Published November 21, 2012
NEW YORK – Georgetown came out of its trip to Brooklyn for the Legends Classic with about the best possible outcome short of winning the whole thing.
The Hoyas gave No. 1 Indiana an "epic battle" before losing 82-72 in overtime of the championship game Tuesday night, showcasing their ability to hang with anyone.
Cody Zeller had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Hoosiers, who capitalized on a major disparity in free throws against a quick and athletic Georgetown team.
"They're a good team. They're a very good team, the best team in the country," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "We're still growing up. You hope to grow up without losses, but hopefully this will help."
Hoosiers coach Tom Crean, who called the game an "epic battle," was impressed by the Hoyas, especially their athleticism and basketball IQ.
Markel Starks scored 20 points for the Hoyas (3-1), and Otto Porter, who fouled out in overtime, made a layup with 4.6 seconds to play in regulation that tied the game at 64.
Porter finished with 15 points, but was one of three players who fouled out in overtime.
"I think you have to give them credit for being able to draw those fouls," Thompson said.
Jordan Hulls had 17 points for Indiana (5-0) and Yogi Ferrell had 14, including seven in overtime. His last points came on a 3-pointer he released just before the shot clock ran out, giving Indiana a 10-point lead with about a minute to go and, finally, clinching a game Indiana almost had wrapped up in regulation.
Victor Oladipo scored 12 points for Indiana and Christian Watford added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who took 36 free throws to Georgetown's 10.
"Our guys just went out and played a high-level team in a high-level way," Crean said. "It's a program win for us. A program championship for us."
At the end of regulation, Hulls pushed the ball up the floor and passed to Zeller crashing the lane, but Zeller's lay-in was late and missed, anyway.
Late in regulation, Indiana rebounded a miss, drained the shot clock and Hulls made a layup with two minutes left that made it 61-54.
After Greg Whittington's layup, Zeller was fouled in the lane and made both free throws with 1:18 left that appeared to put the game away before Georgetown made two quick 3s.
With about eight minutes to go, the 7-foot preseason All-America passed to Ferrell for a layup attempt on which he was fouled and made both throws. Then with 5:42 left, he passed out of a double team in the paint to find Will Sheehey for a dunk that electrified the crowd and gave Indiana a six-point lead.
But Georgetown ground away and Starks and Porter made the 3-pointers that helped the Hoyas close Indiana's lead from seven points to one.
Indiana finished 11 of 17 on 3-pointers and Georgetown made 11 of 26.
"It's just a learning process this early in the year," Porter said. "Most of our guys never had that much experience."
The first half was a wild, back-and-forth affair during which both teams combined to shoot 14 for 24 on 3-pointers. Remy Abell made a 3-pointer with 4:22 remaining before halftime to give the Hoosiers a seven-point lead, but the Hoyas answered with a 3 by Whittington, and Indiana led 36-32 at the break.
Zeller surpassed his scoring and rebounding totals from the night before by halftime.
Hoosiers fans made Brooklyn into Big Ten territory days after the conference welcomed Maryland and Rutgers, in a move seen to appeal to East Coast television markets, including the nation's largest in New York.
Crimson-and-cream-clad revelers began arriving during UCLA's dull win over Georgia in the consolation game, and by the 10 p.m. tipoff, were roaring. Georgetown fans were outnumbered, but still managed to hoot and shout to make themselves heard over the din.