Sheehey’s 30 helps keep Iowa in reverse
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The signs held high in the Indiana student section during pregame introductions were appropriate: “You rank ’em, we beat ’em.”
And on the same night Will Sheehey was honored for joining the 1,000-point club, he scored 19 of his career-high 30 to lead the Hoosiers over No. 20 Iowa 93-86 on Thursday in a game that was postponed last week.
“These guys were just finding me in transition,” Sheehey said. “I think Yogi (Ferrell) threw two or three over-the-top passes. Really, I was scoring without the ball in my hands and these guys found me.”
Stanford Robinson had a career-best 17 points off the bench for the Hoosiers (16-12, 6-9 Big Ten), who beat a Top 25 team for the third time this year. Michigan was No. 10 when the Hoosiers topped the Wolverines on Feb. 2, and Wisconsin was ranked third when Indiana won last month.
The Hoosiers scored six straight points to take a 77-69 lead when Robinson converted a three-point play. Ferrell tossed a pass near the basket and Sheehey dunked to give Indiana an 82-73 advantage with 1:35 remaining.
“He’s playing like the Will Sheehey that everyone has come to know, love and respect over the past couple of years,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Just go out and play. We need his leadership, we need his courage, we need Will to be Will.”
Indiana went on a 9-0 run in the second half, capped by a 3-pointer from Evan Gordon that gave them a 62-60 lead with 13:13 remaining.
Roy Devyn Marble had 20 points and Aaron White added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (19-9, 8-7), who have lost three straight.
The Hoosiers scored six straight points to take a 77-69 lead when Robinson converted a three-point play. Sheehey dunked to give Indiana an 82-73 advantage with 1:35 remaining.
The game originally was slated for last week but was postponed after an 8-foot, 50-pound steel plate fell from the ceiling of Assembly Hall about 6 1/2 hours before the scheduled start.
The plate was reinforced with four additional bolts, Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said before Thursday’s tipoff.
Three other steel plates were found to be loose and those were taken down, inspected, and reinforced to the ceiling with additional bolts as well, Glass said.
Melting snow and ice pushed water behind the steel plate, jarring it loose. Glass said the tops of the plates were shaved off, allowing more room between the ceiling and the plate itself.
The Hawkeyes had a chance to move up in the league standings with No. 22 Ohio State’s 65-63 loss at Penn State on Thursday night, and they closed the first half on a 9-0 run. Zach McCabe hit a 3-pointer and White dunked twice, including one with 1:16 left to put Iowa ahead 50-49.
Gabriel Olaseni scored on a hook shot to make it 52-49 at halftime.
The Hawkeyes went on a 6-0 spurt early in the second half to take a 58-51 lead on a basket by Mike Gesell and two more by Melsahn Basabe.
Robinson dunked for Indiana and White dunked for the Hawkeyes before Indiana’s 9-0 run to take the lead.
Robinson made a layup, Sheehey hit a 3 and Jeremy Hollowell sank a free throw before Gordon’s go-ahead 3. Gordon took a charge from Jarrod Uthoff, but Marble grabbed a steal from Ferrell and scored to tie the game at 62.
Basabe gave the Hawkeyes a 66-64 lead on a putback, but it didn’t last long as Indiana went on a 7-2 run.
Devin Davis converted a three-point play and Gordon made a layup. White hit two free throws before Sheehey made a basket to make it 74-69.
“I wish it was played 10 days ago, now that we lost,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “But everybody was in the same boat. We had to make two trips, OK, but the only thing I can say is if somebody would have gotten hurt or killed that night, we couldn’t take that risk. I don’t want to make an excuse as to that’s why we lost.”
But the timing certainly wasn’t good.
The Hawkeyes host Purdue on Sunday before going to Michigan State next Thursday for the first of two games in three days. They wrap up the regular season at home against Illinois on March 8.
The two weeks leading up to the Big Ten tournament aren’t much better for the Hoosiers. They host Ohio State on Sunday, Nebraska on Wednesday and then go to Michigan on March 8.