Notebook: IU’s losing streak grows to five with loss at Iowa

  • 02/22/2017 7:50 am in

Indiana led Iowa for nearly 38 minutes in regulation on Tuesday night.

All the Hoosiers had to do was hang on for the final two minutes to end a four-game losing streak and win just their second game on the road this season.

But after leading by eight with under five minutes to play, Indiana surrendered its lead for the first time with 2:13 remaining. It was the same story in a close game for IU as things fell apart down the stretch giving Indiana a 96-90 loss in overtime.

“It’s disheartening as hard as we play, we make our mistakes as do the other teams, to not have it go our way,” Tom Crean said postgame. “They’re working their tail off preparation-wise, practice-wise, we were fresh, and we were energetic.”

In the game’s final 20 seconds, it looked like the Hoosiers might not even force overtime. Iowa freshman Tyler Cook missed a point blank look at the end of regulation that would have given the Hawkeyes a win at the buzzer.

But Thomas Bryant wasn’t called for a foul on the play, giving IU another breath of life heading into overtime. But the Hoosiers couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.

Indiana fell victim yet again to turnovers, foul trouble and poor defense in its fifth straight loss. The Hoosiers committed 22 turnovers, a Big Ten conference season-high.

The lack of awareness and poor decision-making from IU turned into 25 points off of turnovers for Iowa. Up until the overtime period, whenever Iowa scored, IU found a way to match it. But when things got down to the wire, the Hoosiers couldn’t overcome their own mistakes.

“Basketball is a game of runs and we made them run early,” Robert Johnson said. “Any good team is going to respond and that’s what they did. We tried to weather the storm and I think at the end of the game we did a good job doing that, we just fell a little short.”

Lack of discipline proves costly for Hoosiers in OT

IU went more than 11 minutes before it committed its first foul. By the final buzzer, the Hoosiers had collected 35 fouls. Iowa finished 39-of-47 from the free throw line.

Senior Peter Jok took control for the Hawkeyes in overtime, scoring 15 of his game-high 35 points in the final five minutes. Eleven of those points came from the free throw line.

Multiple Hoosiers were called for touch or reaching fouls and were caught out of place on defense.

In overtime, three of IU’s starters, Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson and James Blackmon Jr. fouled out, along with Juwan Morgan. It seemed as though no one from IU’s starting lineup could defend without fouling in the tight situation.

“You think the rule is one way but you know different referees call it different,” Johnson said. “You just have to read the game and just adjust to how they’re calling it.”

Johnson breaks out of slump

After a scoreless night against Minnesota, Johnson scored in double-digits for the first time since February 5. He finished with 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Johnson, with the help of Newkirk and Blackmon, carried much of the weight early by accounting for 24 of IU’s 33 first half points.

On Johnson’s game-high fifth steal, he found Newkirk on a breakaway that led to a pair of free throws to tie the game at 75.

Tuesday night’s loss guarantees that IU will finish below .500 in conference play for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when it finished 7-11 in Big Ten competition.

With just three games left before the conference tournament, IU returns home to face Northwestern for senior night on Saturday.

(Photo credit: Iowa Athletics)

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  • Sarasota Hoosier

    22 turnovers against mediocre team
    indicates total lack of guard LEADERSHIP and a coaching staff unwilling or unable to change a game plan to match a team’s strengths and weaknesses. We cannot play downhill fast paced basketball with the talent we have, why not slow down feed the post and play in a manner that cuts down turnovers and utilizes Davis and Bryant? Coaching must adapt to talent that is present.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Gee, they beat us and didn’t even have revenge as a motive…..How did this happen?….Didn’t notice your post after the last Mich. loss at home…..I guess the revenge carried over from their earlier win in Ann Arbor…..Or was it exactly what you said above, plus the fact that we play little or no defense…..Now, am I still “full of crap”?…..Pathetic!

  • N71

    Your last sentence is what sticks out to me. I was listening to commentary about Brad Stevens over the weekend for obvious reasons during All Star game coverage and there was mention about his focus on understanding his players, team culture, etc. This is indication that the players are as much of the equation, or more so, than the system. Crean has it flipped, his system supersedes all things, he recruits to it and is unbending regardless of personnel make up. I suspect because he lacks the wherewithal to adapt, he’s more of a tactician in other words versus a strategist. He makes for an excellent assistant executing someone else’s strategy but is in a suit that doesn’t fit as a head coach.

