Crean: Howard 'always ready'

Walk-on Jeff Howard and sparingly used Austin Etherington made big plays for IU on Saturday in a much-needed 79-76 win over Penn State.

It wasn't exactly the lineup you may have expected heading into Saturday's game at Penn State, but it was effective nevertheless.

Tom Crean and Indiana got big minutes from walk-on Jeff Howard and sparingly-used Austin Etherington down the stretch in a big 79-76 road win over Penn State.

Howard, who played all six of his minutes late in the second half, had four points on 4-of-6 shooting at the foul line and three offensive rebounds.

Crean used only Howard and freshman Noah Vonleh in the post late in the game, choosing to leave sophomores Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Jeremy Hollowell, and freshman Devin Davis on the bench.

"Jeff Howard is always ready," Crean said of his senior walk-on. "He doesn't know when he's going in. When he went in there, he was ready to go. He just played. It was fantastic. We can build on that."

Etherington, a redshirt sophomore out of Hamilton Heights High School, has never had a major role for the Hoosiers. He came to IU known as a 3-point specialist, but he entered Saturday's game just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc on the season.

Etherington buried a huge 3 from the corner to give Indiana a late 73-72 lead and ultimately helped the Hoosiers earn their first Big Ten win.

Etherington had five points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.

"Monstrous. That's big," Crean said of Etherington's late 3-pointer. "He's had a very good week. He was right in the mix. He's a battler." Top Stories