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No. 1 Indiana rebounds with 73-60 win over Iowa

Saturday - 3/2/2013, 11:30pm  ET

Indiana forward Cody Zeller, right, shoots over Iowa center Adam Woodbury in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, March 2, 2013. Indiana defeated Iowa 73-60/ (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Cody Zeller was not going to get pushed around on his home court, so he helped No. 1 Indiana fight back Saturday night.

Wearing blood-spotted shorts, courtesy of a second-half cut to the chin, the 7-foot sophomore kept going to the basket and drawing fouls.

Zeller had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, leading the Hoosiers past Iowa 73-60 to keep them atop the Big Ten standings.

"I've watched a lot of games this year, and I'm telling you that nobody has the physicality used against him like Cody does," coach Tom Crean said. "And you never see him change his expression. We had to take him out of the game when the bleeding wouldn't stop and he didn't change."

The Hoosiers needed all the muscle Zeller could provide on this rugged end to a tough week.

On Tuesday, Minnesota dominated Indiana inside and pulled an upset that will likely cost Indiana the No. 1 spot in next week's poll. No. 2 Gonzaga won twice this week.

On Saturday, the Hoosiers (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten) needed an even grittier performance when their shooters had a poor night.

Indiana shot just 38.9 percent from the field and didn't make a 3-pointer until the final minute.

So Zeller took matters into his own hands by continually going the ball to the basket.

The tactic did come with a price.

Zeller was knocked to the ground a couple of times in the opening minutes when he missed four shots in the lane and he went sprawling across the court twice in the first half when he dived at steals.

And with 8:48 left in the game, as Christian Watford walked to the free-throw line, the officials escorted Zeller to the bench because of the blood.

First, he tried to hide it. Then he tried to stop it with a towel before taking a seat at the end of the bench. Twenty-seven seconds later, the trainers patched up the bloody chin and Zeller went back into the game where he continued to play the leading role.

Zeller didn't even give it a second thought. He drew another foul, made two free throws, scored on a dunk all while crediting his teammates for the job they did to give Indiana the lead.

"The thing that kept us going was our defense," Zeller said. "We kept getting stops on the defensive end. We struggled at times on offense, but when you're getting stops, you're OK."

Freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell finished with a season-high 19 points and five assists for Indiana. Victor Oladipo had 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals despite playing much of the second half in foul trouble.

It was enough to earn a 25th regular season win and keep the Hoosiers 1
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