TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State guard Jake Odum said prior to Saturday’s game against Belmont that he wanted to rely more on his instincts.
That’s never a bad thing for the Sycamores.
Odum picked his spots impeccably against a good Belmont team on Saturday. Given the chance to dish in the first half, he kept his teammates fed. Given the chance to score in the second half? He went to the basket with purpose.
Odum had 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals as ISU defeated Belmont 85-73 in Hulman Center.
“It’s nice playing a team twice. You can see what they did to you before. I was ready to see a change in defense. They stuck to our shooters, so I was able to get to the lane, especially in the second half,” Odum said.
Twenty of Odum’s points came in the second half. Belmont coach Rick Byrd knew what his Bruins needed to do to stop Odum … they just couldn’t do it.
“He twists around, draws the contact, he still makes the shot. What you need to do is make him take tough shots. … You can’t foul him and you can’t help too quick off of him because he’ll find open people,” Byrd said. “I’m telling you I know all of this, but we still couldn’t do anything about it.”
It was Odum’s finest effort of the season, and in many ways, it also was one of the highest points of the season for ISU since its win at Notre Dame in November.
Defensively, the tale was told by Belmont’s second-half 3-point shooting. Nearly every Bruin can shoot from 3-point range, making it a difficult task for ISU’s defenders as they chased shooters down while the Bruins wisely spread the floor.
Belmont’s 3-of-12 shooting in the second half prevented the Bruins from the kind of second-half outburst they had in the season’s previous meeting Nov. 14. In that game, Belmont shot 50 percent from 3-point range and wiped out a 16-point halftime deficit for a 96-95 victory.
Not this time.
“I’m really pleased with that. They score 40 percent of their points from 3-point range. We wanted to make them do something else to beat us other than catching and shooting threes. The guys did an excellent job in the second half of fighting it,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
ISU did an excellent job on dangerous gunner J.J. Mann. He scored just six points. Manny Arop had the defensive assignment for much of the game and played well.
“We didn’t help from him. You can’t leave him at all. You have to guard him five feet outside the 3-point line and fight his catch and make him have to bounce it,” Lansing said.
In a game that was tied nine times and had 13 lead changes, the Sycamores broke through with 10 minutes to go. Odum scored on a runner with 10:03 left to make it 51-50.
It was followed by a Khristian Smith 3-pointer and an Odum traditional three-point play sandwiched around a Belmont bucket to make it 57-52.
Belmont’s Craig Bradshaw — who led the Bruins with 18 points — went on a personal assault as he scored on three straight possesions. What saved ISU from being overwhelmed at that point was Demetrius Moore.
Moore answered two of Bradshaw’s buckets with a pair of his own and kept the Sycamores’ offense cranking. Moore was 5 of 7 from the field with 10 points and six rebounds.
Moore had a breakout December. His finishing near the basket was deadly as he converted 19 of 24 field goal attempts and averaged 7.6 points in five December games.
“I’ve been doing extra work to stay in shape, but these guys are pushing me everyday. I’m taking what defenses are giving me. I saw an opening and attacked it,” Moore said.
Odum said Moore’s performance has been a “big surprise” given the time it usually takes for a junior college player to adjust to Division I play. That goes double for Moore, who sat out a year before he came to ISU. Odum called him an “unsung hero”.
“He’s definitely been our most efficient player,” said Odum, who pointed out that Moore’s attributes go beyond scoring. “He finishes strong down low, he talks on the defensive end, slides his feet and does what he needs to do on ball screens.”
ISU finished with panache. An 8-1 run gave ISU a 69-61 lead and the Bruins (8-6) couldn’t shoot their way out of their hole. ISU’s largest lead was it’s final 12-point margin.
The second half was a sharp contrast to a first half that was less basketball than bombing raid. Both teams were on their game from long-range and shot a combined 13 of 23 3-point percentage. ISU was 6 of 9.
For a time, ISU’s conversion of Belmont turnovers turned the game ISU’s way as it built a 19-11 advantage. ISU scored 13 first-half points off Belmont giveaways.
