WHAT LOOKED GOOD:This one may be better suited for ‘Who Looked Good' and you could have several worthy candidates. Will Sheehey would be the kingpin. The player we featured Thursday in the pregame as our player to watch certainly didn't disappoint. He scored a career-high 30 points, made 13-of-20 shots from the field and played with the passion that IU fans have come to expect from the senior forward. But it wasn't just Sheehey. Stanford Robinson had a career high with 17 points, Jeremy Hollowell played some of his best minutes of the season scoring seven and Evan Gordon had 12. Indiana ran up and down the floor with the Hawkeyes in what wasn't the greatest of defensive efforts in the first half. Iowa led 52-49 at the break. But in the second half, the Hoosiers limited Iowa to 34 points and 36.7 percent shooting from the field. Iowa was also 1-for-8 from 3-point range in the second half. Conversely, IU was good from the field the entire game. The Hoosiers hit 53 percent in the first half and 48 percent in the second half. IU finished shooting 50.8 percent from the field. The 93 points was significant because in the last 10 games coming in the most points IU had scored was 66. The last time IU scored more than 93 in a game was in November against the University of Washington. Another noteworthy statistic is that Indiana managed to score 93 points with its two top dogs, Noah Vonleh and Yogi Ferrell, combining to score just 12. Vonleh only took two shots.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Iowa scored 52 points in the paint, 15 points off of second chance opportunities and had 16 offensive rebounds. The end of the game mechanics in terms of getting the ball in bounds was reminiscent at times of the Penn State game. This time IU got it in but had a couple of close calls and a turnover in the final 30 seconds under its own basket. Indiana also missed 11 free throws including nine in the second half. At one point Sheehey missed a pair but was bailed out when Vonleh got the rebound and jammed it. The next time down, Yogi Ferrell, an 83 percent free throw shooter missed two as well. Yogi missed his first three before hitting his final two. Iowa got off to a quick start, scoring 17 points in the first four minutes. And everything was easy. Indiana's ability to make shots tougher in the second half was a huge key in this one.
FOR STARTERS:The familiar starting lineup of late of Sheehey, Vonleh, Ferrell, Troy Williams and Austin Etherington combined to score 51 points. But that means the bench for IU scored 42. The starters were led by Sheehey with 30. The starters hit 19-of-38 shots from the field for an even 50 percent. They were 5-of-14 from 3-point range8-for-13 from the line. They combined to pull down 15 rebounds.
HOOSIERS BIG ON ONE DAY PREP Since the start of the 2011-12 season, IU is 8-0 in games with one day of preparation. The other six wins came against Chattanooga, Michigan State, VCU, North Carolina, Temple, Stony Brook and Kennesaw State.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here's a look at my own thoughts on a few Indiana players from Thursday's win over Iowa:
1. NOAH VONLEH: Vonleh only took two shots in the game. His first didn't come until the second half. He had one in the first half where he got fouled on a dunk attempt and missed so it didn't count as an official shot. His first official shot attempt came with 17:35 to play in the game when he missed a shot around the hoop. His only other shot was with 1 minute to play when Sheehey missed two free throws and Vonleh got the offensive rebound and jammed it. But Vonleh finished with four points, five rebounds, and four fouls in 26 minutes of action. On the positive side, he did have two blocks and three steals. Still, it's mind-boggling to think that Vonleh can go through an entire game and only get one shot in the half court offense and two total.
2. Stanford ROBINSON: In scoring a career-high 17 points, Robinson made 5-of-6 shots from the field and even more impressive, 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Robinson came into the game shooting 50.8 percent from the free throw line for the season. Robinson got his point in the usual way, driving down the middle of the lane. His only missed shot was an air ball from the right baseline late in the game. He also had three assists and two steals in 26 minutes off the bench.
WILL SHEEHEY: Sheehey almost had a career-high for scoring in just the first half. His previous career best had been 22 points on two occasions, the most recent against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic in December in Indianapolis. In the first half Thursday, Sheehey had 19 points. His previous high in a Big Ten game this season had been 13. He looked confident on his cuts to the basket and making things happen. Consider this stat: Sheehey was 2-for-7 from 3-point range. That means he was 11-for-13 inside the 3-point arc. Sheehey's big night came after he was honored before tipoff by IU coach Tom Crean for being the 47th member of Indiana's 1,000-point scoring club.
NEXT UP: Indiana (16-12, 6-9 Big Ten) will return home Sunday to play Ohio State in a nationally-televised 4 p.m. game on CBS. That will be the middle of three consecutive home games. IU faces Nebraska on Wednesday on Senior Night at Assembly Hall.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch