Five takeways from Indiana’s win at Iowa

  • 03/02/2016 1:35 am in

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Indiana claimed the Big Ten title outright on Tuesday night in a thrilling 81-78 win over Iowa at Carver Hawkeye Arena. It was the fourth straight win for the Hoosiers, moving them to 24-6 overall and 14-3 in league play.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Hawkeyes:

· Ferrell delivers big shot in the clutch: Leading 77-75 with just under 40 seconds to play, Indiana needed it best player to make a play in order to emerge victorious.

And that’s exactly what happened when Yogi Ferrell took two dribbles left, stepped back and buried a 3-pointer in the face of Iowa’s Mike Gesell. It was the the biggest shot for Ferrell to-date in an Indiana uniform and it was a big reason why the Hoosiers were able to win the league outright on the road.

“It was winding down in the shot clock, I felt like Gesell’s hands were down,” Ferrell said afterward. “And I felt like I had the open 3 and I shot it.

“I missed a couple of close ones throughout the game, so I knew I had to make one for us.”

· A total team win: As brilliant as Ferrell was in delivering 20 points and five assists in 37 minutes, Indiana’s offense came from a variety of places on Tuesday night.

Four players finished in double figures including Troy Williams, who scored 15 and continues his string of strong play following IU’s loss at Michigan State. Thomas Bryant contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Nick Zeisloft again filled in nicely for Robert Johnson with 11 points, including 3-of-4 on 3s.

In total, eight different IU players scored and five different Hoosiers each hit a pair of 3-pointers as the rotation of players on the floor was frequent due to foul trouble.

“They do a good job moving the ball,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “And they’re a hard team to defend because they have drivers and shooters and they share the ball.”

· IU wins points off turnovers, second chance points battle: Two key team stats went the way of Indiana in the win.

IU scored 18 points off of nine Iowa turnovers, which is a huge number. And the Hoosiers made the most of the 11 offensive rebounds they grabbed to finish with 14 second chance points.

For comparison’s sake, Iowa scored just seven points off of Indiana’s 13 turnovers and just seven second chance points off of 18 offensive rebounds.

· Defense limits Uthoff and Jok: McCaffery said postgame that his team simply didn’t make shots, but Indiana’s defense had plenty to do with that.

Jarrod Uthoff finished with 18 points, but was just 5-of-17 from the field. Peter Jok didn’t get anywhere close to his 18.4 per game average in league games as Ferrell limited him to 3-of-11 shooting for eight points.

The overall points per possession number for Iowa (1.10) was an improvement from the first contest when the Hawkeyes torched the Hoosiers for 1.21 points per trip in Assembly Hall. But a healthy amount of the offensive production was aided by trips to the free throw line as Iowa drew 25 fouls and scored 18 points from the line.

· This team’s togetherness was on full display in the aftermath of the win: Indiana hasn’t done much talking about where it stands in the league or nationally this season as it has remained focused on improvement.

Given where this team was in early December after an embarrassing loss to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, it finally had a chance to celebrate what it has accomplished since late December.

There were hugs, high fives and plenty of smiles in the immediate aftermath that spilled all the way back to the locker room area and inside of it. And who can blame these Hoosiers for enjoying the moment?

The national media will write that Indiana won the Big Ten with an easy schedule, but the reality is that you can only beat the teams put in front of you. At 14-3 with six road wins in league play, Indiana is the outright regular season champion in the Big Ten, a feat that no one would have thought possible just a few months ago.

(Photo credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

Filed to:

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Same here. It’s nice to get the conference crown, but it’s far from over. They’re playing for seeding now, and the benefit is so tangibly close. If they can close out the season and B1G tourney strong, then they’ll set themselves up for a good Dance run.

  • BL

    No way I play RJ is he’s only 80%; we have better options. Biggest thing – I’d want to see him go in practice with no apparent limitations. Until then, he doesn’t see the floor. More important to have him healthy in the NCAA tourney than getting a higher seed.

  • BL

    If we get another chance at MSU, I’d love to see us guard Valentine with our wings, including TW. I’ve seen other BIG teams do that (guard him with length) with success.

