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November 13, 2013

Cold-shooting Hoosiers rally past LIU Brooklyn

BLOOMINGTON — Maybe Indiana should shy away from the 3-point shot. The Hoosiers might not need another miss at the buzzer to escape with a victory.

Indiana overcame another cold night from behind the arc to rally for a 73-72 win over LIU Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Jason Brickman’s 3-pointer for the Blackbirds fell short at the buzzer, spoiling an impressive performance by LIU and helping the Hoosiers improve to 2-0.

After shooting 1-for-8 from 3-point range in Friday’s season-opening win, the Hoosiers were just 1-of-16 in the first half on Tuesday. Yogi Ferrell opened the game with a 3, but IU missed 16 straight before Will Sheehey finally found his range, hitting a 3 with 13:42 to play to cut the Blackbirds’ lead to 48-46.

“I knew Will would knock down shots at the end because he does that every day in practice,” Ferrll said. Sheehey, who missed all eight of his shots in the first half, six of them 3-pointers, was 6-of-10 from the field and 3-for-5 on 3-pointers in the second half.

The Hoosiers were 6-of-10 on 3-pointers in the second half to finish 7-of-26 for the game.

IU led 10-4 after a Jeremy Hollowell layup at the 15:16 mark. But the Blackbirds (1-1) went on a 14-0 run, taking advantage of eight straight missed shots by the Hoosiers.

“I think it’s a great experience, definitely a learning experience, how to handle situations like this,” Vonleh said.

“First half, the ball movement, we were rushing shots. But the ball movement got better.”

The loss would have been the first nonconference loss at Assembly Hall for the Hoosiers since Dec. 22, 2009.

Sheehey had 19 points, Ferrell scored 17, and freshman Noah Vonleh had his second double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

“I think teams are going to focus on him more because we’re trying to get the ball inside to him,” Ferrell said of Vonleh. “His inside presence is going to be big for us down the road.”

Ferrell said he isn’t concerned about IU’s offense, which is shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 23.5 percent on 3-pointers through two games.

“These are shots I know guys can knock down,” he said.

“We were trying to take what the defense was giving us (in the first half),” Ferrelll said. “We took shots that we thought were open but they weren’t.”

The Blackbirds led by as many as nine points in the first half. The game was tied nine times, the last on a Sheehey 3-pointer with 2:46 to play.

Brickman hit two free throws, and LIU got the ball back with 33 seconds left to set up for the final shot. Brickman missed a layup and Devin Davis grabbed the rebound.

But Davis missed a free throw and Brickman rebounded, racing down court to shoot a 3 at the buzzer.

Troy Joseph led the Blackbirds with 16 points. Gilbert Parga and E.J. Reed each scored 15 and Brickman added 11 points and 10 assists.

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