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Eyeing IU

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Hoosiers knock off Wolverines

BLOOMINGTON – Verdell Jones III scored four late points to lift Indiana to a 73-71 victory against Michigan Thursday at Assembly Hall.

Christian Watford scored 25 points while Cody Zeller added 18 for the No 12 Hoosiers (14-1, 2-1 Big Ten).

Tim Hardaway Jr. led No. 16 Michigan with 19 points.

Indiana held a 39-32 lead at the start of the second half. But the Wolverines (12-3, 2-1) jumped out to a quick start in the final 20 minutes.

Zack Novak started the half with a three-pointer. Moments later, Hardaway Jr. made a jumper. Jordan Morgan scored to get Michigan within 44-43 with just under 16 minutes remaining.

Evan Smotrycz tied the game at 46 with a three-pointer with 14:50 to go.

Zeller scored seven of the Hoosiers’ next nine points to give IU a 55-51 lead with 11:20 left.

Matt Roth made a three-pointer to extend IU’s advantage to 58-51 with 9:47 to go.

Indiana used a 7-2 run to stretch the lead to 65-55. Watford made a three-pointer and then Victor Oladipo scored with a dunk to give the Hoosiers the 10-point edge.

But Michigan came back with a run of its own. Trey Burke led the charge. He went high off the glass for a layup to get the Wolverines within 68-65 with 3:58 to go. Hardaway tied the game at 68 with a dunk with 2:58 to go.

Two free throws by Jones gave IU a 70-68 lead with 2:50 left. Jones made a jumper with 1 second left on the shot clock to extend the lead to 72-68 with 23 seconds left.

Stu Douglass made a three-pointer to make it 72-71 with 2.9 seconds. Watford made 1 of 2 free throws, and a Novak missed a halfcourt shot to end the game.

The Hoosiers started fast, making 5 of their first 6 shots to take a 12-6 lead.

A Roth jumper gave IU a 17-6 lead with 11:52 left in the half. The Wolverines got within 17-11 when Burke banked in a three-pointer.

Watford answered with a three-pointer for the Hoosiers. Zeller then made a basket while getting fouled. He hit the free throw that followed to stretch IU’s lead to 23-11 with 8:42 left in the half.

Michigan got within 35-30 after back-to-back three-pointers by Douglass.

Watford made two jumpers to push the lead to 39-30.The Hoosiers took a 39-32 lead into halftime. IU had the seven-point edge despite two fouls each by Oladipo, Jones and Zeller.

They would each make major contributions in the second half, helping the Hoosiers to the win.

lpope@jg.net

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