Indiana gets comfortable win over Iowa
BLOOMINGTON, IND. — Cody Zeller stepped to the microphone in the postgame news conference Saturday night looking like he had been in a street fight.
He had a Band-Aid on his chin, a long gash just below his neck line, scrapes and scratches all over his arms and at least four floor burns on his legs. He had blood in three places on his jersey and shorts.
And a smile on his face.
BOX SCORE: No. 1 Indiana 73, Iowa 60
Zeller scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as No. 1 Indiana bounced back from a Tuesday loss to Minnesota to beat Iowa 73-60.
“Cody had a phenomenal night,” said IU coach Tom Crean. “He continues to get better and better, and continues to get a lot of attention on the court. He earns everything that he gets. He earns every one of those free throws. He continues to play at an extremely high level.”
And Crean said Indiana fans need to cherish the way their big man plays the game.
“He’ll be better for having endured the scrutiny he’s been through,” Crean said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We better all appreciate him while he’s here.”
Zeller could be at Indiana for a matter of games or another season or more. He has two years of eligibility remaining after this season but could leave early for the NBA.
For now, he simply continues to be a big reason Indiana is in the hunt for a conference championship.
Saturday’s win moved Indiana (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten) to within one victory of clinching a share of its first Big Ten title since 2002. Indiana also got to the 25-win mark in the regular season for the sixth time in school history.
In many ways Zeller’s appearance mirrored Indiana’s game. It wasn’t pretty. The Hoosiers missed their first 12 3-point shots before making two in the final minute. They missed 13 free throws. They shot 38.9 percent from the field, their second lowest percentage of the year.
But they won comfortably. Only once in the second half did Iowa cut the lead under 10 points and that … [For more on Indiana Hoosiers get ugly, but comfortable win over Iowa, click here.]