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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student


Defense clinches Hoosier win

When junior guard Dane Fife was a senior in high school, he used to watch Penn State senior guard Joe Crispin play on television.\nFor the last two years, Fife has had a closer view.\nWednesday, he was right in Crispin's face.\nFife had no problem holding the Big Ten's top scorer to 10 points in the Hoosiers 77-69 win against the Nittany Lions (11-4, 2-3) in front of 17,054 Wednesday night in Assembly Hall.\nIU (11-7, 2-2) led the entire game while Fife held Crispin to two points in the first half, both of them free throws. Crispin's season-low performance is 10 points, Nov. 29 at North Carolina State.\n"Fife is a warrior," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "He's going to guard the best guard on the team; and if the guy scores, it's going to be a hard-fought game for him. ... To hold Joe Crispin to zero field goals in the first half is a tremendous job."\nWith three minutes left in the game, Crispin was on the bench, and his team was down by 20 points. Penn State coach Jerry Dunn continually hopped out of his seat as if it was covered with shards of glass.\nNeither of them could do Penn State any good.\nBesides Fife's defense, freshman forward Jared Jeffries scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds in the first 20 minutes, helping IU to a 40-22 halftime lead.\n"The main thing was for me to get a hand up and contest (Crispin's) shots every time," Fife said. "The bottom line is, he just missed his shots tonight. He's not going to score big numbers every night, especially in the Big Ten. It's just not going to happen."\nAlthough junior forward Kirk Haston struggled in the first half, making two of eight from the field, he helped run up the score in the second half with 16 points. Haston was the Hoosiers' leading scorer with 22 points and 13 rebounds.\n"I was being a little bit impatient, and J.J. just played phemonenally," said Haston of his and Jeffries' first-half performances. "I knew in the second half that if he played as well as he did in the first half, they were going to have to start focusing in on him."\nJeffries, who finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, scored 10 of IU's first 17 points. The Hoosiers jumped out quickly with a 10-0 run in the game's opening minutes, soon grabbing a 17-6 lead.\nPenn State's junior forward Tyler Smith broke the four-minute scoring drought with a three-point bucket nine and a half minutes into the game. But IU countered on an 8-0 run after Smith's shot, and the Hoosiers stretched the lead to 25-11. \nCrispin came out shooting in the second half, and, for about five minutes, it looked as if he had found his comfort zone. Crispin, an off-the-dribble shooter who averages 26 points per game in the conference, scored eight points in the first five minutes of the second half to keep the Nittany Lions within 10 points.\nBut Haston responded with a hook shot and scored 10 points in five minutes. Haston's scoring spurt began with a dunk at the 16:07 mark, followed by a layup and a dunk off a rebound at the 12:15 mark, widening the gap to 49-35. He received a technical for unsportsmanlike conduct when he forcefully shoved the ball to sophomore guard Jon Crispin, Crispin's brother.\nIt didn't put a dent in his momentum though, as Haston nailed a long jumper with less than five minutes remaining, putting the Hoosiers up 69-49. With about four minutes left in the game, Penn State was down by 20. But with 43.5 seconds left, the Nittany Lions had closed the gap to 10 points.\nPenn State was held to 35.4 percent from the field, making 23-of-65 shots. Davis said if the team continues to perform at that level on defense, it can beat anyone. Senior forward Gyasi Cline-Heard led the Lions with 23 points and eight rebounds.\n"I wanted to show a defense they haven't seen all year," Davis said. "I made a point to tell our guards, 'Don't allow yourself to be screened and make them make tough shots and tough passes. I feel we can beat any team if we come out and defend."

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