ST. LOUIS —
Indiana State's 83-66 loss to Saint Louis on Wednesday at Chaifetz Arena was many things.
It was a study in how the Billikens play suffocatiing defense. Despite shooting 48 percent, ISU had trouble gaining traction against SLU's physical stopping power all night.
It was frustrating. ISU was whistled for 29 fouls, including 21 in the second half. SLU marched to the line seemingly at will. The second half was called far tighter by the officials than the first half where contact was widely tolerated which made it hard to know exactly how to play defense.
It was strange. ISU, the top 3-point shooting team in the nation entering the game, shot 3 of 11 from long range (and fell to third nationally). SLU, shooting 30 percent from 3-point range, drained 6 of 10 in the second half.
It was many things, but most of all, it was a missed opportunity for the Sycamores.
ISU coach Greg Lansing saw the game as a test of ISU's toughness against a prototypical Jim Crews-coached team that wears that attribute on its sleeve.
"[SLU] is the type of team you want to be. You want to be difficult to play against. You can go in our locker room right now and ask if Saint Louis was difficult to play against and their answer would be a resounding 'yes'. If you asked their team? I think they'd say they've played teams that were tougher," Lansing said.
"We said all along it was two good teams and the outcome would be on who was the tougher team. They gave us a lesson tonight. It's what we needed, really," he added.
Few Sycamores had solid games. Manny Arop led the Sycamores with 16 points and was an offensive force at times, but also, a defensive liability. Justin Gant and Khristian Smith had 12 points.
Guard play, normally one of ISU's strengths, let the Sycamores down. Jake Odum had nine points and six assists, but also had seven turnovers. Dawon Cummings scored four points and exercised poor shot selection.
The Billikens' defense had a lot to do with ISU's troubles. SLU's opponents have shot 39 percent and averaged 57 points per game this season -- excellent numbers given that physical defense is supposedly being legislated out of the game.
That legislation was nowhere to be found inside Chaifetz Arena in the first half, but came back with a vengeance in the second. The Billikens were given free reign to bump cutters, use arm-bars and body Sycamore ball-handlers.
"It was a physical game. Coach told us it was going to be a tough game. They're a well-coached team and they execute. That's what they did. They were tougher than us," Arop said.
The Sycamores were not given the same freedom in the second half when foul upon foul was called.
But it wasn't just calls or lack thereof. SLU's size helped it earn a 34-22 rebounding advantage, but the Billikens also beat ISU for some 50/50 balls. SLU scored 15 second-chance points.
"We knew we had to take the paint away, but too many times, they got second chance points and got key rebounds. It killed us throughout the game," Gant said.
SLU's impressive defensive pressure halted ISU's offense in the first 10 minutes. The Sycamores missed their first 10 of 14 shot attempts and found themselves down 11 with 8:33 left.
Arop helped ISU solve the Billikens hammer-lock. He scored eight points in a 15-4 run as ISU tied the game on an Odum three-point play at 2:08.
As impressive as ISU's fight back was, it's cave-in just before the half wiped out some of the gain. Two turnovers and a poor stepback 3-point attempt by Cummings gave SLU the impetus it needed to finish the half on a 7-0 run for a 34-27 halftime advantage.
"That's been our Achilles heel. We've had good spurts, but we can't have spurts where we're making mistakes and not making tough plays. You have to have a consistent effort for 40 minutes against a tough team," Lansing said.
SLU's lead twice reached 10 in the first 10 minutes of the second half, only to have ISU cut back into the deficit, almost exclusively by driving the basket.
From that point, the march to the free throw line began for the Billikens in a game that morphed from being called loose to air-tight in the second half. At one point in the final 10 minutes, SLU scored at the line on 10 of 14 possessions. In all SLU was 21 of 26 at the line after the break.
Dwayne Jones, SLU's leading scorer, went to the line 20 times alone. He made 16 and led all scorers with 24 points.
ISU had to back off defensively and SLU was able to find space on the perimeter. Austin McBroom (15 points) and Rob Loe (15 points) each made two 3-pointers in SLU's 6 of 10 3-point shooting in the second half.
ISU's offense was never able to get untracked. The flurry of fouls took the Sycamores out of their rhythm. ISU consistently scored in the paint, but its outside struggles kept it from keeping up with SLU's second half foul line parade.
