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November 19, 2012What just happened:
It may not have been pretty, but Indiana got it done Monday evening.
Enduring a poor shooting first half and trailing at the break, the Hoosiers recovered against Georgia in the second half to win 66-53, securing a spot in the Legends Classic finals on Tuesday.
Senior Jordan Hulls and junior Victor Oladipo sparked a 19-4 run midway through the second half to turn a four-point Hoosier deficit in to an 11-point lead. Hulls' capped the run with a pair of 3-pointers in a 30-second span that put the game out of reach.
Oladipo led all scorers with 15 points, while Hulls and senior Christian Watford added 14 apiece.
What it means:
The primary result from Monday is that IU moves on to the Legends Classic final against Georgetown or UCLA on Tuesday.
But in a bigger picture, it was the team's first real test of the season. IU did not shoot well in the first half (8-for-25) and got in to early foul trouble, including two fouls from sophomore Cody Zeller.
While Georgia is not an elite squad, it is no Sam Houston State either, and their size in particular challenged the thin Indiana front line.
And IU won without much help from Zeller, who struggled all night with foul trouble and turnovers. He finished with six points, three rebounds and four turnovers.
But, IU remains undefeated on the season and could face freshman phenom Shabazz Muhammad if UCLA wins its semifinal game.
How it happened:
IU played sloppy in the first half, turning the ball over and committing several fouls. Zeller, Oladipo and freshman Jeremy Hollowell each had two fouls at halftime.
But when the Hoosiers were trailing 38-34 and needed something, Oladipo provided it. He had an impressive baseline drive for a dunk and then converted on a layup the next possession.
And then Hulls finished off the Bulldogs with his two 3-pointers.
IU never looked back, leading by as many as 16 points in the final minutes of the game.
Oladipo. He provided the energy when the team - and particularly Zeller - were struggling. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
FG shooting by half. IU shot 8-for-25 (32 percent) in the first half and 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) in the second half. Georgia, meanwhile, shot 34.6 percent in the first half and got worse in the second, shooting 33.3 percent.