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Indiana University

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Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Penn State’s Sasa Borovnjak, right, and D.J. Newbill battle for a rebound during the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Assembly Hall.
Indiana 72, Penn State 49

A Hoosier hammering

IU ties season high in threes, clamps down on Nittany Lions

– Indiana’s Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell began the second half of Wednesday’s game against Penn State by making a three-pointer in the left corner.

Teammate Jordan Hulls followed with a three-pointer, Victor Oladipo made a layup and Penn State coach Patrick Chambers called a timeout.

There were no second-half hiccups for the No. 7 Hoosiers in a 72-49 victory over the Nittany Lions in front of 17,472 fans at Assembly Hall.

IU (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) got it done defensively, limiting Penn State to 33.3 percent shooting from the field.

“If you notice on the 8-0 run (to start the second half), we had three stops in a row,” Indiana junior forward Will Sheehey said.

“We had a fantastic game plan. Our coaches did a fantastic job making sure we were prepared for the game. Our scouting report was fantastic. (Assistant) coach (Kenny) Johnson put it together. He did a phenomenal job. We executed it. We took things away that we wanted to take away.”

Penn State shot 13.3 percent from three-point territory (2 for 15).

“They are really trying to put themselves in a place where they can hang their hat on the defensive end,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And we’re getting there.

“The other day we told them there are two teams in the top 10 in field goal-percentage defense and field goal-percentage offense, and we’re one of them (Florida is the other). We want to stay in that position.”

While the Nittany Lions (8-11, 0-7) struggled from long distance, the Hoosiers matched a season high with 11 three-pointers.

“They all worked very hard on their shooting,” Crean said. “The guys that are making shots are the ones that are spending the most extra time on their shooting. There’s no accident.”

Oladipo led the Hoosiers with 19 points. He made two three-pointers. Ferrell made three three-pointers and had a career-high 15 points. Will Sheehey also made three three-pointers and finished with 12 points. Sheehey made consecutive three-pointers late in the first half to give IU a 29-16 lead.

The Hoosiers went to halftime leading 33-19.

“That team has a lot of talent, and you just can’t take everything away so you have to pick your poison and Sheehey hit some big threes that opened up everything,” Chambers said.

Indiana found ways to hold off second-half charges by Minnesota and Northwestern. In the game in between, IU shot just 26.9 percent in the second half in a loss to Wisconsin. There were no issues Wednesday, as IU shot 58.8 percent in the second half.

“It’s a big emphasis for our team,” Oladipo said. “It seems like everybody in the country thinks that we don’t have good second halves. That’s their opinions, that’s fine, that’s what they see. At the end of the day, we are going to do whatever it takes to finish strong.”

lpope@jg.net

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