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Hoosiers hold off Hoyas in OT to win Legends crown

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Indiana Hoosiers emerged as champions of the Legends Classic, but not without absorbing a couple of challenges that threatened to take them out of the country's No. 1 spot.

The Hoosiers were especially threatened Tuesday night, barely escaping the Georgetown Hoyas' upset bid to take a 82-72, overtime win at the Barclays Center. The victory came one night after the Hoosiers beat Georgia after trailing for most of the first half.

The championship game included a frantic final minute of regulation in which Georgetown's Otto Porter scored five points, a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left and the tying basket with six seconds left to even the game at 64-64.

"The desire was to go to the hole; that's what the plan was," Porter said of his 3-pointer. "But it was an open one and I took it."

The Hoosiers quickly shook off the flurry, scoring the first six points of overtime. They methodically hit their free throws until Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, who had missed a big free throw down the stretch in regulation, sank a back-breaking 3-pointer to put Indiana up 78-68 with 59 seconds left in OT.

"We said it to our team, 'This is gonna be an epic battle,'" Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "We haven't been through a lot of these games in November, but we were ready for it, and so was Georgetown."

Indiana's Jordan Hulls, who scored 17 points Tuesday after scoring 14 points Monday, was selected the tournament MVP.

Cody Zeller had 17 points and eight rebounds for Indiana, Ferrell scored 14, and Christian Watford contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 20 points, and Porter added 15.

The youthful Hoyas had three players foul out, and they sent Indiana to the foul line 36 times while getting there just 10 themselves.

"We came here to win, and we had our chances," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "We had our chances, so we're disappointed at how this turned out."

Indiana did a good job of resetting in overtime, going up 70-64 thanks to five points from Hulls and two free throws from Ferrell.

"I think it was great because our attitude was fantastic," Crean said of his players' demeanor after regulation. "The heads didn't drop, they didn't start complaining."

Hulls said of the difference to start overtime: "Keeping the energy up. We knew we had to get stops ... We were able to do that. Yogi's 3 out of the corner was pretty big, and being able to hit our free throws."

Trailing 47-44, Indiana finally appeared to pull away. A 15-4 run gave the Hoosiers a 59-51 lead with 4:03 left.

Indiana's Will Sheehey scored four points driving inside for a layup and a dunk, while Ferrell hit three of four free throws during the stretch.

Georgetown got within 59-54 with 3:43 left when Mikael Hopkins hit a layup and a free throw after Zeller fouled him on the play. The Hoyas remained just close enough to make a move at the end after a tightly contested game.

Down 44-39 with 15:32 left in the second half, the Hoyas went on an 8-0 run. Porter scored four points during the stretch and gave the Hoyas their first lead since there was 8:25 left in the first half. His dunk made it 45-44 with 11:54 left in the game.

Indiana took a 36-32 lead into halftime behind nine points from Victor Oladipo and eight from Zeller.

The score was tight through most of the first half before Indiana went on a 10-0 run to take a 33-26 lead on a 3-pointer by Remy Abell with 4:22 left before the break.

Having entered Monday's semifinal round averaging six points per game before scoring 23 points in the win over UCLA, Starks continued to show his offensive improvement for the Hoyas in the first half. He led Georgetown with 11 points before intermission, hitting four of six shots from the field, including three of four from 3-point range.

NOTES: Porter had a rough start Tuesday, scoring just three points in the first half and grabbing only two rebounds at that point. ... Indiana hit 26 of its 36 free-throw attempts, while Georgetown went 9-for-10. ... Hopkins, Starks and Jabril Trawick all fouled out for Georgetown.