The Minute After: Iowa

  • 02/12/2016 12:15 am in

Thoughts on an 85-78 win over the Hawkeyes:

Students lined up hours before tip, eventually wrapping down the whole south side of Assembly Hall in anticipation of this marquee matchup. The stage was set early for an electric atmosphere and the Hoosiers failed to disappoint. They seized the crowd’s energy, playing the first half like they’d been shot out of a cannon.

Indiana beasted on the boards for second-chance points. Got into Iowa’s airspace on defense. Drove to the basket for buckets and splashed in the 3-ball. The Hoosiers were the more aggressive, more energetic, more physical team through the first 20 minutes of play and built a lead of 16 points with 6:03 to go in the first half.

But this Iowa team is too good and too experienced — and has a precedent of coming back from deficits this season — to roll over and die.

The Hawkeyes chipped away at that 16-point lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Peter Jok fell. So did back-to-back layups from Adam Woodbury. Still, Indiana entered half with a seven-point lead, scoring 1.52 points per possession, rebounding a ridiculous 71 percent of its misses and up 16-2 in the second-chance points category.

The second half began and Indiana looked flat. Looked dead. Two early turnovers from Troy Williams. The Hoosiers had no rhythm on offense. The Assembly Hall faithful fell silent. Suddenly, Iowa starting grabbing the momentum and almost nothing looked good for the Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes had seemingly stolen all of the air in the building.

Halfway through the final 20 (9:35), Iowa held a four-point lead at 60-56 after Thomas Bryant’s fourth foul had Woodbury hitting 1-of-2 at the line. Bryant went to the bench. Harrison Niego came in during that substitution. He hit a baseline jumper to pull Indiana back within two and the crowd and these Hoosiers sprung to life once again. Max Bielfeldt hit a shot in the paint to the tie the game on Indiana’s next possession. After Jared Uthoff hit 1-of-2 at the line, Collin Hartman’s bucket right after put the Hoosiers back on top by one.

They never trailed again.

“When adversity hits, you can crumble or rise to the occasion,” Hartman said after the game. “I think we’ve done a good job.”

On a night when Yogi Ferrell struggled (2-of-12) — though he hit a key 3-pointer late as well as some free throws to seal the deal — and Bryant played just 14 minutes with his foul trouble, it was the contributions of the rest of the cast that helped Indiana win this one.

Niego had the aforementioned bucket and a steal. Bielfeldt (10 points, four rebounds, two blocks, two steals) stepped in well enough for Bryant. Nick Zeisloft found his footing from distance (3-of-5, nine points). Juwan Morgan had a key putback with 3:09 to go to give Indiana a nine-point lead. Williams, after a poor start to the second half, split Iowa’s defense up top and splashed in a pretty left elbow jumper with 44 seconds left to put Indiana back up seven.

By game’s end, 10 Hoosiers had scored and five — Ferrell with 14, Williams with 13, Robert Johnson with 13, Bielfeldt and Bryant with 10 a piece — hit double figures.

Another key factor in the W: Indiana excelled at the line (18-of-21, 85.7%), while Iowa (13-of-23, 56.5%), struggled in that regard. It helped keep distance late as did Indiana’s ability to take care of the ball tonight (17 TO%).

This was a great win in a game that had you gasping for air at times trying to keep up with the action. The Hoosiers pushed through in the final 10 minutes when they looked like toast and are now 6-1 in their last seven against top 5 teams at home, the loss at Penn State in the past now.

We know Indiana’s road gets no easier and that Iowa and Maryland have safer paths to the Big Ten title with each team tied for first at 10-2.

But nights like tonight prove Indiana can play with any team in the country.

Filed to:

  • Refs tried to keep it close. Great team effort

  • BL

    Great TEAM WIN!!! Happy we can now dispense with: “haven’t played anyone”.

    Coach deserves major kudos. Work during the week on fundamentals was very evident. Handled TW perfectly; sat him after two quick TO’s to start the second half; he played much better when he returned. Sliding YF on to Jok was magic and note: CH can guard the 2 spot if necessary. 10 players contributed including Harrison Niego. Wow, that’s preparation!

