Predictably, there will be no March Madness for Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers.
Indiana (6-25) concluded the 2008-2009 campaign with a 66-51 loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The loss was the 10th straight for Indiana.
The result was never really in doubt as the Nittany Lions (22-10) opened the game with a 26-8 run and IU was never able to draw closer than nine the rest of the way.
“They’re a good team, ” Crean said. “Very well coached, as is the rest of this league. And I hope they get in the NCAA.”
Verdell Jones continued his late season breakout and was the only IU player in double figures with 23 points. Jones shot 7 of 11 from the field and hit 5 of 5 free throws.
“This season is definitely a learning experience,” Jones said. “But I think the most we got out of this season is if you work hard and listen to what the coaches say you can improve by leaps and bounds.”
Kyle Taber, Nick Williams and Daniel Moore added five points each. Taber, a former walk-on who played for four coaches at IU, reflected on his career after the loss.
“I’m sad to see it end, ” Taber said. “I mean, it was so much fun playing here at Indiana, and I was just glad to be a part of it for five years.”
Penn State advances to a quarterfinal game on Friday night at 9PM ET against Purdue. Jamelle Cornley led three Nittany Lion players in double figures with 22 points. Stanley Pringle added 16 points and David Jackson had 10.
Talor Battle, the Big Ten’s leading scorer with 17.3 points per game, was held to three points on just three shot attempts, but dished out six assists and had four steals.
Big Ten Tournament not so kind to Hoosiers: The loss against Penn State drops IU to 8-12 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament. IU is now 13-6 in games played at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Dumes misses finale: Junior guard Devan Dumes did not dress and missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. Dumes finished the season as IU’s leading scorer at 12.7 ppg.