Iowa leads early before falling at Indiana, 65-43

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Harassing defensive pressure by Indiana forced the University of Iowa into 20 turnovers and the host Hoosiers remained perfect in six Big Ten Conference games with a 65-43 victory Wednesday evening inside Assembly Hall. It was the 29th consecutive home victory for Indiana.

Iowa is now 9-11 overall, 2-5 in league play. The No. 8 Hoosiers improved to 17-1 overall after scoring 31 points off turnovers.

Iowa started the game on a 4-0 run, but Indiana netted the next nine points and never trailed the rest of the first half. The Hoosiers led 37-26 at the break, thanks to scoring 20 points off 11 Hawkeye turnovers. Indiana closed the half on a 9-2 run over the final 3:37 to grab the 11-point edge.

“When it was difficult to do things, we became almost content to stay in one spot,” UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. “We needed to reverse the ball and make them guard.”

The Hawkeyes were held to 17 points in the second half. Tony Freeman paced Iowa with 14 points (four three-point field goals) and two steals. Cyrus Tate compiled eight points and five rebounds and Seth Gorney pulled down five rebounds. Indiana received 19 points from D.J. White and 17 from Eric Gordon.

“Indiana took advantage of our backward steps during the game and a lead gets out of hand some times,” Freeman said. “We were trying too hard, especially on the defensive end.”

Iowa made 15 of 44 field goals for the game (34.1 percent), including 5 of 17 three-point field goals. The Hoosiers doubled up on points in the paint, 32-16, and applied the defensive clamps during the final half.

Freeman led Iowa with eight points and Justin Johnson added six during the first 20 minutes. Iowa converted 56.3 percent of its field goals, but the Hawkeyes attempted just 16 shots. Meanwhile, Indiana attempted 27 field goals, making 16 (59.3 percent). Iowa had nine rebounds at the break (with no offensive boards), while the Hoosiers had four offensive rebounds and 13 total.

Iowa returns home to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Jan. 26, to play Penn State with a 5:05 p.m. tip. The Nittany Lions entered play with a record of 10-8 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes have won nine of the last 11 meetings with Penn State, but lost 74-72 in the last meeting in State College on Feb. 28, 2007.

“We’ve responded well to losses,” Lickliter said. “I’d like to respond well, win and then respond well again.”