Victor Oladipo suited up for Indiana Tuesday night and said "What ankle?" Just two days earlier, the junior twisted his ankle chasing down a play against Purdue and was listed as day-to-day before heading to East Lansing.
It started with Oladipo tipping in missed layup by Yogi Ferrell, right place, right time. He then broke loose on an inbounds and took the long pass from Christian Watford to the hole for a dunk. Oladipo then snagged the intentional free throw miss by Gary Harris and was immediately fouled. He iced the game by hitting two free throws and gave IU the four point win.
Oladipo did it all for Indiana. It wasn't his best game of the season, but considering he wasn't completely healthy, it was very impressive. Coach Tom Crean stated after the game that Oladipo was far from 100-percent.
Oladipo finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, a block, and five steals. He also crossed the 1,000 point threshold against MSU, and he wasn't the only one to do so.
Cody Zeller also scored his 1,000th point last night. This is historic for IU as it marks the first time that the school has ever had four 1,000 point scorers on the team at the same time (the other two being Watford and Jordan Hulls).
Zeller had his struggles against the tough front court of the Spartans. He turned in a much better performance than his first meeting against them. Zeller put up 17 points, five rebounds, and two timely blocks.
Zeller was also involved in a strange moment late in the game where it appeared (read: actually happened) as if Derrick Nix smacked him in the groin. The referees took a long time to review the play, and despite video evidence that was very clear, decided not to punish Nix. Nix should have been hit with a technical at the very least, and an argument could have been made to throw him out of the game. We'll discuss the officiating more tomorrow.
Watford struggled all night long, but had perhaps the most important play of the game. With IU down four, he was able to penetrate, score and draw the foul, making it a one point game with just over a minute left to play. The senior managed 12 points but it came off 4-of-10 shooting.
Jordan Hulls took one of the most impressive three-point attempts ever, nailing the 35-foot jumper with a man in his face (also, there was plenty of time on the shot clock). Hulls was 4-of-6 from the arc with 12 points. He also snagged three rebounds and had three assists.
Yogi Ferrell continues to show improvement, especially on the defensive end. Ferrell spent most of the night guarding the outstanding Keith Appling, who finished with just six points off 1-for-8 shooting and had only two assists.
Ferrell was able to six points, five assists, a steal, and three rebounds.
This win puts IU (24-3, 12-2) at the top of the Big Ten, and, by way of the sweep, effectively have a two game lead over Michigan State (22-5, 11-3).
We'll have more on this game up tomorrow.
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