IOWA CITY -- For the second time in four seasons, Indiana is the outright Big Ten regular-season champion.
The 12th-ranked Hoosiers secured sole possession of the league crown by defeating No. 16 Iowa 81-78 Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Indiana improved to 24-6 overall, 14-3 in Big Ten play. Iowa (20-9, 11-6) lost for the fifth time in six games.
Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said he didn't have all the words to process winning a second title in four years. However, he said he always saw the potential of a championship-caliber team in his players, even early in the season when the Hoosiers were manhandled at Duke.
"The ingredients were there," Crean said. "The ingredients of workers, the ingredients of guys that cared about one another, guys that wanted to improve, guys that were working hard, and it continued to get better and better.
"They treat every day as the most important day they have, and they've shown that, or I don't think we could win a championship in this league without it."
Indiana won this game by shooting a sizzling 50.8 percent from the floor, including 60 percent in the first half. They also made half of their 22 3-point tries, the last attempt drained by senior guard Yogi Ferrell with 37 seconds remaining.
"I felt like all my shots were great that I was shooting before," Ferrell said. "It was winding down the shot clock. I felt like (Iowa guard Mike) Gesell's hands were down, so I felt like I had an open 3 and I shot it.
"Shooters just shoot, and that's basically all that I did. I missed a couple of close ones throughout the game, so I knew I had to make one for us every now and then."
Ferrell led the team with 20 points and was one of four Hoosiers to finish in double figures. Indiana also received a 15-point, seven-rebound performance from junior forward Troy Williams. Freshman center Thomas Bryant had 12 points and 10 boards, and senior guard Nick Zeisloft provided 11 points.
After trailing 47-41 at halftime, Iowa appeared out of it for good when Indiana took a 70-59 lead with 9:30 remaining. However, the Hawkeyes responded with an 11-0 run to tie the game, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from freshman forward Nicholas Baer.
With 3:59 left, senior center Adam Woodbury hit a free-throw attempt to put the Hawkeyes up 75-74. Iowa then proceeded to miss nine of its last 10 attempts of the game while the Hoosiers ended the contest with a 6-3 run.
Iowa had a chance to tie the game with 6.1 seconds remaining. Senior guard Anthony Clemmons missed a 3-pointer, but Woodbury hauled in an offensive rebound and called Iowa's last timeout with 2.1 seconds left.
In the closing seconds, junior guard Peter Jok missed a 3-pointer from the corner, securing the Hoosiers' victory.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said the 3-pointer shot by Clemmons came on a play that featured multiple options, whereas the last 3-point attempt by Jok was designed for him.
"We got another clean look at the 3," McCaffery said. "Pete did a great job of getting open, (Clemmons) did a great job of finding him, but it didn't go."
Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 18 points and added eight rebounds. Clemmons scored 14 points. The Hawkeyes also received a strong showing off the bench by freshman forward Ahmad Wagner, who had 11 points and nine boards.
"A loss is a loss. It feels terrible either way," Uthoff said after playing his final game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "I mean, I can't go judging on a scale of one to 10 how bad a loss is. A loss is a 10 every time."
Both teams have one game remaining before next week's Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes travel to Michigan to face the Wolverines on Saturday. Iowa won the first meeting between the teams 82-71 on Jan. 17.
Indiana returns home to play No. 14 Maryland on Sunday.
NOTES: Tuesday marked Indiana's first trip to Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Dec. 31, 2012, when the Hoosiers won their Big Ten opener that season over Iowa 69-65. The last four meetings between these teams prior to Tuesday were all played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. ... During the first half, Indiana senior G Yogi Ferrell became just the second Big Ten player ever to record 1,800 points, 400 rebounds and 600 assists in his career. The only other player to do so was former Illinois G Dee Brown... Iowa senior C Adam Woodbury finished with 11 rebounds, marking the 11th time in the last 12 games where he tallied nine or more boards in a contest. Woodbury had 15 rebounds against Indiana in the teams' first meeting back on Feb. 11 in Bloomington, Ind.