Short-handed Hooisers fend off No. 22 Ohio State
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Tom Crean challenged Indiana’s players to make up for the loss of his top NBA prospect Sunday.
Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea came up with all the necessary hustle plays. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and Will Sheehey filled in the scoring line. Everybody else helped the defense shut out No. 22 Ohio State from 3-point range and not allow a basket from longer than 10 feet.
It was just the way Crean hoped his young team would respond to hearing that freshman Noah Vonleh would miss the game with a foot injury.
Ferrell scored 20 points and Sheehey added 19 as the suddenly hot Hoosiers hung on for a 72-64 victory, their second upset of a ranked team in four days.
“We still had to figure out how we were going to get fouled. And we had to rebound better,” Crean said after learning Vonleh, the Big Ten’s leading rebounder, wouldn’t play. “We had to open the court a little bit more. We just had to really make sure our spacing was really, really good.”
The Hoosiers (17-12, 7-9 Big Ten) did all that and more — even on a day that started bleakly.
Fears of a severe ice and snow storm kept some fans home from the usually packed Assembly Hall, and those who did make it in had to contend with travel advisories issued in the nearby counties after the game.
In between, Crean used his Twitter account to announce Vonleh would sit out with inflammation in his foot. He showed up for warm-ups in a gray sweatsuit with a boot on his left foot as the Hoosiers tried to pay back Ohio State for ruining last year’s Senior Night celebration with their own upset at Assembly Hall.
Ferrell and Sheehey made sure nothing would get in their way this time.
“I think it just shows the grittiness of our team,” said Ferrell, the only returning starter from last year’s Big Ten champs. “I feel like everyone stepped up to the challenge. We just really wanted to get this win.”
How badly did the Hoosiers want it?
Crean showed the team a video of the second Joe Louis-Max Schmeling heavyweight title fight from 1938 to motivate his team.
So after falling into an early 20-12 deficit, the Hoosiers took the lead with a 16-0 run and never looked back.
For the first time in more than 11 years, Indiana held an opponent without a 3-pointer, and for the first time in Crean’s memory, his team held an opponent without a basket from outside of about 10 feet. Ohio State wound up with 25 field goals, 24 in the paint, and got 14 points from the free throw line.
The Buckeyes’ dismal stat sheet also showed they were 14 of 23 on free throws and 0 for 11 from 3-point range, ending a streak of 367 consecutive games with at least one made shot from beyond the arc — a span that lasted more than 10 years.
“I think it was just we couldn’t make a shot, you know 0 for 11 from 3, that was kind of the deal,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “We were short on everything. They didn’t go down. It was definitely one of those days in that regard.”
Only two Buckeyes scored in double figures — LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 19 points each. Nobody else had more than seven points as the Buckeyes lost their second straight — both road games against teams in the bottom half of the conference standings.
The game certainly didn’t follow the expected script with Vonleh out.
Indiana still managed to outrebound Ohio State 34-32 and Ferrell and Sheehey gave the Hoosiers just enough scoring options to overcome the loss of its second-leading scorer.
After falling behind 20-12, the Hoosiers turned the game in a hurry.
Ferrell and Sheehey both scored on layups, Hollowell made two free throws and Troy Williams scored on another layup to tie the score at 20. Following an Ohio State timeout, Sheehey knocked down a 3 to give Indiana the only lead change it needed, and Ferrell finished the 16-0 run with another 3 to make it 28-20 late in the first half.
The Buckeyes rallied quickly in the second half, closing a 33-25 deficit to 39-37 and were as close as 48-47 with 9:22 to play.
But Evan Gordon and Sheehey answered with consecutive 3s right in front of the Hoosiers bench and the struggling Buckeyes never got another chance to take the lead against the determined Hoosiers.
“To play the way that we did without Noah, which we knew it was a possibility yesterday, we knew it was reality today, we had to answer the bell,” Crean said. “We did.”
No. 8 VILLANOVA 73
PHILADELPHIA — Darrun Hilliard scored a career-high 26 points and No. 8 Villanova set a school record for regular-season wins with a 73-56 victory over Marquette.
Josh Hart added 13 points and JayVaughn Pinkston had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats (26-3, 14-2 Big East), which has won four straight and 10 of 11.
The Wildcats had never won 26 regular-season games in the 95-year history of the program. Villanova won 25 games four previous times, most recently in 2008-09, a season it reached the Final Four.
Deonte Burton scored 13 points for Marquette (17-12, 9-7) and Todd Mayo finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Hilliard, who had 18 points in first half, had his previous career high of 25 points in an upset win over Syracuse last season.
Villanova finished 12 of 29 from the field while Marquette was 4 for 15.
No. 14 WISCONSIN 71
PENN ST. 66
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Josh Gasser scored 15 points to lead a balanced Wisconsin offense and the Badgers won their seventh straight.
Wisconsin (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) held onto third place in the Big Ten as Ben Brust scored 14 points and Traevon Jackson, who made four clutch free throws down the stretch, added 13.
D.J. Newbill had 23 points for Penn State (14-15, 5-11), which dropped to 2-5 against ranked teams this season. The redshirt junior became Penn State’s 31st career 1,000-point scorer. He leads the Big Ten this season with 178 field goals.
Tim Frazier and Ross Travis scored 10 points each for Penn State, which is 4-7 in games decided by five points or fewer.
The Nittany Lions closed within 66-64 with 18 seconds left but was forced to foul. Jackson went 4 for 4 from the line during the closing seconds and Gasser was 2 for 2.
The Badgers were 8 for 24 from 3-point range and held Penn State to 1-for-13 shooting from behind the arc. Penn State outrebounded the Badgers 34-28.
No. 20 IOWA 83
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Roy Devyn Marble scored 21 points and Iowa snapped a three-game losing streak.
Aaron White and Mike Gesell added 15 points each for the Hawkeyes (20-9, 9-7 Big Ten), who have recorded consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in eight years.
Iowa blew a 13-point halftime lead, but an 8-0 run put the Hawkeyes back ahead 68-64 with 5:56 left. Gesell then hit five free throws in the final 41 seconds to help the Hawkeyes narrowly avoid losing their fourth home game in five tries.
Rapheal Davis scored a career-high 18 points and A.J. Hammons had 16 points with 14 rebounds for Purdue (15-14, 5-11), which is on its second four-game losing streak in conference play.
No. 25 NEW MEXICO 72
RENO, Nev. — Cameron Bairstow scored 22 points as New Mexico overcame an early 14-point deficit to win its fifth straight.
Kendall Williams added 11 points and 10 assists and Alex Kirk had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Lobos (24-5, 14-2 Mountain West), who remain tied for first place in the Mountain West Conference with No. 13 San Diego State.
Deonte Burton and Cole Huff had 15 points each for the Wolf Pack (13-16, 8-8), who held a 31-17 lead but were outscored 10-0 over the last 4:28 of the first half.
Huff’s baseline jumper tied the game at 49-all with 9:04 remaining but Cullen Neal followed a 3-pointer with two free throws and Hugh Greenwood made his first 3-pointer to give the Lobos a 57-49 lead with 6:41 left.
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