Indiana 75, Butler 59

Indiana won one round in their in-state battle Sunday night.

Will Sheehey scored a career-high 21 points and Cody Zeller

added 16 Sunday night to help Indiana pull away from in-state rival

Butler 75-59 in the title game of the Hoosier Invitational.

Sheehey was named the tournament’s MVP as the unbeaten Hoosiers

improved to 6-0 for the second straight season. It’s only the third

time since 2002-03 that the Hoosiers have opened a season with six

straight wins.

Butler (3-3) was led by Chrishawn Hopkins with 19 points and

Khyle Marshall with 16, but the rebuilding Bulldogs eventually wore

down in the final 10 minutes.

The game pitted the last two Indiana schools to reach the Final

Four. Indiana lost in the 2002 national championship game to

Maryland. Butler lost to Duke and Connecticut in the last two title

games.

Not surprisingly, it was a defensive slugfest most of the

night.

Indiana finally broke open the game with an 11-2 second-half run

that gave them a 51-39 lead midway through the second half, and the

Bulldogs never seriously challenged again.

But neither team could get a comfortable advantage for almost 30

minutes.

Butler trailed 31-28 at halftime, then scored the first four

points of the second half to retake the lead, 32-31, when Hopkins

scored on a fastbreak layup. Even after Indiana went on a 7-0 run

and looked like it would take control, the Bulldogs quickly cut the

lead to 40-37 with 12:12 left to play.

That’s when Indiana cranked up its defense.

Following a media timeout, Sheehey hit a 3-pointer and 1 of 2

free throws, Cody Zeller posted up for a layup and Jordan Hulls

converted a turnover into a driving layup to give the Hoosiers a

48-39 lead with 10:07 to go.

The Hoosiers didn’t stop there. Christian Watford made 1 of 2

free throws and when Zeller scored on a putback off the missed free

throw, Indiana had its biggest lead of the night, 51-39. The

Hoosiers extended the lead to as much 21 with 1:23 to go, but fell

just short of extending the school record for 20-point wins to open

a season to six.

Indiana shot 50 percent from the field in the second half after

making only 32 percent in the first half, and four players finished

in double figures.