"We got taught a lesson. I think we needed it. Our pride's hurt, our ego's hurt a little bit. We're a good team, but we got beat by a really good team that's tougher than heck," Lansing said.
After playing for nearly a month on the road, ISU returns home to play IUPUI on Saturday.
INDIANA STATE (66) -- Arop 7-12 1-1 16, Gant 4-8 4-5 12, Kitchell 0-2 1-2 1, Cummings 1-4 2-2 4, Odum 3-6 3-5 9, Eitel 0-0 1-2 1, Brown 2-5 2-3 6, Moore 1-2 0-0 2, B. Burnett 1-3 0-0 3, Smith 5-8 1-1 12, Bell 0-0 0-0 0. 24-50 FG, 15-21 FT, 66 TP.
SAINT LOUIS (83) -- Evans 4-8 16-20 24, Loe 5-8 2-2 15, Jett 5-9 1-4 12, McCall 2-7 0-0 6, J. Barnett 2-7 2-2 7, Glaze 1-3 0-0 2, McBroom 3-4 6-6 15, Manning 1-2 0-0 2. 23-48 FG, 27-34 FT, 83 TP.
Halftime -- SLU 34-27. 3-point goals -- ISU 3-11 (Arop 1-3, Burnett 1-1, Smith 1-1, Kitchell 0-2, Gant 0-1, Cummings 0-1, Odum 0-1, Brown 0-1); SLU 10-25 (Loe 3-6, McBroom 3-4, McCall 2-6, Barnett 1-6, Jett 1-2, Manning 0-1). Rebounds -- ISU 22 (Moore 5, Kitchell 4, Odum 3, Team 3, Arop 2, Gant 2, Smith 2, Burnett); SLU 34 (Loe 9, Evans 7, Glaze 4, McBroom 4, Team 4, McCall 3, Jett 2, Barnett). Assists -- ISU 12 (Odum 6, Kitchell 2, Smith 2, Cummings, Brown); SLU 18 (Jett 7, McBroom 6, McCall 2, Evans, Loe, Manning). Steals -- ISU 7 (Odum 3, Brown 2, Eitel, Smith); SLU 6 (Jett 3, Loe 2, Glaze). Blocks -- ISU 4 (Arop 2, Odum, Smith); SLU 8 (Loe 3, Manning 2, Evans, Jett, Barnett). Turnovers -- ISU 14 (Odum 7, Cummings 2, Eitel 2, Arop, Gant, Eitel); SLU 12 (Jett 4, Glaze 3, Evans 2, Barnett, McBroom, Team). Total fouls -- ISU 29, SLU 21. Fouled out -- Smith. A -- 7,205.
Next -- ISU (7-3) plays host to IUPUI and Saint Louis (10-2) plays host to North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
SLU beats ISU 83-66 in foul-marred game
ST. LOUIS —
Indiana State's 83-66 loss to Saint Louis on Wednesday at Chaifetz Arena was many things.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
Rose-Hulman wins third straight HCAC tournament crown
Tied with Hanover 26-26 at halftime of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship game Saturday night, host Rose-Hulman knew it had a couple of things in its favor.
Rolling along: Third straight victory helps Sycamores tie for second in MVC
Aside from Teri Moren sticking with her pink Chuck Taylor shoes on the sideline for superstitious reasons, Indiana State’s three-game winning streak can be explained by strong play in nearly every aspect of the game.
Sycamores stay positive in face of adversity
After Indiana State’s 77-59 loss at Illinois State on Wednesday, ISU players had an idea of how the tone of Thursday and Friday’s practices would be prior to today’s regular-season finale against Northern Iowa.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Odum's final chapter is here; how will he author the ending?
If you compare a college basketball career to a book, Indiana State point guard Jake Odum has been a page-turner from day one.
Odum has dazzled ISU fans from the time he became a starter during the first weekend of his first season in 2010. The Sycamores have not had a losing season during the Odum era, a run of success unprecedented in ISU’s Division I history.
VIDEO: Indiana State women looking to add to winning streak at home
Indiana State looks to put a three-game winning streak together tonight against Loyola, who topped the Sycamores behind 30 points by senior forward Troy Hambric for one of the Ramblers’ nine wins this season.
The Sycamores’ women’s basketball team stifled Missouri State last Friday and knocked off first-place Wichita State on Sunday for a pair of road wins last weekend. They'll look to build upon that momentum tonight at home.
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