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Hoosiers edge Wolverines, likely reclaiming top ranking

BLOOMINGTON IN - FEBRUARY 02:  Cody Zeller #40 IndianHoosiers dunks ball during game against Michigan Wolverines Assembly Hall February

BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 02: Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers dunks the ball during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Assembly Hall on February 2, 2013 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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BLOOMINGTON — The last time a No. 1 team came into Assembly Hall, Indiana used a buzzer-beating game-winning shot from Christian Watford to knock off Kentucky.

On Saturday night against Michigan, the Hoosiers (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) used a torrid start to build what would turn out to be an insurmountable lead in an 81-73 win.

The victory puts the Hoosiers alone atop the Big Ten and almost certainly back to No. 1 in the polls, where IU opened the season.

The Hoosiers opened as hot from the field as a team could be. IU knocked down its first six shots from the field, including four 3-pointers, to build an 18-7 lead on the Wolverines (20-2, 7-2).

“We were getting a lot of movement through penetration,” Cody Zeller said of IU’s early success at shooting. “That’s when we’re at our best.”

IU led by as many as 15 points in the first half, when Victor Oladipo hit a layup to put the Hoosiers ahead 28-13.

But the Wolverines closed the half on a 19-8 run, capped by Trey Burke’s 3-pointer as time wound down.

Michigan tied the game at 40 after Nik Stauskas was fouled by Jordan Hulls on a 3-point attempt. Stauskas hit all three free throws to tie the game.

But the Hoosiers responded with a 9-0 run, capped by a Hulls’ 3-pointer, to force a timeout by Michigan coach John Beilein.

A Will Sheehey jumper put IU up 51-40, but Michigan battled back again, with a 9-2 run pulling the Wolverines within 53-49 with 11:40 to play.

A Jon Horford putback out of the media timeout got Michigan to within 53-51. But two Remy Abell free throws helped open the gap again.

“I think our players did a good job of battling through their runs,” Oladipo said.

Zeller helped secure the win when he chased down a loose ball and flicked it to Yogi Ferrell. Burke fouled Ferrell, and IU’s freshman point guard hit both free throws to put the Hoosiers ahead 71-62 with 1:30 remaining.

Zeller led the Hoosiers with 19 points and nine rebounds, Oladipo scored 15, Christian Watford had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Ferrell added 14 points. Hulls scored 11.

Burke had 25 points to lead Michigan, who got 18 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and 10 points each from Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas.

“He takes a lot of shots,” Oladipo noted of Burke, who was 9-of-24 from the field, including 4-of-12 on 3-pointers.

This was the first time Assembly Hall hosted a meeting of teams ranked in the top 3.



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