Welcome to the three-way tie atop the Big Ten standings.
Indiana let a 16-point lead vanish Thursday night in Bloomington, but the Hoosiers roared back on the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes, charging in front thanks to a 19-6 second-half run that catapulted them to an 85-78 win.
The Hawkeyes' loss meant the Hoosiers joined them and the Maryland Terrapins at 10-2 and in a three-way tie for first place in the conference.
Indiana got off to a hot start, using its typical offensive explosiveness to build a double-digit lead before the midway point of the first half. Yogi Ferrell and Robert Johnson hit early 3-pointers, and when Nick Zeisloft started bombing in deep 3s off the bench, the lead really grew, hitting 15 a few times as the Hoosiers' offensive firepower allowed Indiana to blitz past an ineffective Iowa offense. Jarrod Uthoff helped worked the lead down to 10, but it was soon at 16 with six minutes until halftime thanks to back-to-back triples by Zeisloft and Collin Hartman. But that's when the Hawkeyes started figuring things out offensively, scoring eight straight to halve that lead, getting back-to-back 3s from Peter Jok during that stretch. Indiana answered a bit, but when the half was through, Iowa had closed on an 18-9 run, slicing the Hoosiers' lead to just seven at the break.
The Hawkeyes actually shot better in the opening 20 minutes, 51.7 percent compared to an equally sterling 50-percent mark by the Hoosiers. Indiana hit seven first-half 3s and had a huge edge in second-chance points, 17-8, holding a 21-11 rebounding advantage at the break.
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Iowa had that deficit completely erased not three minutes into the second half, coming out of halftime with nine straight points to take a 47-45 lead. With both teams trading baskets, the Hawkeyes reached their largest lead of the game at just four with nine and a half minutes to play. From there, though, the Hoosiers awoke, going on a 19-6 run to sprint back in front by nine while the Hawkeyes couldn't do a thing offensively, scoring just one basket over a more than six-minute stretch. Iowa chopped that lead down to as small as three over the game's final minutes, but Indiana did a great job hitting free throws and got a back-breaking press-break dunk from Collin Hartman to seal the deal and hold serve on home court with a big win.
Both teams suffered offensive droughts over the final 20 minutes, and each team shot just 41 percent from the field after a hot-shooting first half. Iowa closed the gap on Indiana in the rebounding battle and in second-chance points by game's end, but it was at the free-throw line where the game might have been determined. The Hoosiers went 18-for-21 from the charity stripe, while the Hawkeyes were just 13-for-23. Iowa's bench was also non-existent, scoring zero points.
Indiana finished with five players in double figures. Ferrell led the way with 14 points despite a nasty 2-for-12 shooting performance. Troy Williams and Johnson each scored 13 points. Thomas Bryant and Max Bielfeldt each scored 10.
The five Iowa starters accounted for all the Iowa points. Uthoff finished with a game-high 24 points, Mike Gesell had 17 points, Adam Woodbury had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Jok and Anthony Clemmons each scored 12.
The win sent the Hoosiers to 20-5 overall and 10-2 in the league. It was just the second game they played against a ranked opponent all season, previously losing to a then-ranked Duke team in early December. Next up is another big one Sunday at Michigan State.
The Hawkeyes dropped to 19-5 overall and 10-2 in the conference, snapping a three-game winning streak. Iowa hosts Minnesota on Sunday.