IU escapes with must win

When the calendar flips to the month of March, we as fans expect madness. Well, Saturday night in Assembly Hall, we got a little taste of what's to come.

Both Indiana and Iowa were facing a must win situation, both teams are on the so-called bubble. A loss at home against the Hawkeyes might have crippled Indiana's chances of making the NCAA tournament. So naturally, the Hoosiers came out firing and led by 17 in the first half, by 15 at the break and 13 at 62-49 with 10:39 to play.

The game was comfortably put away for the Hoosiers. Indiana (17-10, 7-7 Big Ten) played much like they did in Iowa City last week when they defeated the Hawkeyes in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. But its March, and no lead is safe, no matter where you're playing. The Hawkeyes, led by center Jared Reiner's 25 points and 17 rebounds, erased a 17-point deficit by scoring on 13 straight possessions.After Iowa had mounted its comeback and taken a two-point lead, the two teams went back-and-forth during the last four minutes of regulation, with neither team owning more than a two-point advantage. Indiana eventually tied the game at 78-78 when Wright hit one of two free throws with 48 seconds left.

Both teams had chances to win in the end of regulation. Iowa's Brody Boyd missed a 3-pointer with 23 seconds remaining, but the rebound went to Reiner, who immediately kicked the ball back to Boyd. Boyd's missed his second chance and IU guard Marshall Strickland grabbed the rebound with 19 seconds remaining. The Hoosiers called a timeout with 8 seconds remaining to set up a play but Strickland's three point attempt at the buzzer missed.

In overtime, the Hawkeyes never regained the lead, but the game was tied with until IU freshman Bracey Wright drilled an NBA-range three with 14.2 seconds remaining to put the Hoosiers ahead.

"The play broke down and when that happened we looked for the drive and kick and I had an open look," Wright said. "I knew I was going to take that shot I didn't even give it a second thought. It always feels good to hit a shot like that especially as a freshman and this was such a big game for us."

The Hawkeyes had one last chance to send the game to a second overtime, but freshman Greg Brunner's three point attempt was deflected by A.J. Moye, securing the much needed win for the Hoosiers.

IU had five players score in double figures. Wright led the team with 21 and senior Jeffrey Newton poured in 20. Tom Coverdale had 16, including four 3-pointers. Strickland had 12 and Moye added 10. Indiana can finish with a 9-7 Big Ten record by beating Minnesota in Bloomington Tuesday and winning at Penn State Saturday.

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