    Refs were killing us AT HOME. Fouls called on TB were just awful.

    Let’s get Sparty!!!

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Given the fouls on Bryant, I loved how we were able to hold it together. I think TC should have confidence that MB can hold his own when he realized that Iowa was getting whatever they wanted inside at the end of the first half.

    Bryant is an absolute monster inside on the glass at times. He drove us early on and we made it look easy.

    All in all, if you told me that we were going to open up with a huge lead, blow it early in the second half, Yogi was going to shoot 2-12 and Bryant in foul trouble,…and we win. I will take it allllll day

  • Miamihoosier

    IMO we’ve seen enough from this team to believe they SHOULD win the rest of their home games and win @ Ill while probably losing @msu and @iowa. I dont think that will happen. I think before the season is over, they will either prove to be just a fun team but lay another egg or two and finish with 5+ league losses OR they will prove to be truly special and win all the games they should plus one of the 2 road games against MSU or Iowa. I just can’t tell which it will be. Can’t wait to find out

  • HooshWin

    Loved how foul calls didn’t impact TB’s aggressiveness at all. When Iowa caught and passed us in the 2nd half, I thought “last year’s team doesn’t recover”. This year we did! Hoosier pride, my cup runneth over

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Go IU !

  • BL

    Max was huge. Love TB; refs need to quit treating him like a freshman. Unusual but TW/RJ/CH/NZ all played well in a single game. Helped us get past YF’s poor shooting and TB’s foul trouble.

  • BL

    Energy and focus was so much better than against PSU. Hoping PSU will be a lesson learned and they’ll be motivated to “bring it” for all remaining games. If they do, we may lose but doubt we’ll “lay another egg”.

  • ihoosieru

    Nothing negative tonight. I am now a believer, this team is for real. I want to be in the tourney and make a run, but I am a happy camper tonight and I realize that it has all a learning process and they keep learning from their mistake. Coach, coached a great game tonight(did leave Bryant in too long in 1st half). Go hoosiers, great game.

  • BL

    Damn, talking about quick turnaround; I thought we played MSU on Sunday. Guess they’ll have to travel Friday for the game on Saturday. Hope they’ve already prepared for MSU. No time to enjoy the Iowa win.

  • Jacob Bleth

    Defense wins games! Bench depth wins games! The whole team played with great energy tonight. Everyone contributed to this one and as it was a really close game thats what we needed to win. Starters – Troy = bgoaod (I felt after Troy Williams fade away mid-range jumper (swish…) I knew we were not losing this game. Troy did a good job of knowing when to facilitate or finish but had some careless turnovers at inopportune times as well. Thomas Bryant rewarded his team when they could get him the ball. Great game plan but TB needs to keep working hard to get open and the rest of the offense needs to learn how to pass the ball to him without turning it over. I predict a TB breakout double double against MSU after Tom Crean receives a Technical foul for getting in the refs face arguing another bogus foul call on his big man playing stand up textbook defense. Hartman=clutch(what were the odds that he would block a Uthoff shot), Yogi=perservered(he guarded Jok pretty well but needs to learn how to find his shot better against a defender that has a 6 inch height advantage)also = clutch (last 5 minutes: highlight reel three pointer, free throws, and handling the ball against Iowas press pretty efficiently) Robert Johnson=Energy(he brought it all night, no slowing him down) Bench=Difference maker: Nick Zeisloft can shoot, Iowa just did not get the memo on how far out from the arc you have to guard him. OG=bench energy (He has shown some smooth moves offensively finishing at the rim. He also came off the bench with nice ball movement on the perimeter and assisted on Nick’s first shot, an easy look early which prompted a 3 for 3 start for him from distance) Bielfelt=Solid (he made his presence known offensively and defensively, solid performance)Harrison and Juwan picked up any slack that was left with great plays on both sides of the court down the stretch.

