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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Hoosiers earn share of Big Ten title

Basketball v. Iowa Carousel

After a tough loss on the road against Minnesota on Tuesday, the IU men’s basketball team faced a slightly tougher road to clinching an outright Big Ten regular season title.

Now with three losses, many thought the Hoosiers would need at least two wins in their final three games to earn at least a share of the title, something IU hadn’t won since 2002.

But with a 73-60 win Saturday at home against Iowa, along with losses by Wisconsin and Michigan State on Sunday, IU clinched a share of the 2012-13 Big Ten regular season title.

Coming into Saturday’s matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes, IU’s trusty shooter senior guard Jordan Hulls was shooting nearly 48 percent.

Yet it took until 6:16 left in the second half of IU’s 73-60 win against the Hawkeyes for Hulls to score a single point against Iowa this season.

Saturday night, his scoring woes mirrored the struggles his teammates faced early on, shooting 28.6 percent as a team in the first half.

The Hawkeyes gave IU every opportunity they could to let the Hoosiers blow open the game in its opening minutes. Iowa racked up 10 turnovers in less than 10 minutes. Despite Iowa starting the game shooting just 4-of-16 from the field, but the Hoosiers could not capitalize.

With 10:03 remaining in the first half, IU managed only 13 points.

“I think we were noticing we weren’t really making any shots,” freshman Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell said. “We know we’re a good shooting team. We kept shooting them and hoped that one of them would go down.”

And for Iowa, the scoring troubles were even worse. The Hawkeyes scored just six points in the first 11 minutes.

The Hoosiers’ lone bright spot for the half came on the defensive end, forcing 13 Iowa turnovers in the first half while allowing just 14 points.

“(The offense) comes eventually,” sophomore forward Cody Zeller said. “When we’re defending, they’re not scoring. We’re still in good shape.”

Early in the second half, the Hawkeyes cut the IU lead to eight by making their first two buckets in less than a minute. But the single digit lead didn’t last for long.

Ferrell answered with a jumper and IU’s lead never dipped below 10 for the remainder of the game.

Ferrell’s jumper, though, was the only shot IU would make until the game’s final minute, outside of the paint the entire game.

Hulls and the Hoosiers continued to miss from behind the arc, missing their first 12 as a team.

Zeller began to see the ball more and more inside, drawing a foul nearly every time down the court.

This choppy start-and-stop game flow never allowed to IU to break the game wide open, but the Hawkeyes never managed to come back either.

IU shot 19-of-25 from the free throw line in the second half as well as an improved 50 percent from the floor.

IU’s traditional shooters struggled Saturday night as Hulls and senior forward Christian Watford failed to hit a single shot from the field.

But the Hoosiers were able to maintain their double-digit lead with the inside presence of Zeller and the improved ability of Ferrell to find lanes to the basket, players said after the game.

Zeller posted a game-high 22 points off a 7-of-9 shooting performance. He also added 10 rebounds to cap off the 13th double-double of his career.

Ferrell scored a career-high 19 points in a performance IU Coach Tom Crean said was much improved from Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota.

“Tonight he really focused on making the basket, and he did a much better job with that. He’s really a two-way player, and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody,” Crean said.

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