Hoosiers Rally to OT Exhibition Win

Tom Crean's team closed out its exhibition season in dramatic fashion. Trailing by as many as 13 in the second half and by nine with just over two minutes remaining, Indiana rallied to force overtime and eventually escaped with a 78-65 win over Division II Ferris State...

Tom Crean's team closed out its exhibition season in dramatic fashion.

Trailing by as many as 13 in the second half and by nine with just over two minutes remaining, Indiana rallied to force overtime and eventually escaped with a 78-65 win over Division II Ferris State.

Christian Watford led the Hoosiers with 25 points, but it was freshman Victor Oladipo who saved the Hoosiers in front of an announced crowd of 14,298. Oladipo scored IU's final eight points of regulation, including a four-point play with :10.7 remaining that tied the game at 61.

Oladipo's late offensive flurry would have gone for naught, though, was it not for an equally important play on the defensive end seconds later. After Oladipo's game-tying free-throw, Ferris State's Kenny Brown drove to the basket for a potential game-winner. But Oladipo blocked the shot from behind with :01.4 remaining, sending the game into overtime.

Indiana dominated from there on out. Watford scored on IU's first possession, and Maurice Creek and Jordan Hulls followed with back-to-back 3-pointers. The Hoosiers scored the first 12 points of overtime and were never threatened in the extra period.

There were plenty of things that Crean wasn't happy with as his team struggled throughout most of the game. But he was clearly pleased with how his young team didn't panic and came up with critical plays on both ends of the floor down the stretch. Ferris State made only one field goal in the final 9 ½ minutes of regulation and was forced into eight turnovers.

"Momentum shifted, obviously, but it shifted because of our defensive energy," Crean said. "It shifted because we turned it up. We made some athletic plays."

That switch on the defensive end spurred a rally that Crean thinks will pay off for his team as they find themselves in difficult situations now that the regular season is set to begin.

"There's no way we have everybody where they need to be. There's no way we have the health where it needs to be. It's all part of it, but the bottom line for those guys tonight is that they kept going," Crean said. "I love the fact that a young team, young in the fact that they haven't won and probably chronologically too, but young in the fact that they haven't won, there was no panic over there. I loved it. I loved it and that's something we have to build on too. This will come back to help us some day."

In addition to Watford's 25, the Hoosiers also got 15 from Maurice Creek and 14 from Oladipo.


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