    I wouldn’t put TW on Hayes. Physical mismatch.

  • BL

    Absolutely no doubt that OG can handle him just like he did Hill and Uthoff. Love to see OG match him minute for minute.

  • BL

    TW’s on a really good roll since the MSU game. I feel like he and YF are joined at the hip and both will give it all they have, play the right way and lead this team all the way to Houston. Also, get real about the Iowa game. TW when 6-11 with 7 boards and 1 TO. No player is perfect and others also shot poorly from the line (OG 0-2, TB 2-5, YF 2-4). TW’s Coach and team will take his play at Iowa all day long.

  • Fivelefts

    I don’t think TW can stay with Valentine. TW doesn’t get low enough in his defensive stance, to use his lateral movement more effectively. Again, he is not a good match up with Hayes, because his base isn’t solid.. he will get bodied to the rim. I would go with RJ on Valentine! I think Valentine has the ball in his hands too much to shut down.. but I think RJ will make him work.

  • BL

    TW can get down and guard when he wants to. I would challenge him. RJ struggled to guard Valentine last time. Players with length can better recover and bother his shot.

  • Koko

    OG is a smart player. He will figure out how to turn those bunnies into baskets.

  • Fivelefts

    TW is very conscious of his dribble around Valentine and Hayes, because they key on attacking his dribble aggressively.. I think that’s why he disappears.

  • Tony Meier

    The calls on Collin in this game and earlier games were terrible! What a great kid and contributor.

  • b_side

    Oddly enough they had an easier schedule based on %s last season.

  • StudentHoosier

    Thank you 34, I wish I could stay here forever! Hoping for a big run in March! I’ll never forget this season!

  • IUDan

    I would disagree with DD – I think they did and I think they did at OSU over the weekend – as said above, not strong at the rim, not much fluidity to their offense, and then at the end missing some pretty good looks.

    I just think over the season they faded towards the end – though it could be a case of playing over their heads early on.

  • Meadows007

    A couple of weeks ago I actually went back to the ITH article when Zeisloft decided to transfer here, and read the comments. Nobody was happy about it. A few comments were “Don’t worry guys, I heard he grew 6 inches over night,” and “Wow, an excellent addition to the Kelley School of Business!” Boy were people wrong.

  • Were you at the game? Just wondered.. I really didn’t think they did did on TV.. but then I didn’t see them that often prior to these last five games.. I believe they’ve lost five out of six now.. they had a tough game on Sunday.. Maybe they are a little tired.

  • kaponya44

    Agreed..You could argue several more guys in..I would think the overall impression of Uthoff’s candidacy took a bit of a hit due to Iowa’s recent skid..I thought he was one of the top 3 players I had watched prior to recent..Off the top of my head , Valentine , Hield , Brogdon, Moore ,and Yogi in my top 5 as of right now.

  • kaponya44

    Sorry ,it would not let me edit. I was originally posting in the context of B1G POY,but I generally agree with your statement on Valentine regardless.

  • kaponya44

    I read it at work ,my apologies 🙂 I only had a 15 minute break.I misread you originally.I probably have half a mind at times when I am not rushing around,which I was then .Lol .I do not feel it was appropriate…I was frustrated by Morgan being hurt.That was scary .. I noticed Uthoff did not look very remorseful.Too many drinks, while watching the game and working with the hangover had me on a tear in the morning..Got carried away a bit ..I got you ,now ..You seem very patient and that is cool.I can always respect someone who presents their feelings the way you went about it.I appreciate you pointing it out.I would not want that ,and a bit more tact was in order on my part.Have a good one.

  • kaponya44

    There were people who went too far.I was on the borderline of that myself…My post was more in same breath reference to Crean who I was admittedly quite unfair to , in saying he can’t coach at one point …It is obvious he can and I am glad we have him instead of some of these other acts…But yes , no sugarcoating to it on either Crean or Troy..A lot of people flat out went out of their way to shade Troy also.I was not so much on that train,personally,but you’re absolutely right..When it gets outside of the context of breaking down areas for improvement, it is flat out bashing …

  • Ole Man

    Well said. And not because you agree with me; but because you listed the reasons why it was out of line.