EVANSTON, Ill. --- Indiana senior Will Sheehey started Saturday night's game against Northwestern much like he did the first meeting between the two teams. He couldn't get shots to fall from the field, and he was plagued by careless turnovers.
But after missing his first three attempts from beyond the arc and turning the ball over three times early, Sheehey made a huge 3-pointer late and played mistake-free basketball.
Sheehey's 3-pointer from the left wing with just under a minute remaining put Northwestern away and sealed a much-needed road win for the Hoosiers on Saturday night.
"I think every one's going in," Sheehey said afterward. "Every time I shoot it, I think it's going in.
"We were running a play and the whole defense shifted over that way. I faked to the corner to Troy and they had to respect him because of his baseline drive, and I got the shot."
Sheehey finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting with six rebounds and two steals. Seven of his points came late in the second half when Indiana (15-11, 5-8 Big Ten) was trying to keep the pesky Wildcats at bay.
"He's a literal heart and soul guy," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "He puts a lot into this. It was great to see him make that shot because he works so hard."
Protecting the ball
Indiana's Achilles' Heel is no secret: It is, and has been, turnovers the entire season. Indiana entered Saturday's game with a turnover rate of 22.3, 336th in the nation.
But on Saturday, the Hoosiers committed a season-low seven turnovers, including only three in the second half. Sheehey had three of them, Yogi Ferrell had two, Jeff Howard had one and Stanford Robinson had one.
Troy Williams, who had a turnover rate of 25.7, didn't have a single miscue in 23 minutes.
"We fed the post, we played inside-out, and we didn't try to throw home run passes," Crean said afterward. "These guys know if we get good looks, and if we get a chance to get on the boards, and we get on the foul line, we can be pretty good. When we're taking quick shots, when we're turning it over, and when we're giving the other team live-ball turnovers, we're not very good."
Here's an interesting note for you: Only two players on Indiana's roster have a turnover rate under 20. They are: Yogi Ferrell (18.3) and Evan Gordon (19.0).
Phantom goaltend call
Indiana ultimately escaped with the win, but Northwestern was aided by a poor officiating call late.
With the Hoosiers leading 54-48, Noah Vonleh was called for a goaltend, letting Northwestern crawl within four. The replay showed the ball was clearly out of the cylinder and off the rim when Vonleh touched it.
Indiana wore its home white uniforms at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday because Northwestern wore its alternate black uniforms. The Hoosiers are now 13-3 when they wear their white uniforms and 2-8 when they wear red. Maybe a useless stat, but interesting nevertheless.
"They've got a guy that's gonna be a top 10 pick in this year's draft. He's a monster."
Northwestern coach Chris Collins on Noah Vonleh