But ISU’s half-court offense bogged mid-half. ISU’s slump gave the sharp-shooting Bruins the window they needed for a 14-5 run to take a four-point lead.
ISU got its act together in the final four minutes, scored on five straight possessions, and led by two at halftime.
In addition to Odum and Moore’s productive days, Arop had 16 points and six rebounds. Khristian Smith and Justin Gant each had 10 points.
ISU (9-3) opens Missouri Valley Conference at home against Loyola on New Year’s Day. ISU still has things it wants to work on, but the win over a solid program has the Sycamores feeling good about themselves.
“After that one, I feel a lot better. We’ve all kind of felt like, and I think the fans and the media were all like, ‘We’re not playing very good.’ That’s exactly as I’ve felt,” Lansing said. “If we just play hard all of the time, we’re a lot better. It’s hard to play harder than Belmont, but we played extremely hard and competed.”
Sycamores avenge earlier loss at Belmont with win in Hulman Center
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State guard Jake Odum said prior to Saturday’s game against Belmont that he wanted to rely more on his instincts.
Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond
The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.
ISU baseball holds off Eastern Illinois for 24th win
Indiana State freshman left-hander Ryan Keaffaber won his first game as a Sycamore and senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went 3 for 3 as ISU defeated host Eastern Illinois 6-4 in college baseball Tuesday.
Top returners lead Cream over Crimson in Hoosiers' spring game
The Cream team at Saturday’s Cream and Crimson intrasquad game had Indiana’s top returning rusher and receiver and the Hoosiers’ top-rated passer from last season.
No surprise, then, that Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn and Tre Roberson guided the Cream to a resounding 24-14 win over the Crimson.
Rose-Hulman baseball gets wild doubleheader sweep
Host Rose-Hulman came back from an early six-run deficit in the first game Saturday and went on to a 13-12, 7-1 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball sweep over Mount St. Joseph.
The wild opener featured a Rose-Hulman comeback from an 8-2 deficit and included 18 hits and two school records for the Engineers.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball earns doubleheader sweep at Missouri State
Yvette Alvarez’s one-hit shutout capped a dominant day of pitching Saturday as Indiana State swept a Missouri Valley Conference softball doubleheader at Missouri State by scores of 6-1 and 4-0.
“We pitched well,” coach Shane Bouman said. “Both Taylor Lockwood in the first game and Yvette Alvarez in the second game threw great. When you pitch good and you play good defense and get some key hits, good things are going to happen.
ISU football set for first spring scrimmage
Thanks to a limited number of available offensive linemen — a group that will at least double in numbers in the fall with the addition of recruits and currently injured players — the Sycamores won’t have a full-scale scrimmage, but will still intersperse scrimmage plays (with officials) among other practice drills.
“We’re thin,” coach Mike Sanford admitted after practice Thursday. “The scrimmage will be part of practice — probably 30 or 40 plays altogether. We only have five to seven healthy offensive linemen, so we can’t go [in a scrimmage format] for long stretches of time.”
METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis
Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.
ISU baseball falls to Vanderbilt 6-2
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ISU baseball sweeps doubleheader against Wichita State
Indiana State baseball coach Mitch Hannahs finally got what he’s been looking for from the Sycamores’ Friday and Saturday starters ... and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Wichita State is in town for a crucial series. With ISU 2-4 in the league, it was vital for the Sycamores to validate their better-than-expected form in nonconference play with MVC success in Saturday’s doubleheader at Bob Warn Field.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman's nine-game winnings streak snapped
Rose-Hulman had its nine-game winning streak snapped with two tightly contested losses at defending Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champion Manchester on Saturday.
Sycamores get commitment from junior-college point guard
Following Indiana State’s loss to Marquette in the WNIT, coach Teri Moren touched on the future of the program after the loss of Sycamore senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir.
Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015
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Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium
The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Indiana State secondary could be mending into a strength
During Indiana State’s injury-ravaged 2013 season, there wasn’t a unit on either side of the ball that was spared from the carnage.
