With 14:36 to go in Friday night’s game against Florida Atlantic, IU was in the double-bonus, shooting two free throws every time an Owl player would commit a personal foul. Their center had fouled out less than a minute earlier, and they were already down 66-31.
Sophomore forward Cody Zeller scored a season-high 24 points in Friday's victory over Florida Atlantic.
It was that kind of night for Florida Atlantic (5-7), as IU scored a season-high 55 points in the first half to quickly bury the Owls en route to the Hoosiers’ 11th victory of the season. After Zeller turned in a season-high 24 points, IU (11-1) defeated Florida Atlantic 88-52.
After struggling at times from the free-throw line this season, IU shot 28-55 (50.9 percent) from the line, and Zeller made 12 of his 13 attempts. IU had shot 73 percent from the line thus far this season, including just 71 percent in its loss against Butler.
Zeller shot 6-for-9 from the field, also collecting six rebounds. He showed off the multiple facets of his game. At one point, he hit a midrange jumper, and later in the first half, he made a steal and then took the ball all the way to the other basket, beating three Owls down the court.
Junior guard Victor Oladipo, the Big Ten’s leader in field goal percentage, continued his hot shooting, finishing 6-for-8 from the floor with 16 points and eight rebounds.
IU head coach Tom Crean said part of Oladipo's success comes from how hard he works on a daily basis.
"He's got an unrelenting work ethic," Crean said. "He's a 365-day-a-year times two guy."
While Zeller and Oladipo continued their ways, freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea showed some aspects of his game IU fans had not yet seen in his two games since his nine-game suspension. Mosquera-Perea showed a grasp of the offense, making fast cuts and knowing where the ball was going.
Though he struggled at times to complete plays and consistently hang on to the ball, Mosquera-Perea finished with four points and 10 rebounds, including three on the offensive end.
“That was the quickest 10 rebounds I’ve ever seen, man," Zeller said of Mosquera-Perea. "That’s what he does. He’s good at that. That’s what he brings to the table for us. He’s gonna help us a lot.”
Freshman center Peter Jurkin, who was also suspended with Mosquera-Perea for the first nine games of the season, saw his first playing time of the season Friday. He played four minutes and missed the only field goal he attempted, but Mosquera-Perea, who came to the United States through the same program, was pleased to see him on the court.
"I was happy for him," Mosquera-Perea said. "I've known him since I came to the United States. Seeing him out there was a great thing."
After compiling 27 assists in Wednesday's 93-54 win against Mount St. Mary's, IU was only able to manage 11 assists with 15 turnovers. IU was still able to win the turnover battle, scoring 25 points off Florida Atlantic's 16 turnovers, while the Owls scored 18 points off IU's turnovers.
IU managed just 33 points in the second half, shooting 7-for-21 (33 percent) in the half, but was still able to cruise to victory. IU only barely outshot Florida Atlantic (33 percent compared to 32 percent) in the second frame.
Senior forward Christian Watford led IU's scoring attack in the second half with 10 points, and finished with 17 total.
Florida Atlantic's leading scorer, senior guard Greg Gantt, led the Owls with 25 points after averaging 21.5 points per game thus far.
IU has just one nonconference game before Big Ten play begins, which is against Jacksonville next Thursday at Assembly Hall. Three days later, the Hoosiers will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City on New Year's Eve. Oladipo and IU are looking to continue to turn defense into offense as they did Friday, with 25 points off turnovers.
“I think our defense is a big reason why we do so well on offense," Oladipo said. "I feel like we have a lot of weapons. We have the big fella inside, and we have a lot of shooters, and a lot of players who can do a lot of different things.”
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