Morehead, Ky. —
Indiana State swingman Khristian Smith put it best in describing the Sycamores’ 71-63 loss to Morehead State on Saturday.
“They came out and punched us in the face,” Smith said.
ISU not only took the first punch from the spirited Eagles, but did little to parry any of the blows that followed.
The Sycamores lost their mojo deep in the foggy mountains of eastern Kentucky, and despite the best efforts of the foul and turnover-prone Eagles to let them recover it, ISU never did. The resulting loss left the Sycamores maligning their toughness.
“You have to give them a ton of credit. They were the tougher team today, there’s no question. They completely asserted themselves at both ends of the floor,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
Smith led the Sycamores with 20 points, a career-high. Manny Arop added a career-high 19 and Jake Odum had 15, but little went right for ISU.
The lively Eagles forced their style of play — frantic and kinetic ball pressure — on the Sycamores and ISU could not muster the energy, nor conjure the mistake-free play, needed to handle it.
“You go on the road against a team like this that puts ball pressure on … you have to be tough. You have to attack, you have to come to the ball, you have to want the ball. You can’t just be afraid to not make a play. We just didn’t come out from the get-go,” Odum said.
The Sycamores had 17 turnovers and shot 22.7 percent from 3-point range. Morehead State shot 48.9 percent and 52.9 percent from 3-point range.
ISU’s response to strong starts to both halves was a lack of calmness that Lansing lamented.
“It’s hard to simulate that stuff in practice, we don’t play teams like this often, but you have to handle it with calmness. They want to create chaos and they did that in too many minutes and too many spurts today. We didn’t handle it well,” Lansing said.
ISU’s inability to stay cool was reflected in its shooting, particularly its 3-point shooting. ISU was 5 of 22 from 3-point range. ISU has struggled all season from long-range, but it’s struggles on Saturday has as much to do with some hurried shots as it did inaccuracy.
“We just can’t settle. We haven’t shot the ball well all year. When we swing the ball around, we have to attack more and be more aggressive. We have to attack. We have to get the ball in the paint and score,” Odum said.
Lansing thought most of ISU’s 3-point attempts were sound. He wants ISU to take open jumpers when it has them. ISU is shooting 31.7 percent from 3-point range this season.
“I thought most of them were good shots. A couple were quick. It’s something we have to keep working on,” Lansing said.
ISU (4-3) couldn’t match Morehead State’s energy on either end of the floor. The Eagles jumped to a 9-2 lead, using its pressure defense to give its half-court offense energy.
ISU never really got the hang of the tempo in the opening 20 minutes. The Eagles (5-5) forced 10 first half turnovers, seven in the first 10 minutes alone. ISU tried to mix and match combinations without success. At times, ISU tried to shoot its way out of trouble, but hurt itself in the bargain, as ISU was 1 of 7 from 3-point range in the first half.
“Their tempo dictated the whole game. We rushed a few things. We couldn’t get over the hump,” Smith said.
Morehead State had a 13-point lead with 3:03 left in the half before its frantic style of play began to work against it. Morehead State is last in the NCAA in fouls (26 per game) and that weakness began to show in the final three minutes.
ISU finished the half on a 9-2 run to cut its halftime deficit to 32-26 as all of ISU’s points were scored at the free throw line.
ISU’s deficit was cut to three just after the break, but then it went back into a funk. A 13-0 Morehead State run gave the Eagles their biggest lead at 45-29.
To that point in the half, ISU had made 1 of 6 from the field and had three turnovers. Smith — one of the few ISU bright spots — got ISU’s ship turned around. He converted a three-point play at 14:04 that sparked a 10-0 ISU run, which cut the deficit to 45-39.
ISU would close the gap to 49-46 and 52-49, but in each case, Morehead State answered with a 3-point bucket to maintain the gap.
ISU closed the gap to 59-57 with 2:56 left and had a possession to tie the game, but an Odum shot didn’t fall at 2:07. The Eagles once again got a timely 3-point bucket — this time by Angelo Warner with 1:01 left — to restore a multi-possession lead.
ISU would not get within a possession again. The Sycamores couldn’t string together successive shots to get back in it as ISU made just one of its last seven 3-point attempts.
ISU has exams this week. It returns to action next Saturday with a game at IUPUI.
“We have to be tougher. Coach Lansing said we can’t turn it on like a light switch. It always has to be turned on,” Odum said.
INDIANA STATE (63) — Kitchell 0-0 0-1 0, Arop 6-13 4-4 19, Eitel 1-3 0-0 3, Odum 3-9 9-12 15, K. Smith 6-9 8-11 20, Gant 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Cummings 1-7 3-5 6, Burnett 0-1 0-0 0, Mahurin 0-3 0-0 0. 17-46 FG, 24-33 FT, 63 TP.
