How it Happened
The game started out physically on both ends as the officials allowed play to continue through contact. Indiana (18-14) made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to big men Thomas Bryant and Juwan Morgan and Iowa countered by sending double teams to swarm them in the post when they caught the ball. The Hoosiers did score three times in close, including a driving layup from James Blackmon Jr., but also turned it over twice in the first three minutes. Iowa led 11-6 at the under-16 timeout thanks to a 5-for-8 performance from the field.
A continuous diet of post feeds got IU back into the game over the next several minutes. Just before the 15-minute mark, freshman De'Ron Davis entered the game for the first time and he and Bryant commenced a smooth two-man game. On back-to-back possessions, the sophomore fed the freshman in the post for layups. The latter resulted in a three-point play to even the score at 13. On the two ensuing possessions, Bryant and Davis scored a second pair of baskets in transition, making it a 11-2 Indiana run. At that juncture, 14 of Indiana's 17 points had come in the paint.
The Hawkeyes (18-14) responded with a 6-0 run of their own to re-take the lead on consecutive 3-pointers from guard Jordan Bohannon. That lead didn't last long either, though, as Robert Johnson hit Indiana's first triple with 11:41 to go in the first half to give the Hoosiers a 20-19 advantage in the fast-paced game.
The under-12 timeout did nothing to slow the pace and Johnson's triple seemed to spark Indiana from the outside. The sophomore guard added a second 3 out of the stoppage to make it a four-point Indiana lead and freshman Devonte Green followed with a triple of his own to make it a 9-0 Indiana run and push the team's lead to a game-high seven. When Green hit his triple, he was one of three freshmen on the floor, along with Davis and fellow guard Curtis Jones.
Jones got in on the act less than two minutes later with a 3 from the top of the key to extend Indiana's run to 12-0. At that point, Iowa had not scored in over four minutes and had missed five consecutive shots from the field. IU led 29-19 with 8:44 to play in the half, giving the somewhat larger Indiana contingent of fans something to cheer. The Hawkeyes' Peter Jok finally broke the stretch with a 18-foot baseline jumper after six consecutive Iowa misses from the field.
The Hawkeyes battled back as the half reached its later stages, led by Bohannon, who had one of the best halves of his career to date. The freshman went 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line in the opening session, totaling 15 points. When he drained a 3 with just four minutes to go in the half, Iowa had sliced the Indiana lead to five at 36-31.
In the final minutes of the half, an already physical game turned chippy as Indiana struggled to hang on to the ball and Morgan and Iowa's Cordell Pemsl exchanged words. With less than 30 seconds left, Pemsl dove to the hoop on a pick and roll and Bohannon found him for a layup. Bryant rejected the ball off the glass, but the officials ruled it goaltending and Iowa had cut the lead to 43-40 at the break.
The Hoosiers went into the half in front despite turning the ball over four times in the final three minutes and nine times overall, leading to 11 Iowa points. Indiana shot 53 percent in the half and went 6-for-12 from beyond the arc, but the Hawkeyes countered with six triples of their own to keep it close, even though they only got seven points from Jok, their leading scorer.
Iowa came out in the second half and immediately took the lead, scoring two easy baskets from close range in the first minute of the half. The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes until a strong stretch for Indiana catapulted it back into the lead for good. On one possession, Blackmon Jr. fed Bryant in the post and the big man slammed the ball home with two hands. Then, Newkirk stole the ball and tossed it ahead to Blackmon Jr. for a layup plus a foul. The junior guard flexed at the crowd after the basket and hit the free throw to put his team in front 53-48.
Indiana continued to extend its lead as the half wore on, thanks in large part to Blackmon Jr. and Davis. The big man scored twice more in the post, including once on a nice feed from Blackmon Jr. The junior guard followed that display with a triple from the left wing. When Green hit a jumper with 13:33 remaining, Indiana had a 7-0 run and its lead was back to 10 at 62-52. The game-turning run hit 10-0 when Blackmon Jr. drained his fourth triple of the game from the right corner to increase the lead to a game-high 13.
The Hoosier lead continued to swell as the second half passed its midway point. Green scored five points in a row during one stretch, including his second triple, and point guard Josh Newkirk followed with a triple as well from the top of the key to balloon the advantage to 18 at 75-57.
Down the stretch, Indiana pulled away and never let Iowa back into the game. When Blackmon Jr. scored four consecutive points with just over five minutes left, the lead hit 25 and the game was all but over. Indiana coasted down the stretch to extend its NCAA Tournament hopes.
Player of the Game-James Blackmon Jr.
The junior guard stepped up with Indiana's season on the line, pouring in 18 second-half points and shooting 7-for-9 from the field overall, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. It was his 11th game of the season with at least 20 points and he added eight rebounds and four assists to his total. His 23 total points give him 1,207 in his IU career, passing Quinn Buckner and Jeff Newton for 35th on the all-time IU scoring list.
The Hoosiers beat Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time after falling in 2001 and 2002...Davis went 7-for-7 from the field, the fifth time this season he's made all of his shots in a game and the most made field goals in any such game; he finished with a career-high 15 points...Pemsl finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Iowa, his first career double-double...IU came in leading the Big Ten and ninth in the country in average rebounding margin at plus-7.5 and outrebounded Iowa 38-29; Iowa came in ranked 206th in the nation in the same category...the Hawkeyes entered the game ninth in the country in assists per game at 17.4; Iowa dished off 17 helpers against the Hoosiers...Indiana went 12-for-20 from beyond the arc, the 12th time this season the team has made double-digit triples in a game and second in a row; it was an Indiana record for most 3s in a Big Ten Tournament game...Bohannon led Iowa with a career-high 24 points
The Hoosiers are back in action tomorrow for a quarterfinal game against second-seeded Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6). The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The No. 24 Badgers have beaten the Hoosiers twice this season in tight contests, 75-68 Jan. 3 in Bloomington and 65-60 Feb. 5 in Madison. In the most recent matchup, UW led wire-to-wire despite the IU defense holding it to under 40 percent shooting from the field. Wisconsin finished the regular season having lost three of their last four games.