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No. 8 Indiana holds off No. 11 Michigan State
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 27, 2013 @ 8:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Terry Hutchens, USA TODAY Sports
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One of Tom Crean’s favorite things to say when it comes to Cody Zeller is how much his big center impacts the game in different ways.
He doesn’t have to pack the statistics sheet. Sure, he can score, rebound and pass the ball. But his defense, the way he runs the floor and the little things are sometimes overlooked.
That’s what he did Sunday in the final 2 plus minutes against Michigan State.
The lanky 7-footer had a key block, drove for an off-handed lay up from 30 feet on top and a little later took a huge charge that helped propel No. 7 Indiana to a 75-70 victory over No. 13 Michigan State at Assembly Hall.
The win was big for Indiana (18-2, 6-1) as the Hoosiers improved to 7-0 at home the last two seasons and 3-0 this year against teams ranked in the top 25. The win also gave IU its best start to a season since the 1992-93 team opened the year 24-2.
After the game, IU’s director of basketball operations and all-time leading scorer Calbert Cheaney was stopped in the hallway and asked if he remembered the last time the Hoosiers opened a season 18-2?
“Was it a team that I played on?” Cheaney asked. The answer would be yes.
Victor Oladipo was the stats stuffer against the Spartans. He had a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds and a career-high six steals. He hit 8-of-12 shots from the field and also had three blocks.
But it was clearly Zeller who came up big in the clutch.
It started with a block with 2:13 to play and IU clinging to a 72-70 lead. Zeller got a block on a scrum near the Michigan State basket that eventually ended when Derrick Nix was called for traveling.
On IU’s next possession, with the shot clock under 10, Zeller had the ball on the top well above the 3-point line with 1:45 to play. Without hesitation he drove the ball hard to the basket and scored on a left-handed lay up with 1:38 remaining to make it 74-70.
With 14.3 seconds to play, and the score still … [For more on No. 8 Indiana holds off No. 11 Michigan State, click here.]
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