The nightmare is over: Hoosiers bow out in 1st round

  • 03/22/2008 12:29 am in

stemler.jpgA season that started with promise and aspirations of a run to San Antonio ended Friday night as Indiana fell to Arkansas 86-72 in the first round of the East Regional in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Hoosiers (25-8) started the season 17-1, but went just 3-4 in their final seven games including three straight losses.

D.J. White scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds in his final game for Indiana and Armon Bassett added 21 points and seven assists. The duo, however, got little help from their teammates.

Eric Gordon continued his late season slide with just eight points on 3 of 15 shooting. The freshman hit just 2 of 6 free throws, committed four turnovers and was visibly frustrated throughout.

“Eric has struggled a little bit with his shot and they did a good job staying square with him,” Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich said. “He’s a kid who put Indiana back relevant. He had a great year.”

Indiana led 19-18 with 10:14 remaining in the first half, but the Razorbacks (23-11) closed the first half on a 19-11 run and led 37-30 at intermission.

The Hoosiers rallied in the second half and pulled to within two at 49-47 on a Lance Stemler three-pointer with 12:31 remaining. Arkansas responded with a 12-3 run and Indiana never got closer than six the rest of the way.

“We missed a few shots and let them get a few loose balls,” Stemler said. “It just seemed like we were so close and just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Sonny Weems scored a career-high 31 points for Arkansas, which shot 54 percent from the field and hit 26 of 33 free throws.

The NCAA Tournament win was the first for the school since 1999 when they defeated Siena. Darian Townes added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the winners.

The loss was the first in the NCAA first round since 2001 for IU and dropped Dan Dakich to 3-4 as the interim head coach.

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(Photo credit: Associated Press)

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  • ChiCityHoosier

    such a sad game. the talk of “new beginnings” was all for naught. it has been difficult watching this team “compete” the last few games, and especially tonight. it's been an hell of a (rollercoaster) ride, boys. to those returning next year, i hope this loss is burned into your memory. to the seniors, i wish you all the best of luck in the future. and despite tonight's performance, a special shout-out to dj and ej – the best duo in all of college basketball. dj, it's been an honor to watch you grow and play your heart out. you deserved better. to ej, i hope you consider the way this season ended – especially the last 6-8 games – and consider returning next year. we need you as much as you need us.

    time to go cry myself to sleep.

    go hoosiers.

  • jdhoosier

    The most frustrating and disappointing IU season ever.

  • jgongora86

    Man that game sucked. I was at the game and I looked at my fellow hoosiers in disbelief how bad they played. Is it possible to get refund for crapyness? Message for Eric Gordon. YOU need to stay two more years in college. You might be high draft pick, but in order to be a legend in the NBA you need to fine tune some aspects of your game. I'm not trying to be direspectfull, but I'm being honest. Think how good tim duncan did by staying four years in college. I will miss you DJ. As the years go bye I will always feel bad for you because you never deserved any of this. You went through too much in such a short period of time. I apoligize on behalf of the Indiana community for failing you. All the best.
    So when do we talk about our next coach?

  • Kelin Blab

    From what little I saw of the game and the highlights….why was Arkansas so much faster than IU? Just our luck Purdue beats Xavier and goes to the sweet 16….DURING a rebuilding year I might add

    Thanks Kelvin

  • jdhoosier

    Let's talk about the next coach now. It's the only thing that I have hope for, but I do fear that the 10-person committee is going to screw it up.

  • JamesHardy

    dang…I'm bummed…I thought my reference to Nolan Richardson's old Razorback squads would get some play for the headline….

    Razorbacks Put Hoosiers Through 40 Minutes of Hell

    Tooooo–nnneeeeeeeeeee…are you out there? We're coming for you! GO IRISH!

  • i agree. 2003-04 and 2004-05 were really tough years to go through because of all the losing, but at least you weren't teased with unreasonable preseason expectations in those seasons.

    this season was a complete disaster and im not just talking about the sampson situation. what exactly did they accomplish? their best non-conference wins were illinois state and kentucky. they went 0-fer vs. wisconsin, split with michigan state (that beatdown in lansing should've equated to TWO losses), would've split with purdue if they had played at mackey (thank God they didn't), finished 3rd in a weak big ten, did nothing in the Big Ten Tournament (except lose to an awful minnesota team), and were one-and-done against a mid-level SEC team (after making sonny weems look like jimmy jackson).

    what was eric gordon's “moment” this year? ten years from now when someone asks you something you remember about gordon, what will you say? his 33 points against chattanooga? his 30 against UNC-wilmington? i think ill remember his 4-32 3-pt (12%) shooting in the last four games of his collegiate careeer.

    when old yeller had rabies, travis had to go out back and put him out of his misery. i did the same with IU basketball last night. im glad its over.

  • ALH_00

    They looked familiar. Honestly, I had hope, but not alot of expectation that they would turn it on (or around). So it's over, and I'm sad for those guys, because they could have been much better (hell, they were at one time). DJ White has been such a pleasure. But ultimately, it will be disappointing remembering his senior season. Good luck DJ.

    One note to the new coach…don't let any player “do whatever he wants” under any circumstances. I expect to see defensive intensity and hustle, and a disciplined offense with next year. (Start “Erik Shur” 15 games if you have to)

    P.S. Thanks for all your work on the Site. It's pretty much been my “one-stop-shop” all season. I hope you guys keep it up.

  • ALH_00

    Can you start a Cubs blog too?

  • JamesHardy

    hell yeah to that!!!!

  • JamesHardy

    2008 recap…..$10

    Sonny Weems looking like Jimmy Jackson…..$104

    Comparing EJ and the 2008 Hoosiers to old yeller….ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS!

  • Sorry guys, I'm a life-long White Sox fan. PostmanE likes the Cubs, though.

  • I just wanted to say that I stole the Old Yeller line for my blog. I should probably go attribute that at some point. Thanks, CoveyDale.

  • Shouldn't we make the guys of this fine site wallow in misery for only one of our favorite teams? I know I couldn't run a site focusing on IU AND the Cubs.

    Granted, I have enough trouble running my own lousy site.

  • xxBHxx

    At least you don't post your link every time you post though, so i would probably visit it. 🙂

  • xxBHxx

    What a disappointment on so many levels. It was tough watching our team and then watching Purdue's team. Talk about two programs that are polar opposites of eachother right now. One has so much promise the other so many questions. Its going to be a tough road back.

  • I just wanted to say that I stole the Old Yeller line for my blog. I should probably go attribute that at some point. Thanks, CoveyDale.

  • Shouldn't we make the guys of this fine site wallow in misery for only one of our favorite teams? I know I couldn't run a site focusing on IU AND the Cubs.

    Granted, I have enough trouble running my own lousy site.

  • xxBHxx

    At least you don't post your link every time you post though, so i would probably visit it. 🙂

  • xxBHxx

    What a disappointment on so many levels. It was tough watching our team and then watching Purdue's team. Talk about two programs that are polar opposites of eachother right now. One has so much promise the other so many questions. Its going to be a tough road back.