MOREHEAD STATE (71) — Posthumus 1-2 3-4 5, Reed 1-2 0-0 2, Atkinson 2-4 0-1 5, Warner 4-8 5-6 15, Stickler 1-3 0-0 3, Kelly 0-1 2-2 2, Lewis-Briggs 4-7 0-0 8, Stokes 1-1 0-0 3, Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Percell 0-1 0-0 0, Chavis 4-6 5-10 15, James 1-3 2-2 5, Holmes 3-6 1-2 8. 22-45 FG, 18-27 FT, 71 TP.
3-point field goals — ISU 5-22 (Arop 3-8, Cummings 1-6, Eitel 1-3, Odum 0-2, Mahurin 0-2, Burnett 0-1), MSU 9-17 (Warner 2-4, Chavis 2-2, James 1-3, Stickler 1-2, Holmes 1-2, Atkinson 1-1, Stokes 1-1, Lewis-Briggs 0-2). Rebounds — ISU 29 (Arop 6, Kitchell 4, Team 4, Eitel 3, Gant 3, Cummings 3, Odum 2, Mahurin 2, K. Smith, Brown), MSU 32 (Holmes 8, Lewis-Briggs 6, Team 5, Reed 4, Posthumus 2, Atkinson 2, Chavis 2, Warner, Stickler, Turner). Assists — ISU 8 (Odum 2, Mahurin 2, Arop, Eitel, K. Smith, Cummings), MSU 15 (Atkinson 4, Warner 3, Chavis 2, Holmes 2, Reed, Stickler, Lewis-Briggs, James). Blocks — ISU 4 (Kitchell, Odum, Cummings, Mahurin), MSU 0. Steals: ISU 9 (Eitel 2, Odum 2, Cummings 2, Arop, K. Smith, Mahurin), MSU 10 (Chavis 3, Warner 2, Lewis-Briggs 2, Reed, Atkinson, Holmes). Turnovers — ISU 17 (Arop 5, K. Smith 3, Cummings 3, Kitchell, Odum, Gant, Brown, Mahurin), MSU 19 (Warner 4, Reed 2, Atkinson 2, Stickler 2, Lewis-Briggs 2, James 2, Holmes 2, Posthumus, Chavis, Team). Total fouls — ISU 20, MSU 31. Fouled out: none. A — 2,038.
Next — ISU (4-3) plays at IUPUI next Saturday. Morehead State (5-5) plays at South Dakota on Wednesday.
Morehead, Ky. —
Indiana State swingman Khristian Smith put it best in describing the Sycamores’ 71-63 loss to Morehead State on Saturday.
EIU might come at right time for ISU
Sometimes an opponent lines up just right on the schedule that suits a team’s needs.
That’s true for Indiana State as it travels to play Eastern Illinois at 8 p.m. today at Lantz Arena. And it’s not because the Panthers have struggled, even though they have.
Young gun: Freshman Belyea leads Engineers to second straight victory over Saint Mary-of-the Woods
Freshman women’s college basketball players sparked Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Rose-Hulman on Wednesday in Hulbert Arena. Playing her first major minutes of the season, Rose-Hulman guard Kristen Belyea was the clutch shooter for the Engineers. In the second half, Belyea knocked down 4 of 6 from the field and 2 of 3 from the 3-point arc to help the Engineers earn a second straight victory in the rivalry with a 74-54 decision.
Strickland leads RHIT men to win
Rose-Hulman opened its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball season with a 66-50 victory at Anderson University on Wednesday.
Metro: Boys county title games set for tonight
A pair of championship games in the Vigo County middle school boys basketball tournament will be played today in West Vigo High School’s main gym. At 6 p.m., Woodrow Wilson will take on Sarah Scott for the sixth-grade title. Then at about 7:30, Wilson and Honey Creek will tangle for the seventh-grade crown.
METRO ROUNDUP: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Rose-Hulman set to battle for Clabber Girl trophy
With the Clabber Girl Trophy hanging in the balance for the 21st time, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team will welcome crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to Hulbert Arena today for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.
The Engineers (0-4) will look to defend their title after capturing the Clabber Girl Trophy for the first time since 2008 with last season’s 80-74 victory.
ISU’s Underwood named first team All-MVC
Sophomore linebacker/defensive end Connor Underwood was named to the all-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team on Monday, heading a list of five Indiana State players honored.
