DAYTON, Ohio —
Indiana saved its best for last on Sunday.
And the Hoosiers’ quest for the program’s sixth national title rolls on.
Outplayed for much of the game by No. 9 seed Temple, IU rallied for a 58-52 win over the Owls in the NCAA tournament’s third round, with Christian Watford adding another highlight to his personal highlight reel and Victor Oladipo clinching the win with a clutch 3-pointer.
Now the Hoosiers (29-6) head to Washington, D.C., for the Sweet 16, and a matchup Thursday with No. 4 seed Syracuse (28-9).
The first half Sunday was the Khalif Wyatt show. Temple’s standout guard, the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, had 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting as the Owls led 29-26 at halftime.
“I think I was just being aggressive,” Wyatt said of his early success. “My teammates kept coming to me, and I was just being aggressive.”
While Wyatt was off to a hot start, his teammates weren’t. The other Owls shot 4-of-20 in the first half.
But the Hoosiers weren’t much better, shooting 10-of-26 in their second-lowest scoring first half of the season. Ohio State held IU to 25 points in a 67-58 win over the Hoosiers on March 5 in Bloomington.
“This is as tough a team as we’ve faced all season,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “You can see it on film, but film doesn’t do justice obviously to how tough they are.”
IU actually jumped out to a decent lead, taking a 20-11 advantage midway through the first half on a Watford jumper. But the Owls closed the half with an 18-6 run.
The Hoosiers didn’t lead again until Oladipo hit one of two free throws with 1:19 left to break a 52-52 tie. Oladipo added a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining after Watford’s block of Anthony Lee, and Watford added two free throws for the final margin.
Temple didn’t score in the final 3:09.
“The whole game they were overplaying me, but I think the last six minutes maybe they just all-out face-guarded me full court,” said Wyatt, whose frustration with IU’s style of play was evident at times. “It was real hard for me to get the ball.
“Oladipo is a really good defender. And that kid, (Remy) Abell, is a really good defender. It was just really difficult for me to get the ball,” added Wyatt, who finished with 31 points after he shot just 4-of-10 in the second half.
Lee added 10 points off the bench for Temple (24-10), whose season ended in part because three Owls starters — forward Jake O’Brien and guards Will Cummings and Scootie Randall — combined to shoot 0-for-21 from the field.
“I’ve had days like this,” said Randall, who was 0-for-12 himself but did have a game-high nine rebounds. “The only thing that was going through my head when I was missing is keep shooting and do other things to try to help my team.”
“Temple couldn’t get separation,” Crean said. “If they had been able to, things would be different. But they couldn’t get separation.”
Oladipo led IU with 16 points while Cody Zeller scored 15 and Will Sheehey added 10 off the bench.
And Watford, who scored nine, gets his wish.
“My motivation is to play with these guys as long as possible,” he said.
IU advances to Sweet 16 with late rally against Temple
DAYTON, Ohio —
Indiana saved its best for last on Sunday.
- Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.
Lady Ravens refusing to lose
The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.
- Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.
- Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.
- Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.
PH pushes across only run in 7th
After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.
- Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.
- Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.
Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout
An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.
- Indians scratch back into Muller final A young and inexperienced Anderson team again proved its mettle Friday in the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Indians (2-3), playing without several expected starters to open the season, clawed out a 10-6 victory against Lapel (2-2) at Memorial Field to advance to the championship game for the 10th time.
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