws. Indiana's Greg Graham hit a pair for the Hoosiers and James Brewer hit the technical free throws for Louisville. The Cardinals finished off the sequence with a three-point shot by Greg Minor, cutting Indiana's lead to two, 37-35.

After a rebound basket by Indiana's Matt Nover, it was down to one when Louisville freshman Tick Rogers scored on a three-point play. The Cardinals kept it close down to the 90 seconds of the half, but were outscored 8-2 after Morton picked up his third foul and found themselves behind 50-43 at halftime.

Indiana junior Damon Bailey, who had missed the only two shots he had taken in the first 18 minutes, made a pair of huge three-pointers. The second, following a steal by freshman Brian Evans, came at the halftime buzzer. The Hoosiers finished the half hitting 17 of 23 from the field.

Indiana had three players in double figures by halftime: Greg Graham (six of seven) had 16 points, Cheaney (three of three, seven of eight from the line) had 14 and senior center Matt Nover had 11. Brewer had 10 points for Louisville on three-of-10 shooting, while Minor had nine. The Cardinals was 15-of-30 from the field.

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