Indiana suffers worst loss of its season in 82-64 rout at Purdue

  • 02/16/2014 9:04 am in

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Proceedings similar to Saturday’s game have unfolded plenty of times for Indiana this season. Turnovers, missed shots and poor defense have plagued the Hoosiers frequently, including most recently on Wednesday, at home, to Penn State in an 11-point collapse in the final 2:26.

But perhaps no performance this season shattered more decisively than Saturday’s at Purdue, as the Hoosiers (14-11, 4-8) suffered their worst loss of the season in an 82-64 defeat (their previous losses to now No. 1 Syracuse and No. 9 Michigan State were each by 17 points) at the mercy of the Boilermakers (15-10, 5-7) in a raucous Mackey Arena.

“We did not answer the bell the way that we needed to when they were on that run and get back and get stops the way that we needed to,” Indiana coach Tom Crean told reporters after the game. “And they took advantage of it.”

Just 6:45 into Saturday’s game, Indiana had seven turnovers and the Hoosiers found themselves trailing, 16-8. Freshman Noah Vonleh had two fouls. After what had been an already disappointing week for Indiana, which included the arrest of a current player for the first time since 2001, it appeared the team would get blown out by its rival for its third straight loss.

But for the next 12 minutes, the Hoosiers almost made fans believe they had righted the ship. They went on a 19-6 run to take a 27-22 lead, and the Hoosiers were shooting 8-for-16 from the floor. Crean had also put Vonleh in the game despite his foul trouble.

“We needed to put him in at that point,” Crean said. “I’ve sat him at two fouls before, but we’re not in that position right now. We’re not getting enough off the front line to be able to keep him out for very long.”

Right as the Hoosiers got what would be their biggest lead of the day, however, Vonleh picked up his third foul as he left his feet anticipating a block. Purdue would quickly close the gap, but Indiana fought its way to a 33-33 tie with just 1:07 to go in the first half.

And then, things turned for the worse. Evan Gordon fouled Rapheal Davis with less than a minute to go, and he made two free throws. On Indiana’s following possession, Yogi Ferrell missed a 3-pointer, and freshman Devin Davis fouled Purdue’s Basil Smotherman on the rebound with 1.9 seconds left. He would make the first free throw, miss the second, grab his own rebound and make the put-back lay-up just before the buzzer. What had been a tie was now a five-point Purdue lead at halftime.

“You can say, ok, that’s just part of the game, well then you can’t give up those lay-ups at the other end,” Crean said. “That’s the big thing.”

And to start the second half, things continued to get worse for the Hoosiers. Shots weren’t falling. Perhaps they were rushed, perhaps they missed point-blank shots. On defense, Crean noted his players weren’t active with their hands. Purdue made its shots. Plenty of them.

By the 15:19 mark of the second half, the Boilermakers had gone on a 14-1 run to start the half (with 10 provided by Seattle transfer Sterling Carter, who averages 4.9 points per game). The score, from 38-33 at halftime, was now 52-34.

“Especially when teams make that run, guys kind of get quiet on the court,” Ferrell said. “And those are times where you’ve got to come together.”

That didn’t happen for Indiana on Saturday. The Hoosiers would never get closer than 15 points for the remainder of the game. After the 8-for-17 start, the Hoosiers went 11-for-43 (25.5 percent) from the field the rest of the way. In contrast, the Boilermakers shot 12-for-21 from the field in the final 20 minutes and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.

Purdue, a team that had lost five of its past six, was able to breeze to its largest margin of victory since Dec. 17 against Maryland Eastern-Shore and its first win over Indiana since February 23, 2011.

“We thought we were right there,” sophomore Austin Etherington said. “And then they went on the run to start the second half and we didn’t take the hit and we didn’t fight back like we should’ve. That’s the way it was.”

During his post-game press conference, Ferrell was asked what the key is to turning the season around, at this point. After its worst week of the season, the Hoosiers find themselves in 10th place in the Big Ten standings with a matchup with 19-6 Iowa on Tuesday.

With the daunting task ahead and not many positives to take from this week, Ferrell paused. He calculated his response, carefully.

“We’ve just got to take it game-by-game right now,” he said. “Stay together, really. You know, just go to film. Just keep working. That’s all we can do, really.”

Sheehey eclipses 1000 career points

Scoring on a right baseline 3-pointer just 1:40 into Saturday’s game, Indiana senior Will Sheehey eclipsed 1,000 career points, becoming the 47th player in Indiana University men’s basketball history to do so.

Sheehey finished with 10 points on the afternoon and now has 1,009 for his career, putting him at No. 46 all time in the school’s career scoring list — just ahead of Jared Jeffries (1,008) and 21 points behind Harry “Butch” Joyner (1,030).

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  • Alford Bailey

    Yep, other than the loss to Wisky in the B1G tourney. 1 outta 6 ain’t bad:)

  • CreamandCrimson

    It’s not a positive trend, that’s for sure. You asked for a team during CTC’s tenure, I gave it to you. I think criticism of Tom Crean and his staff is valid but I do feel like we are piling on a bit right now. We’ve had some great successes in the not so distant past under CTC and I think we are forgetting those things a bit too quickly. That’s not to say there’s not major concern for the direction things are heading right now but there is hope that things turn back around.

  • HoosierFan76

    I’m sorry you feel that way – I don’t get that impression, personally, but it’s easy to get different interpretations of the same comment when you’re talking about the written word.

    I think we’re all just stir-crazy and aching for a win. IU needs to get it together and post a couple in the W column, then everybody will feel a little better.

    We’re all here because we’re Hoosier fans – the last thing we need to be doing is attacking each other.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I think this discussion was basically kicked to death, and then kicked some more, in the initial post when we learned about his arrest.

    I think an indefinite suspension is not a sorry message. It is showing that he wants to take time to consider all of the facts, understand HMP’s mindset, and discuss the impacts of possible actions with the coaches and players. The HMP decision, while ultimately resting on CTC, will impact the players, and seeking out their opinions on it, whether it be dismissal or suspension, is a wise decision.

    It never hurts to be cautious and seek counsel when dealing with a decision that will impact the lives of your players. Knee-jerk reactions are never good, even though they are encouraged in our fast-paced society.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I disagree that one player getting arrested for a DUI reflects poorly on CTC’s leadership.

    There is no coach in college basketball that will never have to deal with players acting up. Sometimes when they act up, they do it in a way that law enforcement gets involved. Sometimes, they just do it during practice or scholastically.

    If there were persistent problems with multiple players, that, to me, reflects poorly on CTC’s leadership. I think that one player getting into trouble one time (and some will cite the benching of Hollowel, but frankly, I think that whole situation has shown that CTC takes leadership of the team) does not reflect poorly on the coach.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I think it is important to point out that (assuming we’ve got some decent shooters) a big that is getting enough touches should have a decent amount of assists each game in addition to a decent amount of shots. I think Vonleh has almost .5/game. That could also be caused by his turnovers, though. I think many people have pointed out that he hasn’t shown much of a passing game from the block.

    We also don’t have many good shooters.

  • HoosierFan76

    Your last couple of sentences raise some good points. Vonleh really isn’t a great passer when he’s got 2 or 3 guys on him (that’s a tough situation for anyone to make a good pass, so it’s not an easy task), and he does turn the ball over when he gets it too deep on the block. I really wish he could play the high post, which would be more to his natural strengths.

  • kris

    @Ole Man, In the forum I see plenty of Crean supporters, Crean criticizers, with extremes on both sides. And I see people in the middle so to speak. That’s why I disagreed with your original post.

  • Bud Jenkins

    Looks like actually…. rather a small piece of assembly hall