But if one had to be singled out as hardest hit in the injury department, it would be difficult to out-do the Sycamores’ secondary.
Every player that started in ISU’s season opener at Indiana not only missed at least one game last season, but the entire starting unit was out of action by the end of September.
Reed named Midseason National Player of the Year
Half of the college baseball season is done and one prominent college baseball publication thinks Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed is best player in the land.
Reed, a junior at Kentucky, was named the Midseason National Player of the Year by Perfect Game USA, a website devoted to college baseball.
Laramie to transfer from ISU women's basketball program
Indiana State forward Marina Laramie averaged 9.9 points and started all 32 games as a sophomore for the Sycamores.
But the 6-foot-2 women’s basketball player will continue her career elsewhere.
Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings
Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.
Chicago guard commits to ISU women's basketball
The Indiana State women’s basketball team picked up a verbal commitment from Chicago guard Kiera Brooks on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-7 junior for North Lawndale College Prep visited ISU’s campus for the first time, met the team and chose her college home. Brooks averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for coach Corey Morgan’s 15-11 squad.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball tops IU 7-5
The Indiana State softball team remained a perfect 13-0 when scoring in the first inning as it defeated Indiana (9-24-1) 7-5 Tuesday for its second consecutive victory over a Big Ten opponent.
Dedicated to helping others
It’s not like Marissa Stout is bored out of her mind and lacking for things to do.
Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC
Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.
ISU baseball shows mental toughness in win over Illinois State
When the pressure’s on, there’s nothing a coach likes more than to see his team double down on their approach and grit out a positive result.
Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores
Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it. Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run. But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.
Woods softball team wins 4th straight
The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods softball team swept Grace College with a pair of wins in its home opener Wednesday.
Devoted brothers: Mahurins relish chance to team up and win NAIA title
It wasn’t a great year for NCAA basketball in the Hoosier state outside of Indiana State’s 23-victory season.
But a team in NAIA Division II with eight Indiana natives — and coached by former Valparaiso point guard Greg Tonagel, an Indiana All-Star for his hometown of LaPorte — brought home a national basketball championship.
Tonagel, the scrappy point guard who played alongside Bryce Drew for that magical Valpo team, created more March hoops memories with the help of Rockville brothers R.J. and Lane Mahurin.
‘A full night’: Leadoff hitter Curry leads 16-hit attack as Sycamores pound Hoosiers
Lead-off man Landon Curry had four of Indiana State’s 16 hits Wednesday afternoon, and cleanup hitter Mike Fitzgerald reached for the 17th straight game to lead the Sycamores to a 12-8 victory.
Fresh start: ISU football team springs into action for coach Sanford’s second season
Many things change from year one to year two in someone’s coaching regime, but when it comes to football, few things change more dramatically in that span than spring football practice.
Etherington, Hollowell leaving IU
Two players are leaving Indiana University’s basketball program while a third is reportedly planning to leave early for the NBA. IU confirmed Monday afternoon that redshirt sophomore Austin Etherington and sophomore Jeremy Hollowell will transfer.
Metro sports: Rose's Stull, Schultheis earn HCAC honors
Rose-Hulman took two Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors this week, with Andrew Stull and Austin Schultheis recognized for their work over the weekend.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: ISU never kicked down the door in 2014
After Indiana State’s 91-71 loss Tuesday at Arkansas in the National Invitation Tournament, and in the days since, I can’t help but think of Bum Phillips and the 1980 Houston Oilers as I ponder Indiana State's 2013-14 men's basketball season.
Stay with me.
The Oilers had lost to the all-conquering Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1978 and 1979 AFC Championship games. Despite that, it seemed the Earl Campbell-led squad was the team of destiny to knock the Steel Curtain off their perch.
So much so that Phillips, the wonderfully colorful Oilers coach, said the Oilers would "kick the door down", knock off their black-and-gold nemesis, and win the AFC Central in 1980.
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