Free throws doom Hoosiers in ninth straight loss

  • 01/25/2009 2:50 pm in

In what has been a theme throughout this season of rebuilding, the inexperience of Tom Crean’s club shined through down the stretch as Indiana fell 67-63 to Minnesota at Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers (5-13, 0-6 Big Ten) cut the Minnesota lead to 64-63 with 29 seconds remaining on two free throws by Nick Williams. Indiana immediately fouled Al Nolen, who knocked down two free throws to push the Golden Gopher lead back to three at 66-63.

Crean called for time with 21.8 seconds remaining, but the Hoosiers couldn’t get an open look and ultimately settled for an off-balance 3-point attempt by Devan Dumes that fell short. Minnesota’s Paul Carter grabbed the rebound, was fouled by Verdell Jones and knocked down a free throw to put the game out of reach.

“This is one of the tougher ones to swallow,” Crean said. “They all are. They are miserable for every coach and everybody that is a part of it.”

The loss was the fifth straight at Assembly Hall for Indiana, the longest home losing streak for the Hoosiers since the 1984-1985 season.

Dumes led all scorers with 19 points and was joined in double figures by Malik Story with 14 and Tom Pritchard with 10. Indiana hit 8 of 15 3-pointers, but hit just 11 of 21 free throws with eight misses coming in the second half.

“The numbers we chart in practice would astound you. But it is also an empty Assembly Hall,” Crean said. “It is just part of it. I don’t want to get frustrated with that. We just want to continue to put ourselves in pressure situations in practice. We were shooting 72 percent in the Big Ten going into today’s game.”

Damian Johnson paced Minnesota (17-3, 5-3) with 18 points. Ralph Sampson III added 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Golden Gophers and moved Tubby Smith to 10-4 all-time against Indiana.

“Every time they go out, they don’t give in, they don’t give up,” Smith said of Indiana. “It’s just a matter of sustaining it and consistency, and that’s what he’s getting from his kids. He’s getting a consistent effort. As he continues to recruit he’s going to have a very good team.”

+ Box score

+ Tom Crean audio

+ Devan Dumes audio

+ Malik Story audio

    Up next: Indiana will travel to Evanston on Wednesday for a 8:30 PM EST meeting with Northwestern. That game will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network.

    T-shirt promotion and $5 balcony seats a success?: Indiana announced a crowd of 16,539, making Sunday’s game the most attended of the season to date.

    Filed to:

    • silkyslim

      FTs, FTs, FTs,….my kingdom for a few more made FTs!!! :o/

      Exciting game, and how 'bout Jones 1/2 court shot before halftime?!! :o)

    • msdiu81

      I know we are struggling, but I'm starting to wonder about our substitution patterns. Why did we pull Roth in the 1st half right after he nailed a 3? Why was Dumes held out so long before bringing him in at the end? Why did we feel it was necessary to go for 3 w/ 21.8 seconds left? Why not get a quick 2, foul, then if they make them, go for the 3. Moore needs to be the point w/ VJIII coming off the bench as a shooting guard. Lewis needs to be the first off the bench as a 3 or 4. Taber is a crowd favorite because he's been around, but forget starting him. He should come in after Lewis. Finkelmeier continues to contribute solid minutes each game and he's getting the right amount of time. Starting 5 should be Moore, Dumes, Story, Williams & Pritchard. I know I don't get paid $2 million a year like Crean, but some things just seem goofy to me. I suppose he's just trying to find something that works, but I still don't get it. Anyway, Go Hoosiers and I like the free t-shirt!

    • Will

      Sure, free throws are the most obvious reason we lost, but how in the world does Crean leave Dumes on the bench from 6:30 til bringing him in cold for the last shot?? I dont even like Dumes, but he is our biggest scoring threat. Poor coaching down the stretch, period!

    • Kelin Blab

      I see it now….IU can't get a win and goes into PU and gets their first big ten W of the year….Purdue fans and players are crushed as local blogs, newspapers, and talk shows light up with Hoosier Fans……

      Oh how nice this would be…..

      Why does Broderick Lewis get in playing time? what does he contribute?What am I missing here?

      Teague V Hulls 5 days….

    • elling2008

      Almost as important as why does Lewis get playing time.

      Why does Nick WIlliams get playing time!?!?!

    • Dale

      Why was Dumes not put in the game earlier? Although Crean cited fouls, it didn’t make sense to wait that long.

    • Scorcho

      Nick Williams is a ridiculous athlete with a ton of upside who had trouble sinking a shot this game. I wouldn't give him any crap, he's been showing a lot of growth since the beginning of the season and is one of my favorite players on this year's team.

      Also, I'd like to point out that while we missed ten free throws, Minnesota missed nine (i think they were 13-22 and we were like 11-21), so the free throws were an issue for both teams.

    • CutterInChicago

      Substitution pattern was a little odd – esp with Dumes. Free throwing shooting is just terrible. The turnovers are infuriating. That said, they played pretty well and they played hard. Yesterday was as good as they've looked to me all year. Might still get a win, maybe 2 in the Big Ten. Then, just like Watergate, our long Hoosier Nation nightmare will be over and its on to 2009-2010

    • BFowler

      I thought Daniel Moore played his best game of the season. I thought VJIII played well also. Devan Dumes looked like he was letting things come to him a little more. 1 or 2 shot clock violations(I did not notice it as much) or shot clock issues. Were terribly outsized inside, but battled (35-34 on the boards). I believe that is all B10 games still where they have outrebounded opponents. OK, 11-21 FTs, but Minny missed a ton as well. I thought Sampson III made the difference. Loved seeing Tijan on top of that 1-3-1, funniest thing I have seen all year, but the man gave a fantastic effort, and it caused the perimeter shooters to come up short. Thought it was our day when the half court shot fell…..oh, well, NW on Wednesday.

    • CutterInChicago

      Substitution pattern was a little odd – esp with Dumes. Free throwing shooting is just terrible. The turnovers are infuriating. That said, they played pretty well and they played hard. Yesterday was as good as they've looked to me all year. Might still get a win, maybe 2 in the Big Ten. Then, just like Watergate, our long Hoosier Nation nightmare will be over and its on to 2009-2010

    • BFowler

      I thought Daniel Moore played his best game of the season. I thought VJIII played well also. Devan Dumes looked like he was letting things come to him a little more. 1 or 2 shot clock violations(I did not notice it as much) or shot clock issues. Were terribly outsized inside, but battled (35-34 on the boards). I believe that is all B10 games still where they have outrebounded opponents. OK, 11-21 FTs, but Minny missed a ton as well. I thought Sampson III made the difference. Loved seeing Tijan on top of that 1-3-1, funniest thing I have seen all year, but the man gave a fantastic effort, and it caused the perimeter shooters to come up short. Thought it was our day when the half court shot fell…..oh, well, NW on Wednesday.