After Evan Gordon came off the bench Sunday afternoon to score eight points while grabbing two rebounds and coming up with a steal, IU head coach Tom Crean said after Indiana's 63-52 that Gordon wasn't even in the game plan until Sunday morning.
Crean said that Gordon didn't practice with the team yesterday because he was suffering from a sickness. He added that team personnel took game tape to Gordon's apartment Saturday evening to help Gordon prepare on the likelihood that he'd feel better in the morning.
But Sunday morning, he got to the facility and put up some shots, and Crean decided he was good enough to give it a shot.
"I knew he wanted to play," Crean said. "Comes in this morning, and today he played as fast and as aggressive as we've seen him."
It took a while for Gordon to get off the bench, though, in the first half. Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Austin Etherington, Jonny Marlin and Jeff Howard got into the action less than eight minutes in with the Hoosiers ahead 10-7.
Once Michigan ran off with six-straight points and the boos began to rain from the crowd about Crean's questionable lineup management, he put Will Sheehey, Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell and Gordon back in.
Just two minutes later, he stole the ball from Glenn Robinson III and finished it with a layup for his first points of the game. The bucket gave IU an 18-16 lead, and the team wouldn't trail for the rest of the way.
Gordon logged 16 minutes, somewhat splitting time with Stanford Robinson in the backcourt alongside Ferrell.
Hoosiers struggle in first half to get to the free throw line
Despite IU's thorough domination in the first half and throughout the game, the Hoosiers struggled to battle inside and get points from the free throw line. In fact, IU didn't shoot a single one until Troy Williams made his second of two in a trip to the charity stripe with 13:36 left in the game.
In comparison the Wolverines went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the first half, yet went into the locker room behind 25-22 after the first 20 minutes.
But IU turned it around in the second half, getting the ball into the paint more often, scoring six more points inside than in the first 20 minutes. From IU's increased focus inside, the Hoosiers were able to get Michigan into the double-bonus after drawing just five fouls in the first half.
IU shot 15 free throws in the second half, making nine of them, well below the team's average on the season of 27.7 attempted per game and 20.3 made per game, both ranking in the top 25 in the country.
Noah Vonleh said after the game that Crean made a point in the locker room at halftime for his players to attack more inside to try and get the easy points from the charity stripe.
"We know we want to average a certain amount of free throws each game," Vonleh said. "Coach was just saying ‘Try and get free throws. We're going to need free throws to win this game. Especially, get them in foul trouble.'
"So all we wanted to do was just drive the ball, and I felt like a lot of guys like Stan and Evan did a great job pushing it up the court, having them on their heels and just wanting to get those free buckets."
With beating No. 10 Michigan Sunday afternoon, the Hoosiers met some impressive marks, including:
-The Hoosiers have won seven times against teams ranked in the top 10 in the AP Poll over the past two years (Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan last season along with Wisconsin and Michigan this year. IU is 7-2 against the top 10 the past two seasons.
-Since 2011-12, starting with IU's win against Kentucky, the Hoosiers have 10 wins against the AP top 10, tied for the most in the nation during that span.
-After being the first team to beat Wisconsin this season after they started 16-0, IU stopped a team's second winning streak of 10 or more games after stopping Michigan's 10-game streak. The Wolverines had started 8-0 in the Big Ten and were 10-0 in their last 10 games.