Cody Zeller had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Indiana past Iowa, 73-60
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) – The three-point shots were not falling. The free throw shooting wasn't much better. Jordan Hulls did not make a basket. Christian Watford fell considerably short of his average. In fact, Watford and Hulls missed all 15 of their field-goal attempts.
It didn't matter.
Indiana played less than its most overpowering basketball of the season – and the Hoosiers still dominated Iowa. The Hoosiers won by 13 (73-60) against an Iowa team that had only lost by double figures once in Big Ten play this season.
Cody Zeller led the Hoosiers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, even though he took a blow to his chin that will require stitches. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana's freshman point guard, scored 19. That's his career high. Victor Oladipo contributed 10.
But offense did not win this game for Indiana. Defense did. Iowa shot only 38 percent and made one of 13 three-point shots. The Hawkeyes also turned the ball over 19 times.
Indiana remains in first place in the Big Ten with a 13-3 record. The Hoosiers can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title against Ohio State Tuesday night in Assembly Hall.
POWER SHORTAGE – Indiana struggled mightily from the three-point line, missing all nine attempts in the first half and its first 12 attempts. They made two in the final minute. The Hoosiers average making nearly 8 three-pointers per game and had made at least three in every game this season.
LEADERS OF THE PACK – Indiana leads the nation in two statistical categories – average winning margin (20.4) and free throws made (551). The Hoosiers are also second nationally in two other categories – points per game (82.2) and three-point shooting percentage (42.6).
CHANGE AT THE TOP: Second-ranked Gonzaga followed up its mid-week victory over Brigham Young by defeating Portland, 81-52. With Indiana losing at Minnesota Tuesday night, the Zags are likely to move into the top spot in the Associated Press writers' and USA Today coaches' polls on Monday.
KING CALBERT – Former IU Wooden Award winner Calbert Cheaney was recognized before the game on the 20-year anniversary of the conclusion of his college career. Cheaney still reigns as the all-time leading scorer and Big Ten history, designations that he figures to keep considering the trend of talented underclassmen leaving college early for the NBA. Cheaney is finishing his second season as the director of operations for the IU program.
FASHION STATEMENT: adidas issued an invitation to Indiana to participate in the athletic company's designer uniform festival during post-season play. But the Hoosiers declined. They'll continue to wear the same uniforms they wore all season. And last season. And the season before that. And …
CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Tom Abernethy, starting forward on Indiana's unbeaten 1976 NCAA championship team, attended the game, slumming it in the press area. Academy Award winning screenwriter Angelo Pizzo, a season-ticket holder, also attended the game.
BEWARE THE HAWKEYES: Iowa is a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament this season, but the Hawkeyes will be a dangerous team in the Big Ten and nationally next season. They return their entire starting lineup from a team that has lost six Big Ten games by four points or less.
UP NEXT – Just two more regular-season home games for the Hoosiers. Senior Night is Tuesday at 9 p.m. when Ohio State visits. Then Indiana closes Big Ten play Sunday March 10 at Michigan at 4 p.m. The Hoosiers won at Ohio State, 81-68, and defeated the Wolverines in Bloomington, 81-73.