Indiana 72, Penn State 49: Hoosiers roll.

USA TODAY Sports

Indiana readied for the season's crucial stretch with a comfortable win over Penn State.

While the performance was sloppy at times, for the most part IU accomplished what was necessary: a comfortable win and plenty of playing time for the bench. The Hoosiers shot poorly in the first half and only 45.5 percent for the game and turned the ball over 18 times (for a season high 27 percent), and generated only 8 points and the foul line, but still coasted to a win over the Nittany Lions. IU had a comfortable advantage on the boards, with an offensive rebound percentage of 38 compared to 28 for Penn State. IU did a fairly decent job attacking Penn State's zone early on. While the production wasn't overwhelming, they certainly weren't stymied by the 2-3 the way they were by Northwestern's 1-3-1. IU's three point shooting bounced back to 11-20. IU made its way to the line but shot only 56 percent there.

IU did all this despite the worst offensive game of Cody Zeller's career. He scored a career low 2 points on 0-4 from the field and 2-4 from the line in 21 minutes. It was only the seventh time in 54 games that Zeller failed to score 10 or more points. Still, there were some positive signs from other players.

  • Yogi Ferrell scored a career-high 15 points on 6-7 shooting, including 3-4 from three point range.
  • Victor Oladipo led the team with 19 points on 4-7/2-2/9-12 shooting.
  • Will Sheehey continued to look like himself. He scored 12 points on 4-6 shooting and made all 3 three point attempts.
  • Maurice Creek played for the first time since mid-December and looked comfortable, although he didn't score in 13 minutes.
  • Hanner Mosquera-Perea played ten minutes, and while he didn't score he came out of nowhere for a beatiful shot block that provided a glimpse of his talent.
  • Christian Watford scored 10 points and led the team with nine rebounds.
  • Despite a rough scoring day, Zeller had 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Now, the Hoosiers head into the crucial stretch of the season: Michigan State, @ Purdue, Michigan, @ Illinois, @ Ohio State. To win the Big Ten, it's fair to say that IU has to win the first four of those games. The Hoosiers got the comfortable win that they needed, but will have to play better than they have over the past two weeks to do what is necessary for a conference title and a #1 seed. IU's struggles in the second half against Northwestern are a bit easier to take in retrospect, now that Northwestern has defeated Minnesota.
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