No. 12 Indiana Stays Hot, Beats No. 16 Michigan

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

After already defeating No. 2 Kentucky and No. 6 Ohio State at home, the Hoosiers knocked off their third top-25 team of the season on Thursday night, this time beating No. 16 Michigan, 73-71.

As has been the script for No. 12 Indiana in these wins, the game was tight late. The score was tied at 68 before senior guard Verdell Jones III sank two free throws with 2:50 remaining. Another jumper by Jones two minutes later pushed the lead to four, and the Wolverines never recovered.

While Jones hit the clutch shots, junior forward Christian Watford was the reason Indiana went in front in the first place. He connected on 8-of-11 attempts and finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds in the win.

After the game, Michigan’s head coach John Beilein was full of praise for Watford.

From The Indianapolis Star:

“Watford had a series of baskets there (late in the game) and you just can’t stop some of that stuff,’’ Beilein said. “We put little guys on him, we put big guys on him. He shot right over Blake McLimans who is a big, long dude. He just shot over him like it was (5-11) Trey Burke guarding him. So he’s a really talented player.

The Hoosiers improved to 14-1 on the season, giving Tom Crean the most he’s had in any of his four seasons in Bloomington. Their next chance at a ranked foe will be on Jan. 15 in a rematch against Ohio State.