IOWA CITY, Iowa — Cody Zeller had 15 of his 19 points in the second half and fifth-ranked Indiana opened Big Ten play by holding off Iowa 69-65 on Monday night.
Victor Oladipo scored 14 points for the Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who snapped a four-game losing streak in Iowa City and have now won four straight since losing to Butler two weeks ago.
Oladipo beat the shot clock with a putback with 1:04 left to put the Hoosiers ahead 65-60. He also made two key free throws with 26 seconds to go to make it a two-possession game.
Aaron White had 15 points to lead Iowa (11-3, 0-1), which might have pulled off the upset had it shot better than 3 of 17 from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes had all kinds of trouble knocking down shots from everywhere in the first half. But they buried nine of their first 10 after the break to inch within 48-46 of Indiana, keeping the high-powered Hoosiers offense from building an insurmountable cushion.
But even though Indiana later went without a field goal for nearly five minutes, the Hawkeyes couldn't muster enough offense to retake the lead.
Devyn Marble, Iowa's leading scorer, had an awful afternoon from the field. He was just 1 of 14 shooting and bricked a 3 after Oladipo's key putback.
Iowa's Zach McCabe missed a 3 that would have tied it at 65-all with under a minute left, and Oladipo sealed the win at the line.
Will Sheehey scored 13 points, Christian Watford had 11 and Zeller and Oladipo each grabbed 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers.
Indiana's recent four-game losing streak at Iowa was indicative of its recent struggles, especially since the Hawkeyes hadn't been all that great during that stretch either.
It's been quite a while since Indiana brought a team this deep and this talented to Iowa City.
Still, it took nearly 12 minutes for Zeller, the leading scorer for the nation's best offense, to find the basket. He did so on a dunk – then went through 7-foot-1 Iowa freshman Adam Woodbury to put Indiana up 19-16 on the next possession. That came during a 10-0 Hoosiers run that sent fiery Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery through the roof.
A pair of tough baskets off drives by freshman Yogi Ferrell – who had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists – helped the Hoosiers to a 33-25 halftime lead.
Indiana freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell returned Monday after athletic director Fred Glass issued a statement Sunday saying the NCAA has cleared Hollowell of any potential infractions.
Hollowell, who averaged 5.7 points and three rebounds in his first 10 games, played five minutes and was held scoreless.
Iowa had three freshman starters make their Big Ten debuts; guards Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons and Woodbury. All three appear to have bright futures in the league, but their first afternoon in the Big Ten resulted in a loss.