LAHAINA, Hawaii (Ticker) -- Indiana's opponents spent the offseason trying to figure out how to stop the Hoosiers' talented backcourt. They should have paid more attention to center George Leach.
Leach set career highs with 19 points and 16 rebounds as the 20th-ranked Hoosiers downed Massachusetts, 84-71, in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Senior guard Tom Coverdale led the way with 20 points on 5-of-20 shooting, but it was the 6-11 Leach, who averaged 2.8 points per game last season, who was surprisingly productive in the Hoosiers' up-tempo offense.
"If we don't have George Leach, it's a different ballgame," coach Mike Davis said. "He can really rebound when he wants to."
In addition to blocking four shots, the junior hit 9-of-14 shots and unveiled an excellent mid-range jumper as Indiana (1-0) opened its season with a balanced attack. Jeff Newton netted 14 points, freshman Bracey Wright finished with 11 and Kyle Hornsby added 10 as all five starters scored in double figures.
Coverdale added six assists and four rebounds for the Hoosiers, who lost to Maryland in the national championship last year.
The Minutemen led early but were unable to stay with the hot-shooting Hoosiers. After UMass' Michael Lasme nailed a 3-pointer to forge a 16-16 tie 5:45 into the game, Coverdale drained a 3-pointer to spark a 16-3 run.
Coverdale netted eight points in the burst, which also featured 3-pointers by Wright and Hornsby. Indiana was 9-of-15 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Trailing 35-21, the Minutemen closed the gap with a 14-5 run keyed by Lamb and Micah Brand. The duo had six points apiece in the spurt, including Raheim Lamb's tip-in with 4:10 to go that cut the deficit to 40-35.
"Micah Brand is a tough matchup. He's the type of guy I like in my system, tall, athletic... I think Leach played well defensively," Davis said.
Leading 45-40, Indiana gained some breathing room by scoring the final five points of the half.
Coverdale had 14 points and Leach 13 as Indiana shot 53 percent (18-of-34) from the field in the first half before cooling off to hit 44 percent (28-of-64) for the game.
The Minutemen failed to make a run in the second half as neither team shot well. Indiana took its biggest lead when Coverdale sank two free throws with 2:05 remaining for an 83-65 advantage.
Lamb collected 17 points and 12 rebounds and Marcus Cox chipped in with 14 points for the Minutemen (0-1), who missed 17-of-19 3-pointers.
UMass shot 41 percent (27-of-67) from the floor and was hammered on the boards, 51-36. The Minutemen also had poor ball movement, dishing out just 10 assists.
Indiana will face No. 20 Gonzaga in the semifinals.