Published March 08, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS – Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller were not going to let Indiana lose in the Big Ten tournament again.
Hulls scored 20 points, while Zeller added 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 15 Indiana past Penn State 75-58 and end a six-game losing streak in tournament play.
The victory (25-7) adds to an already impressive resume. After becoming the first league school to beat a No. 1 and No. 2 team in the same season in nearly six decades, after completing their first perfect non-conference season since 1989-90 and setting a single-season record for wins at Assembly Hall (18), the Hoosiers now have their first postseason win since the first round of the 2007 NCAA tournament -- and their first victory in Big Ten tourney play since a win over Wisconsin on March 10, 2006.
With a victory over the 14th-raned Badgers in Friday's quarterfinals, Indiana would have its highest victory total since the 1992-93 team won 31 games. The Hoosiers won the Big Ten regular-season crown and came within one win of making the Final Four that season.
Penn State finished its first season under coach Patrick Chambers at 12-20. The Nittany Lions were led by Tim Frazier, who scored 19 of his 26 points in the first half. Trey Lewis had 11.
Indiana Hoosiers made this one look easy.
Hull and Zeller combined for Indiana's first 22 points, and when their teammates finally got involved, the Hoosiers went on a 9-0 run late in the first half to take a 31-21 lead. Penn State cut the deficit to 38-32 at halftime.
Indiana then took advantage of Penn State's second-half struggles.
Hulls' third 3-pointer of the game started a 10-0 run that gave Indiana a 50-34 lead with about 14 minutes to play.
Penn State, which shot 28.6 percent from the in the second, got as close as 54-41, but then the Hoosiers went on an 11-2 run to make it 65-43. The Nittany Lions never got within single digits again.
Christian Watford scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half for Indiana.
But it wasn't all fun for the Hoosiers. Senior guard Verdell Jones crashed to the floor, screaming and clutching his right knee with 5:45 left in the first half. He was eventually carried to the locker room by two of his teammates and did not return. A team spokesman said Jones had been diagnosed with a sprained knee and would be evaluated again after the game.