  • Speed

    Exactly, clearly Crean does not have the personnel to play uptempo so adjust but Crean has never been able to adjust as exhibited with games like the loss to Syracuse in the NCAA tourney during the Zeller era. 11 straight losses to the Cuse. I am still trying to figure out how one guy can shoot 23 free throws. After Jac hit the first 10 might you not quit fouling him? Let him shoot, at least he would not hit every shot he took like he did with free throws!

  • GetMeSomeOGFlyers

    Another game where we had more raw talent on the floor, but lost. I think this is a prime example of a CTC team. 1st, we jump to a big lead. He changes multiple players, while we are playing well and they quickly catch up. I get you need to rest players, but most coaches let their hot players continue to shoot. 2nd, we got outcoached, as usual. Ever notice we can’t close a game? BC there is no 2nd gameplan. Opposing team makes adjustments and we are completely lost. Remember when we lost to Syracuse in the tourney, and CTC didn’t have a game plan to attack Cuse’s 2-3 zone?

  • GetMeSomeOGFlyers

    Yep, and that’s why we often lose against better coaches. We have raw talent, just no coaching to make proper in game adjustments

  • Fort Steve

    A school the size of IU surely has some alumni and boosters who can donate money for Crean’s 4 million buyout. It would be a mistake to wait until this summer to save 3 million. Crean is a great recruiter, but he is not the coach to get IU to the next level.

  • BC

    Even if we slowed it down, we still wouldn’t have a clue how to feed it into the post. We’ve struggled with that since the Zeller years- see JBJ’s late game post entries the last 2 games

  • Arch Puddington

    Not a great recruiter. Got some great recruits early on, and has found a couple of diamonds-in-the-rough, but he has completely foundered in Indiana in recent years and isn’t getting the kind of talent nationally that he was even a couple of years ago. He did a great job of drawing on the glory of Indiana’s past in order to attract recruits when the program needed to be rebuilt, but at this point there is almost no reason to believe that he can sustain the pipeline of talent necessary to compete at the level we all hope for.

  • Susan

    Regardless of this year, this team has what it takes to go to the Final Four next year. There is raw talent and heart. I put my finger on what’s been missing these past five games that they clearly should’ve won, it’s the fact that they aren’t thinking and playing as a team. They are like separate players, each playing his own game and not coming together as a unit. Is this a coaching issue, I don’t know, but they can overcome it and come roaring back. I can feel it. They aren’t pathetic, they just need to link themselves physically and mentally to function as a machine together, unselfishly setting up the shots for their fellow players. These guys are amazingly talented and they can do it!

  • Brad

    From 2009-2015 Crean recruited 32 players. 16 of them either transferred out or never even made it to Bloomington. 4 more left early for the NBA. So in all those seasons, only 12 players have made it through.

  • HoosierOne

    The substitutions are terrible. Every single time we go on a good run he subs in 2-3 guys and the lead vanishes. It makes no sense at all.

  • Fort Steve

    Plain and simple, it is time for him to go. The honorable thing for Crean to do is negotiate a buyout and resign. I doubt that will happen.

  • GetMeSomeOGFlyers

    I’ve never seen a coach rest hot players as often as Crean does. I think he believes he’s saving their energy, but they always come back playing worse. Will we ever learn

  • Ole Man

    I appreciate your devotion to “our” team.
    However, with the same coach, this team will fight to finish out of the bottom of the B!G next year.
    OG, TB, JBJ, CH are for sure gone. What’s left is a little above average. And you have freshmen who must learn how to play at this level.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Wow Ms. Wilson, you have quite the memory! Setting aside for a second that the revenge factor has been documented over and over again, and that is why I said you were full of crap when you stated that revenge plays no factor in college basketball, I did not state that the only reason IU lost to Michigan at Ann Arbor was the revenge factor. I still believe it played a role but only as to the magnitude or margin of victory. However, Michigan this year would beat IU 9 of 10 times regardless of revenge.
    So if I hurt your feelings, pathetic or otherwise, I apologize, sometimes I forget that you have to be sensitive when dealing with girls.

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