In the days following Indiana’s shocking loss at Illinois on Thursday night, Tom Crean spent a good amount of time trying to teach his team how to close out games. The Hoosiers had squandered a late lead against the Illini, and left Champaign with a heartbreaking buzzer-beating loss.
Crean showed his team film of the last five minutes of several games this season in which the Hoosiers, as Cody Zeller put it, “played for the clock to run out” instead of playing to win.
The Indiana players heard Crean’s message loud and clear, and they applied it in Sunday’s critical 81-68 victory at No. 10 Ohio State.
“We looked so immature, how we handled that last five minutes of the game,” said junior guard Victor Oladipo. “We’re too old for that, even Yogi [Ferrell]. Yogi’s played enough games now that he’s too old for that. We’ve got to make sure that never happens again.”
So when the No. 1 Hoosiers (21-3, 9-2) built a sizable second-half lead on Sunday, they made sure they didn’t let it go. Th