The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 24, 2013

Watford’s swat saves the day

DAYTON, Ohio — Last season, Christian Watford’s 3-pointer to beat No. 1 Kentucky brought the Indiana basketball program back. You can’t go anywhere in Bloomington without seeing a photo of that shot.

As wild and far-fetched as it may sound, Watford made an even bigger play on Sunday afternoon at the University of Dayton Arena.

Watford’s blocked shot of Temple’s Anthony Lee and the rebound that followed helped Indiana prevail 58-52 in the third round of the NCAA tournament and advance to the Sweet 16 in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

“Christian wants to win, and his leadership showed through,” said Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley. “He may not be the most vocal guy, but he has that fire that burns inside. He had to make a winning play, and that’s what he did.”

With two minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the game and the top-seeded Hoosiers trailing nine-seed Temple 52-50, the Owls’ Khalif Wyatt drove to the right baseline. Wyatt had been burning the Hoosiers all day — he finished with 31 points — so Cody Zeller left his man and doubled Wyatt on a pick and roll.

That left Lee wide open, and Wyatt found him cutting to the basket. Lee could have put the Owls up four with a layup, but Watford rotated over from the other side of the floor, jumped from behind Lee and blocked the shot.

“I was on the weak side, and I was kind of pushed up too much,” Watford said. “Wyatt put enough air on the ball for me to get it. I got in at the end and challenged the shot, and I blocked him.”

After Lee got his own rebound and missed a shot attempt, Watford corralled the rebound with only his right arm. The Owls wouldn’t score another point.

“That was the biggest play of the game, and Christian can do that,” said Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell. “When he blocked that ball and got that one-arm rebound, I even said, ‘Wow, that was something spectacular.’”

Senior guard Jordan Hulls went even a step further.

“Biggest play of the year,” he said. “We’re moving on because of that.”

When Watford hit the 3-pointer to beat Kentucky last year, it became the signature moment in Indiana’s season. A photo of that shot was printed on the popcorn boxes at Assembly Hall for this season.

Watford’s play on Sunday may go down as this season’s signature moment. The Hoosiers’ season was hanging in the balance, and Watford saved it.

The Indiana senior was asked after the game if his block was bigger than the shot from last year. He didn’t hesitate.

“Without a doubt,” Watford said. “I don’t know if they’re gonna have a lot of pictures and stuff like they did with the shot, but we’ll see.”

Added Indiana coach Tom Crean: “Think you can sell as many pictures of that?”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0424 - Frankton vs AHS - 048 Frankton hits early, often in win over Anderson Frankton pounded out 11 hits in handing Anderson its second softball loss in as many nights.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0424 - Alex v MG 3 Argylls hold on to top Tigers Pitching and defense win games, especially in girls high school softball and it was on display here Wednesday evening as the Madison-Grant Lady Argylls picked up a 4-1 Central Indiana Conference win over the host Lady Tigers.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indians come up short against Tigers in golf The Anderson Indians came up short against Yorktown 147-170 on Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Reggie photo for online notebook Colts notebook: Few doubts about Wayne in locker room If there are outside doubts about whether Reggie Wayne can return to form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0424 - Mathis armor Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the proud possessions of the NFL's reigning sacks champion thanks to the generosity of Daniel Adongo and Bjoern Werner.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers finally respond to critics So maybe the Indiana Pacers don't like being called wussies. Is that all it took, an on-air jab from Charles Barkley? Some brash talk, apparently, from Atlanta Hawks guard and Indianapolis native son Jeff Teague? Or was it the stark reality that they were closing in on owning the notorious legacy of a team that melted in the bright lights, faster than frozen yogurt?

    April 23, 2014

  • Rick Bramwell: Morel season off to a slow start The expectations, brought on by a harsh winter, have turned into a wait-and-see situation for morel hunters. A cooler than normal spring has put the tasty little sponges on ice.

    April 23, 2014

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos