No. 16/17 Indiana Rolls Past Iowa, 103-89
Jan. 29, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Six Hoosiers reached double-digit points led by a career-high 26 points from freshman Cody Zeller as the No. 16/17 Indiana men's basketball team defeated Iowa, 103-89.
Indiana's 103 points, marking the first time a Big Ten team scored 100+ in a conference game since Michigan State scored 103 on March 2, 2008. The last time IU scored 100-plus in a Big Ten game was March 12, 1995, against Iowa (110).
"Again, 17 wins, 17 different ways to win and I thought our team responded to the last couple of days, they were excited to play," said Indiana head coach Tom Crean. "They had tremendous energy and I think the energy of the crowd helped fuel them even more. This is one of the best crowds of start to finish, just the level of enthusiasm and energy that we've had all year. We've had some awesome crowds, but our crowd was tremendous today. I thought our team came out with really good resolve and we knew we were playing a team that the number one focus for us was the transition offense and it was even better than we thought. They really did a great job of getting out and running and getting some easy baskets, but our guys continued to respond. We didn't want to get into a situation where we were trading baskets and there were a couple of times it did, maybe that was just the pace of the game, but for the most part, our guys did a very good job of moving the basketball."
The Hoosiers (17-5, 5-5) dominated the paint, scoring 58 of their 103 points around the rim. Zeller made 11-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line for his 26 points. He also tallied four rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block in 28 minutes. Junior Christian Watford netted 15 points and grabbed a team-high seven boards. Senior Verdell Jones III scored 14 points and added a career-high nine assists. Sophomore Victor Oladipo scored 12 points off the bench and added six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. Junior Derek Elston netted 11 points off the bench and added two rebounds and two blocks and sophomore Will Sheehey scored 10 points in his first start of the season, to go along with four rebounds and two assists.
Early in the first half, Indiana kept a slim margin over the Hawkeyes (11-11, 3-6) until a dunk from Zeller at the 6:35 mark sparked a 22-6 IU run that gave the Hoosiers a 54-37 lead at the break. Indiana continued to dominate the second half, leading by double-digits, including 24-point lead, in the final 20 minutes for the 103-89 win.
Indiana shot 55.2 percent (37-of-67) from the field and 80.6 percent (25-of-31) from the free throw line. The Hoosiers also won the battle on the boards 37-22, including grabbing 20 offensive rebounds. The last time IU had 20 offensive rebounds in a game was Jan. 17, 2010, when the team pulled down 20 against Minnesota. The Hoosiers dished out 20 assists. It is the fifth game this season that IU has tallied 20 or more assists. It is the first time Indiana has surpassed 20 assists in a Big Ten game since Jan. 31, 2009, when IU had 20 against Ohio State.
The Hoosiers scored 21 points off of 17 Iowa turnovers and held the Hawkeyes to just seven offensive rebounds.
"It's important to play well and I think it's like anything else, we got to 17 wins and you've got to find different ways to win them and we have," said Crean. "There are a lot of things to shore up, but our guys did an excellent job of taking what the game gave them, really following the game plan. Everything we practiced for, they did and we took some of it away, some of it we didn't, but there's still a lot of improvement for this team with a lot of season left."
Indiana returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when it visits No. 20/22 Michigan at 6:30 p.m. ET. Wednesday's game will air on the Big Ten Network and the IU Radio Network.
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