Second half run, rebounding too much for Hoosiers

  • 12/12/2009 4:22 pm in

BLOOMINGTON – For 20 minutes of basketball Saturday in Assembly Hall, Indiana stood toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s top teams.

Fueled by 63 percent shooting in the first half, the Hoosiers trailed No. 4 Kentucky just 42-41 at halftime.

But after a layup by Jeremiah Rivers put IU ahead 48-47 with 17:42 remaining, the Wildcats (10-0) went on an 18-0 run en route to a comfortable 90-73 win.

“I knew Tom Crean would have them ready to go,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “This game, for us to win in that fashion, we played well. That’s like a February effort.”

The scoreless stretch of nearly five minutes, capped by an Eric Bledsoe dunk at the 12:40 mark, was too much for the Hoosiers (4-5) to overcome.

“We were just not as aggressive defensively,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said of the run. “And then we settled for some shots. I think it was more the defense than anything else. We just were not where we needed to be. We’ve got to create points off of our defense. We’re not going to score well enough against size and length and athleticism enough if we’re not getting easy baskets.”

The Hoosiers (4-5) struggled to rebound against Kentucky’s front court tandem of Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins. The Wildcats out-rebounded IU 49-24, including 21-8 on the offensive glass.

“They were more focused on getting the rebound more,” Indiana guard Maurice Creek said. “That’s a time thing. We’ve got to work on it and get better at it.”

Eric Bledsoe scored a career-high 23 points on 8 of 10 shooting to lead UK. Patterson added 19 points, Cousins had 14 and freshman John Wall had 11.

“I’m just happy for him,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Bledsoe. “He hasn’t played with any kind of aggressiveness or assertiveness, almost a casual game at times in the last two weeks.”

For Indiana, Creek had the best game of his young career, totaling 31 points, including 5 of 8 three-pointers and 8 of 8 from the foul line.

“How about this Creek kid?” Calipari said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams, and he’s as good as any player we’ve played.”

Despite the lopsided loss, Crean remained optimistic that the program is moving in the right direction. In last year’s Kentucky game at Rupp Arena, the Hoosiers trailed 32-6 midway through the first half.

“A year ago we play at Kentucky, it was a stunned locker room,” Crean said. “This year we play Kentucky, it’s a hurt locker room. And that’s progress to me as well.”

The four factors: No question about it, rebounding, particularly the offensive variety, was the difference in this game. Kentucky is already ranked in the top 10 nationally in this category and today’s performance only solidifies that position.

IU’s effective field goal percentage was nearly eight percentage points above their season average at 54.8%. But Kentucky’s was even better at 58.3%, which is pretty remarkable.

Besides Creek, Indiana struggled to get to the line. 14 free throw attempts at home isn’t a high enough number. The Hoosiers continue to improve at taking care of the ball. A turnover percentage of 13.4%, especially against a team with the speed and athleticism of Kentucky, is an impressive performance. Jeremiah Rivers was a big part of that with eight assists and one turnover.

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  • JerryCT

    I really admire TC's approach to IU basketball. If you look at it it is textbook stuff from corporate turnarounds;

    Step 1 : Get Control ………so you clean house

    Step 2: Build Stable Foundation ……….so you recruit 3-4 stars

    Step 3: Build on Success ……….use current wins to get better recruits

    Step 4: Swing for the fences …………get the one and dones

    We are on step 2 barely and flirting with 3. If we get the 5 star fine but if not we stick to our game plan

  • Marcus Gresham

    No kidding! Are there even any prospects of getting someone 6'9″ or taller with some meat on his bones? Maybe they should look overseas if nothing else (although Euro big guys aren't exactly bruisers by reputation.) I'd even be open to a juco big guy (but not a fat one like the last one we saw in Bloomington,) if it helped on the boards. I think you might see Pritchard even blossom a bit if he got to slide over the the PF spot instead of having to be the de facto center.

  • because it's Indiana

    Jerry, this analogy is perfect.

    Nothing to add…just applauding. I hope others will read and better understand the process and not get all huffy like after Puerto Rico.

  • Kelin Blab


    I am not completely sold on Zeller. I don't know how much Zeller helps us in these games as he is not a physical big man. I like his versatility but Zeller is more Ben Allen than DJ White, when it comes to their style of game. For me…I am more of a plumlee guy than zeller. But I would not be crushed if Zeller committed to IU.

  • I love IU

    Creek is our loan 5 star. How many time do he have to smash the so called 5 star (John Wall's of the world) to get in the same group if not better. I mean do Mo need to get stronger….NO, Faster…NO, Smarter….NO. He need other's on the team to step up. Crean can say he's behind because of the summer all he wants, but Creek is the bright spot on the team.

    Before the game, Mo was 1.5 points behind Jonh Wall (the chossen one) and he's not a 5 star. What about now? Something is wrong with this STAR system. It's all favortism plan and simple. What a crock of Bull.


    The Ben Allen analoty is a good comparison sounds like we both pretty much have the same views on Zeller and Plumlee but it looks like we probably have a better chance of getting Zeller than Plumlee. Both would be nice but then so would 80 degrees and sunshine in December and one has about the same chance of happening as the other looks like.



    I noticied that you removed the uk fan's comment and after getting his reply in my email I feel like I probably know why. I was not going to give him the satisfaction of another reply regardless of what his reply was to mine and probably should not have even gave him the satisfaction on even the first one. You probably just figured that you would just put a stop to it all the way around before it went any further. Don't blame you. Being less than 20 minutes from the state line fans in my area seem to have listen to even more than the usual amount of crap from their fans which is quite a statement in itself.

    Guess that is one of the main reasons why I agree with Kelin in that while I was not at the game I did not hear anything myself being chanted that was out of line and / or not true. I stand by my points. Enough said, case closed, keep up the good work.

  • hoosierboy

    Cals a cheater…. SAT…. those were a few of the funny chants! I laughed hard.

  • Marcus Gresham

    Zeller should commit AND talk his brother into coming home to be with him!

  • cooper

    Sorry but Creek is not as good as Wall. Creek is a great college freshman. Wall is a NBA player now. No knock on Creek either but you can't compare him to Wall because of one unbelievable game by Creek.

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