Hakaka … it’s the Hawaiian word for “fight.”
Not unlike a Hawaiian volcano roaring to life, Indiana State’s men’s basketball team was able to summon its inner Hakaka on Saturday against Mississippi in the opening game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
It took overtime to decide it, but ISU’s inspired play had its just reward. The Sycamores held off the once-beaten Rebels and emerged with an 87-85 roller-coaster ride of a victory at the Stan Sheriff Center.
“We had the will to win. We grinded on them. It’s kind of funny, our tour guide at Pearl Harbor said that, ‘grinding is eating. … Grind on them’. That’s kind of been our motto out here,” ISU guard Jake Odum said.
ISU will play No. 18 San Diego State in a Diamond Head Classic semifinal at 5 p.m. today. The Aztecs dropped San Francisco 80-58 in another first round game.
Manny Arop led ISU (6-3) with 27 points as all five Sycamores’ starters reached double-figure scoring. Jake Odum had 16 points and eight assists.
Perhaps most welcome of all for ISU was the play of ISU big man Justin Gant. The Terre Haute native had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Along with Jake Kitchell, he helped the Sycamores face down mighty Ole Miss big men Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner.
“We wanted to get rebounds and grind them out. I felt like we did that,” Gant said. “You have to give respect to their big-time post players. We had to make them take a tough shot and then box them out.”
Ole Miss — ranked 10th in the nation in rebounds — had only a 46-45 rebounding edge.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our big men. Coming into this game, we knew this team would be a handful on the glass. Our big guys just came to battle. They took the fight to them,” Arop said. “It inspired us. It definitely inspired me.”
The inspiration didn’t stop there. Dawon Cummings – who had 10 points – chased Ole Miss gunner Marshall Henderson and made it difficult for him to get too hot. Henderson scored 27, but he needed 23 attempts to get there.
R.J. Mahurin was ISU’s other double-figure scorer with 12 points.
“Our bigs had a job they had to do. The guards had to match up with shooters. It was a great team win. Every person played their role and that’s how we got it done,” Odum said.
The game got off to a lively start as both teams started hot and played to a 14-14 standoff.
Ole Miss averaged 81.6 points per game entering Saturday’s contest, and it appeared the Rebels were well on their way again as a 10-0 run gave the Rebels a 24-14 advantage at the 11:08 left.
But instead of caving in, the Sycamores steeled themselves and punched back.
Arop got the Sycamores pointed in the right direction with a traditional three-point play at 10:11 to end the Ole Miss run. Arop then hit a 3-pointer and two more foul shots to trim ISU’s deficit to 26-22.
Jarvis Summers hit a free throw at 8:57 to make it 27-22, but the Rebels wouldn’t score again until the 2:33 mark.
ISU, on the other hand, couldn’t stop scoring … and the production was spread throughout the team. Mahurin, Gant, Kitchell, Khristian Smith, Cummings and Jake Odum scored in succession to fuel a 15-0 ISU surge.
ISU also maintained its run without Odum on the floor. ISU ultimately put together a 23-3 run, and a good portion of it was compiled with Cummings, Kitchell, Gant, Smith and Devonte Brown on the floor.
“It’s really going to be a key for us as we go down through the season. We ride Jake like a dog. He gets so tired and he competes so hard. Dawon is really coming along. Devonte’s minutes will keep going up if he keeps away from turnovers, but he can really defend,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
Shell-shocked Ole Miss recovered a bit by the end of the half, but ISU still enjoyed its largest lead — 44-33 — at halftime. The Sycamores shot 46.9 percent and 55.6 percent from 3-point range in the first half.
The second half was a roller coaster ride. Ole Miss re-asserted itself inside and wiped out ISU’s halftime lead, but ISU punched back again.
ISU gradually rebuilt its advantage and had a 69-61 advantage with 6:09 left.
Ole Miss (8-2) rallied again and tied the game with 4:30 left. ISU seemed to have enough to carry the day when Cummings hit a three-pointer at the death of the shot clock at 2:13 and when Odum made a free throw with 1:52 left to amass a 75-70 lead.
But the Rebels weren’t done. After slicing the ISU lead to three, a turnover gave Ole Miss a free possession and Summers drained a 3-pointer to tie it.
An Odum turnover with 48 seconds left gave Ole Miss a chance to take the lead, but the Sycamores got the stop and overtime would be needed.
Ole Miss took its first lead since the first half with a bucket on the first possession of overtime, but Gant answered with two buckets and Arop tipped in an Odum miss to make it 81-77. ISU’s overtime lead peaked at six, but the Sycamores had to weather yet another Rebels’ run.
At 85-80, Henderson stole the ball from Odum and later got loose for a long three to make it 85-83. But Odum hit a pair of free throws with 11.1 seconds left to finally put the Rebels in their grave.
“The first half [comeback] really helped us in overtime. We got down 10 and we answered the bell. We played awfully well at both ends of the floor. We knew it would tighten up. We didn’t always play smart, but we played hard,” Lansing said.
The scenario was similar to that ISU had against New Mexico on Dec. 4 at Hulman Center. In that case, the Lobos pulled away for a 77-68 victory. Not this time.
“Our focus on defense was better. Against New Mexico we got away from the gameplan, but here, we stuck with it and did what we wanted to do,” Gant said.
ISU has now won two in a row against SEC competition. The Sycamores won at Vanderbilt last year.
GANT VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWBj8PJXsO4
ODUM VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuGh4WUvMWU
AROP VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ocvwsyxUw
Hakaka … it’s the Hawaiian word for “fight.”
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.
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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.
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