TERRE HAUTE —
The statistics don’t lie ... even if there’s no definitive truth in the cause, or even, in the solution.
During the nonconference part of Indiana State’s season, the Sycamore failed to shoot 33 percent or less from 3-point range just once ... its 63-62 loss to Tulsa in the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 27, 2013.
Since the Missouri Valley Conference season began? ISU has exceeded 33 percent just once, and that was five games ago at Evansville on Jan. 4.
ISU’s conference 3-point percentage is .312, eighth-best in the MVC. Quite a fall for a team that was ranked in the top 5 nationally not even a month ago.
Yet the Sycamores keep on winning. ISU’s 65-61 victory at Loyola on Wednesday was its 13th in 15 games. Its only losses in that stretch were to top-25 teams (Saint Louis, Wichita State) on the road. ISU (15-4, 6-1) won its seventh road game of the season, third-best in the nation.
It’s easy to forget those positives because the 3-point slump, and the impact its had on ISU’s offense, can make the Sycamores seem worse off than they are.
What’s the cause for the 3-point slump and some of the recent offensive malaise? That’s when you get into chicken-or-egg questions.
Is it because ISU is to keen to rely on 3-point shots and takes too many quick ones? Is it because ISU’s slashers aren’t penetrating the lane enough, and thus, becoming too reliant on threes? Is ISU not feeding the post enough? Are the posts not fighting enough for those touches?
Or is it just an old-fashioned slump? ISU had several open long-range looks against both Wichita State last Saturday and Loyola on Wednesday that failed to find the target.
It’s probably all of the above. It defies a simple solution when there’s not one Sycamore who’s to blame or who’s completely blameless.
“We were settling for quick early 3s again. Yes, they were open, but sometimes when the ball isn’t going in, you have to attack that paint and go to the foul line,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said Wednesday.
That’s been increasingly difficult as the MVC season has played out. Loyola kept its defenders inside the 3-point line and cut off passing and driving lanes into the paint. That would’ve been unheard of against hot-shooting ISU just a few weeks ago.
“There were no gaps. There were no driving lanes to get into. They were packing it inside the lane. They didn’t want Jake [Odum} and Manny [Arop] getting to the basket,” Lansing said.
What’s the solution? It starts with not getting impatient.
“The thing you have to with that is not get frustrated. You have to play off of it and move the ball. You have to cut through the lane and attack the basket with your cuts,” Lansing said. “Don’t settle for quick early threes. Maybe take those later in the possession. You still have to work the ball inside. Once we started driving on ball reversals and we got to the free throw line a little bit it loosened us up.”
It was ISU’s bench that did it. Khristian Smith unlocked Loyola’s defense and penetrated the lane early, a big reason he scored ISU’s first 11 points. Later, Brandon Burnett did the same and scored a career-high 10 points.
“The bench absolutely saved us. Khristian, Brandon and Kitch [Jake Kitchell, who tied a career-high with seven rebounds], when they came in, they turned the game around and got us the lead,” Lansing said.
ISU (14-5, 6-1) is still in fine shape in the MVC, but its inconsistent offense is something the Sycamores know they won’t get away with against better MVC foes, especially on the road.
“We’re plus-three. You got another road win against a good team that had a good plan. Offensively? I have to help them a little bit more. [Opponets] are jamming us up a lot. They’re not giving us the driving lanes,” Lansing said.
“We want to score. We want to play fast, but we have to be able to play at two speeds. We have to work the ball a little better and play off of people that are helping that much,” he added.
While there were no style points earned at Loyola, one player tried to look on the bright side. After all, ISU is in second place in the MVC and has a two-game cushion on Illinois State (Saturday’s opponent at Hulman Center) and Northern Iowa, it’s nearest pursuers.
“Those ugly wins ... fans don’t like them. We don’t necessarily like them, but I think it’s a toughness thing,” Kitchell said. “When it boils down to it, when the game comes down to it like it did [Wednesday], we’re a veteran group and took care of business towards the end of the game. It comes down to gutting it out and being the tougher team.”
n O’Leary — Terre Haute’s Matt O’Leary came off the bench and played just six minutes for Loyola against the Sycamores. The only shot he attempted rimmed out in the first half and he had one assist and one turnover.
INDIANA STATE (65) — Gant 3-8 1-2 7, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Arop 0-5 0-1 0, Cummings 2-8 1-2 7, Odum 4-9 6-10 14, Kitchell 2-2 2-2 6, Eitel 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 1-3 0-0 3, Burnett 3-5 2-3 10, Smith 5-11 7-8 18. 20-52 FG, 19-28 FT, 65 TP.
LOYOLA (61) — Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Thomas 4-7 3-6 11, Crisman 2-5 1-2 5, White 5-8 1-2 13, Doyle 6-12 4-6 20, Turk 3-8 1-1 7, O’Leary 0-1 0-0 0, Osborne 2-4 0-0 5. 22-48 FG, 10-17 FT, 61 TP.
Halftime — ISU 28-27. 3-point goals — ISU 6-24 (Cummings 2-7, Burnett 2-3, Smith 1-4, Brown 1-2, Odum 0-3, Arop 0-3, Gant 0-2); LU 7-20 (Doyle 4-9, White 2-2, Osborne 1-2, Turk 0-4, Thomas 0-1, Crisman 0-1, O’Leary 0-1). Rebounds — ISU 41 (Gant 8, Kitchell 7, Team 6, Cummings 4, Odum 4, Smith 4, Burnett 3, Brown 2); LU 28 (Osborne 7, White 6, Thomas 6, Johnson 4, Doyle 2, Team 2, Crisman). Assists — ISU 13 (Cummings 4, Brown 4, Odum 2, Smith 2, Arop); LU 10 (Doyle 4, Thomas 2, White, Turk, O’Leary, Osborne). Steals — ISU 5 (Arop 2, Cummings, Brown, Smith); LU 4 (Crisman 3, Thomas). Blocks — ISU 2 (Cummings, Smith); LU 2 (Crisman, Doyle). Turnovers — ISU 9 (Brown 3, Odum 2, Team 2, Gant, Smith); LU 10 (White 2, Doyle 2, Turk 2, O’Leary, Osborne, Johnson, Thomas). Total fouls — ISU 16, LU 19. Fouled out — Bradshaw. A — 1,180.
Next — ISU (15-4, 6-1) plays host to Illinois State and Loyola (7-12, 2-5) plays host to Northern Iowa on Saturday.
ISU goes 6-of-24 on 3-pointers in victory at Loyola
TERRE HAUTE —
The statistics don’t lie ... even if there’s no definitive truth in the cause, or even, in the solution.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
History in making?: Indiana, Purdue need to reverse recent trends to keep offseason hopes alive
The state’s two Big Ten schools could begin the offseason as soon as tonight, depending on how they fare in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
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.
- More College Headlines
- ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections