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Indiana basketball: Hoosiers upset No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes

By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 12, 2016 at 8:11 AM
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Anyone looking for one key reason why Indiana basketball was able to knock off No. 4 Iowa 85-78 Thursday night at Assembly Hall needs to glance only as far as the bench.

Indiana's reserves, led by forward Max Bielfeldt with 10 points and guard Nick Zeisloft with nine, outscored Iowa's backups 28-0. All 10 Indiana players who played scored.

"They came in and gave us great energy," Hoosiers senior guard Yogi Ferrell said. "That just shows you what is so special about our team is that everybody comes in and they do what they're supposed to do.

"They played their roles and never got discouraged. They came in and defended. Everybody is a key part of this team, and I felt like everybody tonight that went into that game impacted the game."

Ferrell scored 14 points to lead five Hoosiers in double figures as Indiana (20-5, 10-2 Big Ten) moved into a three-way tie for first in the conference with Iowa (19-5, 10-2) and Maryland (22-3, 10-2). The Hoosiers play Iowa and Maryland in the final two games of the regular season.

The victory was the first for Indiana this season against a ranked opponent and just the second time the Hoosiers faced a ranked foe. Indiana improved to 7-1 in its past eight games against Top 10 opponents. The Hoosiers are a perfect 14-0 at Assembly Hall this season.

Ferrell struggled from the field, hitting just two of 12 shots, but he made all eight of his free throws. Four of those foul shots came in the final 10 seconds.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said Ferrell's performance against Iowa reminded him of an earlier effort in a victory against Notre Dame. In that game, Ferrell was 2-for-7 from the field but made some big plays at the point guard position in an 80-73 victory over the Irish.

"He wanted to win the game so bad against Notre Dame, and he wasn't shooting it that well," Crean said. "But he settled in and made his teammates better, played tremendous defense and raised everybody's level. And that is what happened tonight. But we got so much good play from so many people."

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said his team did a good job of containing Ferrell, but he thought the Indiana guard had some impressive play despite his numbers.

"What I like about him is he holds his teammates up," McCaffery said. "Even though he was 2-for-12, he still engineered a victory for his team, which I'm sure he's more proud of."

Iowa rallied from a 16-point, first-half deficit to lead by as many as four in the second half. One free throw by center Adam Woodbury with 9:35 to play put the Hawkeyes on top 60-56.

However, the Hoosiers answered with a 14-2 run to take a 70-62 lead with 7:09 to play. The final three points of that run came on a drive to the basket by forward Troy Williams and a free throw.

"This is a terrific team we just played," McCaffery said. "We responded like I hoped we would. I thought we executed (while rallying from the deficit) much better than we did the rest of the game. I don't think our execution was what it's been, and you can't beat a team of this caliber unless you are executing better."

The closest Iowa would get the rest of the way was 79-76 on two free throws by guard Mike Gesell with 22.5 seconds remaining.

"It's a great win," Indiana forward Collin Hartman said. "They're a great team. We kept it so tight. So we have to come in with the same focus every day, but this was a great win for our team confidence-wise, and we'll see them again, I know that."

Forward Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 24 points, and Gesell added 17. Woodbury had 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Williams and guard Robert Johnson had 13 each for Indiana, while center Thomas Bryant and forward Max Bielfeldt each had 10. Williams, Bryant and Hartman each had seven rebounds to lead the Hoosiers.

Indiana led for the majority of the first half, and the Hoosiers were up by as many as 16 at 36-20 following a 3-pointer by Hartman. It was an impressive series for Hartman, as he blocked a dunk attempt by Uthoff at one end and got free for the 3-pointer at the other.

The Hoosiers held a 45-38 edge at the break.

NOTES: The last time the Hawkeyes were in first place this deep into the Big Ten season was Feb. 23, 2006. ... Iowa G Mike Gesell eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark in the first half. He needed two points coming into the game and had five in the first half. ... The Hawkeyes lost for just the sixth time in their past 18 true road games. ... Indiana came into the game as the top scoring team in the Big Ten at 84.1 points per game. Iowa was second at 80.7. ... The only other ranked team Indiana faced this season was Duke. The Hoosiers fell 94-74 in Durham, N.C. on Dec. 2.

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