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Indiana University

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Associated Press
Georgetown’s Mikael Hopkins, left, and Otto Porter defend a shot by Indiana’s Cody Zeller on Tuesday.

No. 1 Hoosiers survive test

Crean ‘proud of’ IU finding way to prevail in OT

– A late lead evaporated.

A last-second layup didn’t fall. And it wouldn’t have counted, anyway.

The Indiana men’s basketball team was pushed to overtime against Georgetown.

And the Hoosiers responded like the No. 1 team in the country to pull out the 82-72 win over the Hoyas in the Legends Classic championship at Barclays Center on Tuesday in Brooklyn.

Indiana (5-0) was tested in two games in Brooklyn – wins against Georgia and Georgetown. The challenges could help down the line, be it in the remaining nonconference games or when Big Ten season rolls around.

The Hoosiers led by seven with 1:18 left. But Georgetown’s Otto Porter made a basket with 4.6 seconds to go to tie the game. IU ran a last-second play for Cody Zeller that did not work out. Indiana bounced back by outscoring the Hoyas 18-8 in overtime.

“I think it was great because our attitudes were fantastic. Our heads didn’t drop, there wasn’t any complaining, and I just kept saying to them ‘This is tremendous,’ ” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “To have an opportunity like this so early in the season, this is great because they have to find a way to win. You have to do what is required to win the game and everybody did what they do best (Tuesday). I think what helped the most in overtime was our great maturity.”

Freshman guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored seven of his 14 points in overtime. His three-pointer with 59 seconds remaining put the Hoosiers ahead by 10 points and was the knockout punch.

“Yogi has great body language,” Crean said. “When he gets distracted or frustrated he gets out of it fast, and that’s what great players and definitely great point guards have, they have to be able to move on right now. That is not the first time that he has hit a shot with the clock winding down. We have seen it in scrimmages and practice at different times. He just has something about him.”

Jordan Hulls had 17 points on the way to earning tournament MVP honors. Zeller added 17 points and eight rebounds.

“I think that everybody that played (Tuesday) absolutely left it out there,” Crean said. “We certainly didn’t play great; there is not one area that I could look at and say we were dominant in that area, but we kept getting better. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think I would be nervous if it was in November and there wasn’t. But our guys went and played a high-level team in a high-level way, and I am proud of everybody.”

lpope@jg.net

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