Cody Zeller leads Indiana past Iowa
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent March 2, 2013 11:10PM
Indiana forward Cody Zeller, left, is fouled by Iowa forward Eric May during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Updated: April 4, 2013 7:02AM
BLOOMINGTON — Jordan Hulls will probably be glad to never see Iowa again.
Cody Zeller keeps feasting on the Hawkeyes.
Zeller had his third double-double in four games against Iowa to lead No. 1 Indiana to a 73-60 win on Saturday night.
“We’d better all appreciate him while he’s here,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
Zeller had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Hoosiers (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten) used a decisive advantage at the free-throw line to overcome a woeful night from beyond the 3-point line.
IU was the Big Ten’s best 3-point shooting team coming into Saturday’s game with Iowa (18-11, 7-9). But the Hoosiers missed their first 14 attempts from beyond the arc before Victor Oladipo finally hit a 3-pointer with 49 seconds to play.
Yogi Ferrell would add a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to finish IU’s scoring.
“We noticed we weren’t really making any shots,” said Ferrell, who finished with a career-high 19 points. “We kept shooting, we were hoping they would go down.”
“A hard-fought victory. I know it sounds clichéd but it’s true,” Crean said. “It’s not going to be a picture-perfect game.
“We never let our lack of offense affect us defensively.”
Indeed, two of the Big Ten’s top three scoring teams battled to a 26-14 IU lead at halftime.
“The thing that kept us going was our defense,” Zeller said. “We struggled at times on offense, but when you get stops, you score points.”
Iowa was just 7-of-24 from the field in the first half. The Hoosiers weren’t much better, shooting just 8-of-28, but the difference came at the free-throw line.
IU was 10-of-17 from the line in the first half and finished 29-of-42. Iowa was 0-for-3 on free throws in the first half and 17-of-24 for the game.
“That’s us being aggressive, we always want to get to the free-throw line,” Zeller said.
The two teams had almost as many combined fouls (52) as Iowa had points. Despite that, no one fouled out, even though seven players — Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe, Adam Woodbury, Gabriel Olaseni and Zach McCabe and IU’s Zeller, Oladipo and Ferrell — each had four fouls.
Oladipo added 10 points for the Hoosiers, who got just seven points combined from Hulls and Christian Watford. IU’s two senior starters were a combined 0-for-15 from the field, with their combined seven points coming from the free-throw line.
In two games against Iowa this season, Hulls was 0-for-17 from the field with two points. In eight career games against the Hawkeyes, Hulls was 17-of-60 from the field (28.3 percent) for 48 points. That includes a 10-of-17, 24-point game as a sophomore.
But a win’s a win. And it keeps the Hoosiers at least a game ahead of Michigan State and Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings. Both those teams are 11-4 in conference play and have games today.
Roy Devyn Marble scored 20 points to lead Iowa, with 18 points coming in the second half. Aaron White added 14 points and Eric May scored 12.