Notebook: IU lets another opportunity slip away

  • 02/10/2017 12:16 am in

Once again, Indiana let a prime opportunity slip through its grasp.

For the majority of Thursday night, Indiana (15-10) outplayed Purdue (20-5, 9-3). The Hoosiers led by four at halftime and seemed to have momentum. Indiana was taking care of the ball, making hustle plays and were winning the battle on the boards.

After Thomas Bryant nailed a three with 18:09 remaining in the second half, the Hoosiers found themselves up 39-32.

That’s when it all began to unravel. Over the next 4:46, the Hoosiers couldn’t find any rhythm, shooting 1-for-8 from the floor, turning the ball over three times. They were outscored 12-3 in that stretch.

Perhaps most costly for Indiana, at the 12:38 mark, De’Ron Davis took a massive hit to the face.

Play continued as Davis laid on the court in agony. 15 seconds after Davis was hit, Vincent Edwards nailed a three, giving Purdue a 44-42 lead. Finally, the officials signaled for a stoppage in play.

“Really, in all honesty, for that to not be anything — I mean, call the foul on De’Ron, right?” Crean told reporters after the game. “When you end up on the floor, something happened.”

Davis stayed on the floor for several minutes before being helped to the locker room by members of the IU staff.

Davis did not return to the game, and Crean said he will continue to be evaluated.

Even without Davis, Indiana still had plenty of chances to earn a marquee win. Thomas Bryant continued to hit shots inside, and Juwan Morgan looked as close to 100 percent as he has since suffering a left foot injury against Rutgers on Jan. 15.

Heading into the under-4 media timeout, the Hoosiers were even with Purdue at 57-57. All Indiana had to do was outscore the Boilermakers, and they would have their first win over a ranked team since November.

But egregious mistakes and foul trouble would cost Indiana any chance at a victory.

Trailing by two with 2:34 to play, Indiana forced Purdue’s Dakota Mathias into a difficult three, one that he would miss.

The Hoosiers couldn’t come up with the board. James Blackmon Jr., in his first game since the 30-point drubbing to Michigan, failed to box out P.J. Thompson. Thompson turned the rebound into an uncontested layup, giving the Boilers a four-point lead.

“I think that was my first offensive rebound of the year,” Thompson told reporters after the game (it was actually his 19th offensive board of the season). “Because Biggie, he grabs them all. It just felt like I was in the right place at the right time. I saw an opportunity to get the ball, and I was able to get it over (Blackmon) and hit the layup.”

From there, it only got worse. Less than 90 seconds later, with Indiana trailing by four, Morgan picked up his fifth foul.

On the ensuing offensive possession, with Indiana now down five, Thomas Bryant posted up Caleb Swanigan. Both were playing with four fouls, so when Bryant barreled over Swanigan and hit the bucket, all eyes were on the officials.

Official Lamont Simpson called a block, while Paul Szelc signaled a charge. The crew discussed the play at length before coming to the decision of a double-foul.

Simpson defended the decision after the game to a pool reporter.

Whether it was a block or a charge is up for debate. The officials’ decision to rule the play a double-foul was, as Dick Vitale put it, a “cop-out.”

“Everyone saw it,” Caleb Swanigan said. “It just wasn’t a good call for either player. It takes us off the court and hurts the product of college basketball when you call calls like that.”

Indiana had possession following the officals’ ruling and was able to trim the deficit to three on a pair of Robert Johnson free throws with 38 seconds to play.

The points were too little, too late. Indiana, forced to play the foul game, was unable to claw back into the game.

Blackmon ineffective in his return

Blackmon struggled to find his shot in his return to action. The junior connected on only three of the 14 shots he attempted, including a 1-for-7 effort from behind the arc.

Although Blackmon claimed he was at “100 percent, if not close,” Purdue coach Matt Painter disagreed.

“Sometimes when you see him dribble into the three and shoot, you would think it’s a hurried shot,” Painter said. “But he makes those, and that’s his rhythm shot once he gets his legs under him and gets 100 percent healthy.”

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  • iubase

    Thomas Bryant played a good game and to my eye outplayed swanigan. We lose a lot without a healthy JBJ. I feel for this kid. He tried and overall the team was motivated. Agree with the summary above that unfortunately things unraveled at the end. This is a big loss. Ssa Need 4-5 wins now and that will be tough but not impossible. A motivated team that plays D like this and protects the ball could get it done. Still a lot of talent on the floor

    Hope DD is ok. He got mugged. Not sure if he broke his nose or had concussive injury but we need him

  • BannerOrBust

    I have officially threw in the towel for the season. I can’t watch this mediocre level of play anymore. This season has been a complete and utter disaster. Such a disappointment.

  • Ole Man

    Not sure after watching the replay how a foul wasn’t called on Haas.

  • just a fan

    The repeats of the replay don’t seem to show a finger poking an eye, but sure look like a virtual “karate chop” to the bridge of the nose. That hurts to even watch it.. Haas had his arms overtop DD’s shoulder, so HOW does that not get called a foul?

  • iubase

    yeah. he did not come back so that was a significant injury or concussion. Hope he is ready to go next game. We need him

  • iubase

    Especially after watching some of the “calls” on Morgan. Pretty inconsistent officiating. The double foul was confusing also. I think Swanigan moved sl while TB was in the air but that was close. Isn’t that where the home court advantage should come in. Never saw that compromise call in similar situation. But again I have only been watching IU hoops since 71. Glad RMK wasn’t there. If he was you best nail down the chairs!

  • Steve S

    I’ve never seen a block/charge get called a double foul. The referees have been lousy in several of.our games this season. Almost makes you wish the big 10 still had Valentine. I believe he’s in the SEC now, but these guys make him look great. Never thought I’d say that! A couple of the fouls on Morgan were horrible and the 4th and 5th fouls on TB.were terrible. Yet as bad as the refs were, the shooting of JBJ, RJ, CA, and DG was every bit as bad (2/15 or 15% from 3), so between the refs taking away our inside players with bad calls, and giving them a 3 with the no call on Haas on Davis, and our guards looking more like they were building a wall than shooting 3s, it’s hard to believe the game was as close as it was.

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