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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Hoosiers dominate Tar Heels

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For about 17 minutes Tuesday night, IU-North Carolina was every bit the fast-paced, up-and-down battle of college basketball heavyweights it was billed to be.

Then a combination of speedy dunks and timely free throws gave the Hoosiers a ten-point halftime lead.

After the break, IU delivered the knockout.

IU scored the first 13 points of the second half to claim a double digit lead it never came close to relinquishing as IU defended its No. 1 rank with a 83-59 beatdown of No. 14 UNC.

“We played well in the first half, but in the second half we realized that the game wasn’t over with,” junior guard Victor Oladipo said. “We had to be on too, on our A-game.”

Sophomore forward Cody Zeller led the Hoosiers with 20 points, while junior forward Will Sheehey and Oladipo were close behind with 19 points each.

Senior guard Jordan Hulls added 13 points and neared triple-double territory with eight assists and seven rebounds.

As both players and IU Coach Tom Crean said, they expected an up-tempo affair coming into the contest. IU attempted 74 shots in the game while UNC took 69 shots.

“You look back at Kentucky’s numbers, Duke’s numbers, Carolina’s numbers, those guys get a lot of shots,” Crean said. “They get it because they defend well. We want to be able to get easy baskets and the way we get easy baskets and the better we can defend well and get up the court and run, the better for us.”

IU staked an early lead with seven of its first 11 points supplied by Zeller.

The teams essentially traded baskets for several minutes to make the score 18-13 in IU’s favor before North Carolina rode a six-point run to its first and only lead of the game at 19-18.

The Hoosiers quickly responded with a three-point shot from senior guard Jordan Hulls and never trailed after that, though the Tar Heels did tie the score at 23, 25, 27 and 31 at various points.

Despite a nifty backdoor move for a basket by Oladipo and a block by Zeller that swatted the ball into the stands, IU still could not pull away until a pair of free throws by Oladipo – due to a Dexter Strickland flagrant foul – followed by a Zeller dunk tied what had been the Tar Heels’ biggest lead of the night at six points.

From there, the Hoosiers began to pile it on to end the half. Oladipo contributed another foul shot and a dunk as IU ran its lead to 44-35.

All in all, four straight IU field goals were dunks as the Hoosiers closed the first half on a 15-6 run.

Several scoreless minutes started the second period before IU broke the drought with a dunk by Oladipo. From there, the Hoosiers made shot after shot, be it a Hulls jumper, Oladipo slam or anything in between.

Meanwhile, UNC made just one of its first 15 shots in the second half.

IU pushed its lead well into double figures and above 30, only dropping below that mark late in the game when the Hoosier lineup consisted mostly of second-string underclassmen and walk-ons against a ranked foe.

“We knew that we were playing against a great team, the kind of team you’ve got to be able to look at and say, ‘you could see a team like that down the road,’” Crean said. “I hope we both do.”

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