  • What makes you think the game is on Saturday? It’s scheduled for Sunday as far as anything I’ve read… I just looked at the Official IU Athletics website.. According to them it’s Sunday…

  • ForeverIU

    We finally proved we can beat a top 5 team at home. Now we need to prove we can beat a top ranked team on the road. If we beat MSU in Breslin, I’ll be cheering us on for a B1G championship. We can win all of the games ahead, and I’ll still be skeptical we can reach the Final Four. I’ll only believe in a Final Four when we reach the Final Four. By the way, skeptics like me enjoy games like no one else; we keep our cool during losses and cherish the wins. Go Hoosiers!

  • Bill Graham

    Sidenote and this has nothing to do with the game, but normally ITH let’s us know when recruits are at games….I’ve heard very little this year about visits. It’d be nice to see Alex provide a little info as a mailbag post or on twitter.

  • marcusgresham

    MULTIPLE phantom fouls–the most egregious was the one on Hartman on a defensive rebound by Utoff. There was no contact, and if there was it was so little it affected nothing. Everyone else was heading up the floor so if it were contact it wouldn’t have even had an affect on Iowa’s attack. I don’t know how Collin hasn’t been T’ed up about 5 times this year, because he gets called for the most ridiculous stuff.

  • marcusgresham

    Anyone remember when Mike Gesell played Jack Black’s roommate, Ned Schneebly, in “School of Rock”?

  • Oldguyy

    Our MVP was Fran McCaffery. Having Iowa play zone in the first half and press when they did in the second half was invaluable. I was more upset with the fact that the refs called absolutely none of their moving screens than with the bogus calls on Bryant. Yogi staying with Jok despite the moving screens was really impressive, although Uthoff hurt us in part due to them.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know if Bielfeldt has played a bad game all season. He may not always be fantastic, but he’s–at worst–dependable.

  • marcusgresham

    All depends on match-ups. If IU gets to play teams like Iowa that agree to run with them they can get hot and beat anyone.

  • IULore

    His Wake forest game was garbage, but he’s been solid.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Damn. I’m so sorry I had to miss this game. Yeah, the tournament is the goal for every team’s fanbase, but it’s these non-tournament displays that long term fandom is made of. I can remember so many of them from my own tenure as a student way back when: Jay Edward’s buzzer beater in ’89, Damon Bailey’s “coming out” game vs. Kentucky in ’93 where a dazed-looking Pitino waxed on about his pro potential… God knows how many of the IU-Purdue games… and so many others since then for succeeding generations of fans.

    Without having seen last night’s broadcast, I have no idea how it ranks among all those. But I can see the buzz from all the news sites and fan sources. And there’s a lotta buzz right now.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Terrific victory for our Hoosiers…well done coaches and players! Kudos to Iowa as well…they are a very, very good team. Weaker opponents would have wilted down 16 in that environment, the Hawkeyes showed some backbone by battling back and getting a lead. Perhaps most impressive to me was the 10 possession run we went on when the deficit was 4. We trailed 60-56 with 9:20 to play…our big lead was gone and victory felt nearly lost at that point. Niego hit a jumper and we scored on ten straight possessions, turning the 4-point deficit into a nine-point lead…tremendous work by the Hoosiers when the going got tough.

    +This was the best game Robert Johnson has played in quite awhile…perfect timing for it as well. Well done Robert.
    +Troy was very good after he was re-inserted following his shaky start to the second half.
    +Max Bielfeldt (although he takes the occasional bad shot) continues to be a blessing.
    +Yogi was very bad offensively and I wish he would have attacked the rim more but he was outstanding against Peter Jok.
    +Our freshmen: OG, Morgan, Niego and Bryant all did well with the minutes they were given.
    +Turnover percentage was only 17%…that’s a recipe for success for our offense.
    +Collin Hartman was tremendous. He did as well as anyone on Uthoff, made multiple savvy plays on offense and defense and was efficient with the ball.
    +Free throw shooting helped us win this game…we nailed ours, Iowa did not.
    +Despite going 2-12 from 3 in the second half, we knocked off a top 5 team.

