Bob Knight couldn't find any serious fault with the way Indiana played Wednesday night.
Even the freshmen off the bench were impressive.
"Our objective was to play 40 minutes, 40 good minutes ... and I thought we played 40 tonight. Every time there was a timeout, I kept reminding them how many minutes we had yet to play," Knight said after the No. 21 Hoosiers beat Alabama-Birmingham 91-54.
"I was really pleased with the concentration we had and the effort we had for the whole ball game," the Indiana coach said.
Starters A.J. Guyton and Luke Recker had 21 and 20 points, respectively, but Knight substituted freely almost the entire game and the Indiana bench also totaled 41 points, including 28 by a quartet of freshmen. The fact Indiana continued building its lead with the subs in the game also pleased Knight.
"You never like to see anything deteriorate," he said. "We got good play, and we've got some kids playing there that are really going to help us."
The Hoosiers (4-0) used two big runs in the first half to take control.
Guyton had 11 points during a 17-4 streak midway through the opening period as Indiana went ahead 24-11. The Blazers (1-1) closed within nine points on two free throws and a basket by Fred Williams, but a 3-point play by freshman Kirk Haston started a 15-4 Indiana run that put the game out of reach.
"We feel very humbled," Alabama-Birmingham coach Murry Bartow said. "We felt we would be in the game. We won 21 games last year and beat some pretty good teams on the road."
"We never could get it going, and then we couldn't recover. In the second half, we started trying to do some things to get back in the game, and a 20-point lead turns into 35."
Recker, a 6-foot-6 sophomore who started at forward and moved tguard when the Hoosiers brought in bigger players, scored the final eight Indiana points of the half on a 3-point shot, another basket and three free throws for a 39-21 lead.
Indiana, which came from 19 points down at the half to beat Indiana State in its last game, never allowed Alabama-Birmingham any kind of comeback. The Blazers didn't score more than two baskets in a row the whole game and managed only three field goals and three free throws in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
"I give Indiana credit," said Bartow, who was on Knight's staff as a graduate assistant in 1985-87. "When they get it going, they're as well-coached defensively as any team in the country."
A rebound basket and free throw by Recker pushed Indiana's lead to 60-34. Although the starters went to the bench for good with eight minutes to go, the Hoosiers continued widening the lead.
A 3-pointer by Luke Jimenez gave Indiana a 77-42 lead, and the Blazers never came closer than 29 points the rest of the game. Freshmen Tom Geyer, Dane Fife and Jarrad Odle combined for Indiana's final 10 points.
Williams and Antonio Jackson, who scored all his points in the second half, led Alabama-Birmingham with 11 points apiece.
Every Indiana player scored, including 10 by Haston, eight by Fife and six apiece by Odle and Rob Turner.
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