Indiana moved into a first place tie atop the Big Ten standings with an impressive 85-78 win over Iowa on Thursday night at Assembly Hall. It was the 20th victory for the Hoosiers, matching last season’s win total.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Hawkeyes:
· Indiana exposed Iowa’s one weakness: As we pointed out in What to Expect, there was one major flaw on Iowa’s profile coming into Thursday: defensive rebounding.
Iowa entered Assembly Hall allowed Big Ten opponents to rebound 31 percent of their missed shots. The Hoosiers grabbed 54 percent of their misses against the Hawkeyes and scored 26 second chance points. It helped offset an usually poor effort by IU on its own defensive glass as Iowa rebounded 49 percent of its own misses for 20 second chance points.
IU beats Iowa, moves into tie for first place in Big Ten
Indiana, in need of a major resume boosting win, got just that Thursday night beating No. 4 Iowa 85-78 in front of a electric crowd at Assembly Hall.
Tom Crean said it was an atmosphere that likely was louder than when Cody Zeller, who was in attendance Thursday, was playing for the Hoosiers during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.
“It was excruciatingly loud and it was tremendous,” Crean said.
It was a balanced attack, with no player scoring more than 14 points, yet all 10 guys who played scored. The win moved the Hoosiers into a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten with Iowa and Maryland.
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.