Updated at: 11/15/2012 9:35 PM
By CLIFF BRUNT
(AP) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Sam Houston State challenged Arkansas in its season opener before losing a close one and had hoped to duplicate that effort against another big school on Thursday night.
The Bearkats had no such luck against No. Indiana as Christian Watford scored 23 points to help the Hoosiers roll to a 99-45 victory in the Progressive Legends Classic.
Paul Baxter scored nine points and Marquel McKinney had eight for Sam Houston State (1-2), which started the season by losing 73-68 at Arkansas.
"I want to apologize for our performance tonight," Sam Houston State coach Jason Hooten said. "We’re way better than that. We weren’t very good tonight. I’m embarrassed by it. Not taking anything away from Indiana. They have a great team and they had a lot to do with our performance."
Will Sheehey scored 18 points, Victor Oladipo had 14, Cody Zeller scored 13 and Jordan Hulls 10 for the Hoosiers (3-0), who shot 57 percent from the field and made 9 of 21 3-pointers.
Indiana beat the Bearkats in every possible way. About the only thing Indiana coach Tom Crean could complain about was that the Hoosiers made just 30 of 44 free throws.
The only drama remaining at the end was whether Indiana would score 100 points. The home crowd booed as the Bearkats basically ran out the clock in the final seconds.
Hooten said Crean was kind when the two met at midcourt after the game.
"He’s a class act," Hooten said. "He’s a great coach. He said that I’m doing a really good job and we’ve got a really good team and we’re way better than we think we are. He watched a lot of tape and had his guys prepared because he thought that we were really good."
Two early 3-pointers by Hulls helped the Hoosiers shake off a bit of a slow start and take a 9-2 lead. Sam Houston State made one field goal in the first 6:30 of the game and fell behind 16-2.
Indiana hit 4 of 6 3-pointers early to take a 23-6 lead and force a Sam Houston State timeout.
Indiana pushed the lead to 30-10 before the Bearkats’ Michael Holyfield, a 6-foot-11 center who was guarding Zeller, committed his third foul. Indiana took advantage inside, and Oladipo’s powerful two-handed dunk down the middle of the lane pushed the lead to 36-13.
The Hoosiers reached 50 points on a 3-point play by Zeller in the final minute of the first half and led 52-25 at the break. Watford, who didn’t start, led Indiana with 11 points in 11 minutes in the first half. The Hoosiers outscored the Bearkats 17-4 from the free-throw line before the break.
No Sam Houston State player scored more than five points in the first half. The Bearkats shot 32 percent before the break and committed 10 turnovers.
Indiana continued to roll in the second half. A beautiful no-look pass from Hulls from near halfcourt found Watford under the basket, and Watford converted the layup to give the Hoosiers a 64-29 lead. A putback one-handed jam by Zeller made it 66-30.
Hulls scored his 1,000th career point on a 3-pointer that gave the Hoosiers an 82-38 lead, and the home crowd gave him a standing ovation. An alley-oop pass from Maurice Creek and two-handed jam by Austin Etherington bumped Indiana’s lead to 98-44.
"We didn’t do a lot of the things that we’ve been taught, and that’s disappointing as a coach," Hooten said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)