    With the win, our RPI jumped nearly 20 spots (we are now 34 I believe)…this will continue to be a tent pole victory for our resume, in addition to helping us in the B1G standings. With the exception of the PSU game, this squad has played hard and been a whole lot of fun to watch since that Duke game (which you just knew Dickie V. would bring up…right before he brought up RMK). I think the realistic goal is to get two of our next three (and then do the same with the final three…that’d be 14-4…better than I thought possible), let’s do the impossible and actually win at Breslin!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I think the refs miss Tom Pritchard…in his absence, they seem to have hoisted the phantom calls onto Collin.

  • Alan

    Got a little bit of bad Troy but at the end of the night he was great. Right place, right time. And has he ever split a double team to hit a pull up at the end of the shot clock in his life???? haha! Yogi found a way to stay involved despite not shooting well. Beilfelt rose to the challenge with Bryant sidelined in foul trouble. Overall a terrific performance.

  • Alan

    And credit to Crean who is probably coaching his best since he’s arrived in Bloomington.

  • Tcuomo

    Give me a platform. Let’s rock, let’s rock, today

  • HoosierStuckInACCCountry

    that one was bad, but Max’s “foul” on Woodbury was the worst. Woodybury’s arms across Max’s throat, to grab his far arm . I almost broke my TV. That was the worst foul call i’d ever seen…

  • BL

    My bad.

  • Dave Carnes

    thanks oldguy my wife was still sick of hearing me yell about the bogus calls at Penn State so i didn’t say anything but I saw the moving screens and two more bs calls on TB

  • HoosierStuckInACCCountry

    Very well put. This saves me from needing share my thoughts longhand! MB is quickly becoming one of my favorites. He’s sound fundamentally, and that turnaround left hook is filthy. the only thing i disagree with you on is Yogi trying to to attack the rim. He did a couple times, and (as usual) couldn’t get a whistle for contact. They’re one of the best shot blocking teams in college basketball, as well as Yogi protects the ball on a drive, this wouldn’t have been a good time for it (especially with the atrocious officiating). The freshman give me tremendous hope. Fun win. I was exhausted at the buzzer. GO BIG RED

  • Dave Carnes

    I don’t have ESP, But I do have ESPN,and from what I see this team can chose it’s own future.We all seen some poor bball out of them and we have seen them play as good or better than anybody in the country.

  • BL

    Your first two points says it all. This team is nearly impossible to beat when RJ and TW play well. Like to see maybe 2-3 TO’s between them vs. five but hey, they contributed 26 points and 11 boards, and RJ was lock down on D. Love to see a repeat performance on Sunday.

  • I thought the most egregious was when Woodbury threw max to the floor and they called it on max. First time I complained about refs this year

  • TomJameson

    Thought there was a replay today/tonight but I couldn’t find it. Sorry man.

  • wesmont

    Is it me or does TB get two joke fouls called every game?

  • Koko

    I think MSU will agree on running. Should be a barn burner.

  • Koko

    AND he has a taste of what it takes to do a run down the stretch to the final four…..after a PSU loss….LOL

  • Koko

    Well that came in from left field….how long ago was that Wake Forest game? Has nothing to do with how he is playing now.

  • IULore

    He said Max never played a bad game all season. He has played one bad one. Doesn’t affect now, just replying to him.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Thanks for the thought, but I’m not real worried. Eventually it’ll replay on BTN, and even if it doesn’t, there’ll be some fan around here who would’ve DVR’d it or something.

    Really, the point is the fandom’s atmosphere. It’s a positive vibe, and people around the internet are much more willing to discuss basketball, not blame or rant. I like things a lot better when that’s happening. So even without having seen the game, I’m enjoying the result.

  • Koko

    Oh I missed that….my bad……never mind 🙂

  • marcusgresham

    You’re correct. Max really nailed that guy’s forearm with his Adam’s apple.

  • marcusgresham

    That’s a very long handshake. We’ll work on it some more tomorrow.