Upset bid foiled: Hoosiers fall 64-59

  • 03/03/2009 9:52 pm in

The script was set perfectly for Kyle Taber’s final game in Assembly Hall.

Family and friends ascended upon Bloomington to say farewell to the senior captain. Chants of ‘Ky-le Ta-ber’ were heard throughout Assembly Hall. And in a game in which IU was a heavy underdog, the Hoosiers had a chance to knock off a legitimate top ten opponent.

But alas, as has been the case throughout most of this season of transition for Indiana basketball, the Hoosiers couldn’t come up with a big play down the stretch. The final result: A hard fought 64-59 loss to Michigan State.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t come out right,” Taber said. “We battled and it was a great game. It was fun to be apart of something like that.”

Despite going 8:43 without a field goal in the second half, the Spartans (24-5, 14-3 Big Ten) clinched the Big Ten title outright for the first time since 1999.

Kalin Lucas scored 15 points to lead Michigan State and Raymar Morgan added 14 points, including a thunderous put back dunk with 27 seconds remaining to give MSU a four-point cushion.

The Hoosiers (6-23, 1-16) cut the lead to two on a pair of Nick Williams free throws with just under 16 seconds remaining, but Lucas answered with a pair of free throws to wrap up the victory.

“It was a great game. Our guys were in it the entire way, to the very end,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

Indiana missed eight free throws and several opportunities to tie the game after cutting Michigan State’s lead to two with 3:31 remaining.

Verdell Jones led four Hoosier scorers in double figures with 15 points. Malik Story and Williams added 11 each and Matt Roth had 10.

Taber finished with three points, five rebounds and two assists in his final home game.

“We went down with a fight,” IU’s lone senior added. “I’m proud of what my teammates were able to do for me.”

Up next: Indiana concludes the regular season with a 7PM ET matchup on Sunday at Wisconsin. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Bawa sighting: 7-0 signee Bawa Muniru was in attendance and Jared Poertner of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop talked to the big man.

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  • DMJ

    Ah, so close. So damn close. The put-back by Morgan was an awesome heads-up play on his part and sealed the game for MSU. If we grab that rebound, well…

  • Kelin Blab

    A Range of Thoughts and Emotions….

    1. At 5minutesish I thought to myself, cool we are hanging with Mich.St., late, but they should go on run and win by 10-15

    2. At 2:50ish I said…damn, won't this clock move faster, we are only down by 3…

    3. At 1minute I said if MSU misses, we have a shot at making this thing interesting….well they did miss unfortunately…Christian Wateford, Bawa, Bobby C. nor Derek Elston got the rebound….Nick Williams tried…….

    This team will be dangerous in the Big Ten tourney because they have a clean slate, nothing to lose, and the crowd will be on their side. JUST GET THIS OVER WITH PLEASE!

  • I watch the game on espn360 and even though we loss. I was really proud on how hard our guys played. There for a while I thought Michigan St. was going to blow by us big time, but we fought our way back. The future is looking bright!!!

  • Ben_M

    we almost beat the big ten champs…….I wonder what kind of the impact the new recruits will have if they play with as much heart…go hoosiers

  • Sallad

    This game got me really excited for the Big Ten tournament.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Williams just looked at the rim, hoping it wouldn't go in…he should have looked around and found a man to block out and that dunk wouldn't have happened….elementary school fundamentals cost us so many games this year.

    Still was a great game…I just hate seeing that stuff.

  • HoosierSmitty

    there's still a win out there for us….let's steal one in the Big Ten tourney…hell let's take out Wisconsin and run the table in the Big Ten tourney…why not, right?

  • Taskmaster75

    I smell a 16 seed against Pittsburgh. Sounds horrible and will probably make Pritchard cry, Would be the greatest achievement that I have ever seen in my life if Crean could get us into the NCAA. 😀

  • DJW

    Tonight, I U scratched, clawed, fought and battled for every point against the best defense they have faced all season. It was impressive and encouraging. I am loving Tom Crean and the Hoosiers right now.

    I can't wait till next year…!!!!!

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    Agree 100% Jeremy….just need the future to get here soon, this has been a tough season

  • IndianaJoe

    I saw the same thing. I was running around my apartment like Steve Martin on parenthood.

  • bz

    agreed. if there is such a thing as losing according to the hoosiers, this would be it. losing a game that all agreed you would get blown out in and nearly getting the upset. if we have to lose, making it difficult for the big ten champs is the way to do it.

    if only we had hired ctc two years earlier…

  • student
  • IndianaJoe

    I saw the same thing. I was running around my apartment like Steve Martin on parenthood.

  • bz

    agreed. if there is such a thing as losing according to the hoosiers, this would be it. losing a game that all agreed you would get blown out in and nearly getting the upset. if we have to lose, making it difficult for the big ten champs is the way to do it.

    if only we had hired ctc two years earlier…

  • student