BLOOMINGTON – Indiana didn’t have the performance it wanted after a loss, but it got the result it needed.
The No. 1 Hoosiers defeated Iowa 73-60 in front of 17,472 fans Saturday night in Assembly Hall as they bounced back from Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota.
The thing that kept us going was our defense, Indiana forward Cody Zeller said. We kept getting stops on the defensive end. We struggled at times on offense, but when you get the stops, you are going to win.
The Hoosiers shot at a 38.9 percent clip (21 for 54), and hit 2 of 14 three-pointers, with both baskets from behind the arc coming in the game’s final minute. Things weren’t much better from the free-throw line as Indiana went 29 for 42.
Indiana did have a strong performance around the basket, scoring 36 points in the paint and getting 16 second-chance points.
Zeller led the Hoosiers with 22 points, and he had 10 rebounds for his 13th career double-double.
Kevin Yogi Ferrell finished with a career-high 19 points, and Victor Oladipo added 10. Ferrell and Oladipo sank three-pointers in the final minute.
Iowa struggled just as much on offense, going 21 of 55 from the floor – 38.2 percent – and connecting on only 1 of 13 three-point attempts. The Hawkeyes also committed 19 turnovers which led to 19 points for the Hoosiers, and they went 17 for 24 on free throws.
Roy Devyn Marble led Iowa with 20 points, and Aaron White and Eric May added 14 and 12 points.
Both teams had to endure a tightly called game. The Hoosiers were whistled for 25 fouls, and the Hawkeyes finished with 27 fouls. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery was nailed with a technical with 10:26 left in the first half.
It was kind of hard with the stopping and going again with the fouls, Indiana guard Remy Abell said.
But we have to continue staying out there and playing D. If they are not scoring, then we are doing our job.
The Hoosiers took a 26-14 lead into halftime as both teams set season lows for points in a half.
Holding a team like Iowa to 14 points, that’s amazing. That’s great defense, Abell said. We just had to continue to play defense and help each other out.
Indiana pushed its lead to 47-29 with 10:48, but Iowa wouldn’t go away.
The Hawkeyes whittled their deficit down to 62-52 with 3:42 to play, but they were never able to cut the Hoosiers lead to less than 10.
A hard-fought victory, coach Tom Crean said.
For us to defend them the way we did tonight and to hold them to 14 points in the first half says a lot about our defense, a lot about our resolve.