BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- Challenged by coach Mike Davis to provide some senior leadership, Tom Coverdale answered the way he does best - with his shooting.
Coverdale tied a career high with six 3-pointers and Kyle Hornsby drained five as the 17th-ranked Hoosiers cruised to a 71-57 victory over Big Ten rival Northwestern.
Coverdale went 6-of-9 from behind the arc while Hornsby sank 5-of-7.
Both finished with 19 points for the Hoosiers (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten), who shot 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from 3-point range and 62.5 percent (25-of-40) overall in winning their 26th in a row over the Wildcats, who have never won at Assembly Hall.
Indiana came out shooting, as Hornsby and Coverdale hit 3-pointers around a free throw by A.J. Moye. Moye then sank a layup and George Leach dunked for an 11-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
"Tonight we played with some passion," Davis said. "I've been talking about playing with intensity and passion for a long time. We have played hard, but not with passion."
Jason Burke scored 14 points and freshman T.J. Parker 12 for the Wildcats (8-6, 0-3), who did not score until Burke's bucket 5:43 into the contest.
Davis, disappointed with Coverdale's play in Indiana's loss to Ohio State on Saturday, said his senior hasn't shown any leadership since a December 3 victory over Maryland.
After the game, Davis praised Coverdale while continuing to stress the need for consistent leadership.
"Coverdale showed great leadership tonight and was at his best best since the Maryland game," Davis said. "If we can continue to have him play this way, we'll win some basketball games.
"Leach dove for a loose ball tonight. If Leach sees Coverdale on the floor, he'll get on the floor. If Leach isn't on the floor for the ball, then Coverdale should tell him to get on the floor for the basketball. It doesn't need to come from me all the time."
Coverdale responded with 6-of-10 shooting while dishing out 10 assists and collecting six rebounds and four steals. He also became the 37th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.
Hornsby hit four 3-pointers in the first half to pace the Hoosiers to a 34-22 advantage at the break.
The second half was marked by hot shooting and poor defense by both teams. The Wildcats, who shot just 31 percent (8-of-26) in the first half, shot 64 percent (14-of-22) in the second.
But Indiana was even better, hitting at a blistering 78 percent (14-of-18) clip in the second period.
"It's our older guys. Picking between guarding (6-11 Jeff Newton) at 27 feet and guarding Coverdale, we're guarding Newton," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "A couple of times two of our guards were guarding one guy."
Northwestern never recovered from the Hoosiers' quick start.
It fell down by 17 early in the second half before 3-pointers by Parker and Burke cut the deficit to 46-35 with 11:51 to play, but Sean Kline hit a bucket and a free throw and freshman Marshall Strickland drained a 3-pointer to boost the lead to 51-35.
Jimmy Maley answered with a layup before Coverdale sank a 3-pointer to give Indiana an 18-point advantage.
Newton had eight points to complement 10 rebounds as the Hoosiers enjoyed a 30-16 rebounding advantage.
"We just wanted to come in and show more intensity," Newton said. "Even if we thought we were showing intensity, if (Davis) doesn't, then we have to show more."
The Wildcats fell to 0-29 at Assembly Hall with their third straight loss overall.