Red-hot Strickland leads Engineers past Wabash 77-68
Julian Strickland tied his career-high point total with 31 Monday night — his third consecutive 30-point game this season — as host Rose-Hulman downed Wabash 77-68 in Hulbert Arena.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Rose-Hulman women fall short to Marian
A clutch 3-pointer and free throws down the stretch sealed the home victory for Marian University in Saturday’s competitive 50-45 nonconference victory over the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team.
Strickland pours in 30, but the Engineers fall in home opener
Carroll University withstood a last-minute challenge by Rose-Hulman to earn a 67-64 men’s basketball victory in the Engineers’ home opener Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Indiana State holds off hot-shooting Pepperdine
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is very much a work in progress defensively. Evidence of that came Saturday when Pepperdine shot 57.8 percent against the Sycamores in the fourth-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout.
But when it came down to winning time? Pepperdine’s Waves crashed on the rocks of ISU’s defense.
Hoosiers gain 692 total yards, re-claim Oaken Bucket
Although his team fell well short of defending its possession of the Old Oaken Bucket Saturday against Indiana, Purdue’s freshman quarterback Danny Etling — a Terre Haute South grad — showed poise and talent in bringing the Boilermakers back in the second half in a 56-36 loss.
Sycamores outpace Seawolves
Indiana State wanted a better defensive effort in its Great Alaska Shootout consolation semifinal game against host Alaska-Anchorage on Friday, but the Seawolves weren’t going to give the Sycamores an orthodox offense to assess themselves with.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Uneven Sycamores fall 63-62 to Tulsa
Indiana State loses to Tulsa 63-62 in opening game of Great Alaska Shootout
Tulsa's switching defenses confounded Sycamores
Tulsa paid Indiana State the respect they feel the Sycamores earned with a 3-1 start and a win at Notre Dame on Nov. 17.
So the Golden Hurricane threw multiple defenses at the Sycamores.
On target: Sycamores spreading the wealth with their shooting
Indiana State’s men's basketball team did many things right during the 2012-13 season, but one thing it couldn’t get a handle on was its 3-point shooting. The Sycamores shot 32.1 percent from 3-point range, ranked 252nd in the nation. It was going to take a lot of work to improve ISU’s percentage. So far, hard work has had its own reward.
O’Leary eyes return to Hulman Center
Former Terre Haute North standout Matt O’Leary is hoping to help Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser turn the program into a new chapter of success in a new conference.
College report: Gardner jumps at chance to play for ISU
Cody Gardner enjoyed his freshman baseball season at Wright State and earned more time on the field than he honestly expected to get. Coach Rob Cooper departed WSU after last season to take over at Penn State, however, and Gardner jumped at the chance to return to his hometown as an Indiana State Sycamore and perform for the school where two members of his family previously excelled.
Young Evansville team unable to threaten Indiana
Indiana coach Tom Crean surprised everyone by starting senior walk-on Jeff Howard. Evansville didn’t give themselves the chance to surprise the Hoosiers.
Metro roundup: Rose star is conference POW
After a career-high 31-point performance on Saturday night, Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.
NCAA championships: Runners face muddy course, stiff winds as well as each other at Gibson course
More than 500 runners were prepared for a muddy course, but the NCAA’s elite also had to fight a wind chill in the teens Saturday at LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
Nothing was going to stop Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, who upset defending champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech or women’s champion Abbey D’Agostino, who adds her first NCAA title in cross country to her four national titles on the track.
ISU defeats Truman
What do you expect when a Division II team pays a visit to a Division I arena?
In Truman State’s case, you can expect a pretty good showing. Indiana State had some nervous moments against the Bulldogs, but the Sycamores prevailed 80-69 on Friday at Hulman Center.
ISU football closes out season against SIU
Indiana State’s football team had its last practice of the 2013 season Thursday and it had a jovial climax.
Favorites look to win at NCAA cross country championships
Two consensus thoughts prevailed in the hunt for the NCAA cross country individual championships: Kenyan Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech is the heavy favorite to repeat as men’s 10,000-meter champion and Dartmouth senior Abbey D’Agostino, last year’s runner-up, will be tough to stop from winning the women’s 6,000-meter race.
ISU’s Underwood family affected by Illinois tornado
Indiana State defensive end Connor Underwood can be forgiven if football wasn’t the biggest thing on his mind this week as the team prepared for its season finale against Southern Illinois today.
New officiating edict could help ISU's Odum
For ISU, one player immediately comes to mind as far as who might benefit most from the new rules -- senior point guard Jake Odum.
Gant looms large in ISU's 2013-14 improvement
It’s no overstatement that as Justin Gant went in the 2012-13 season, so did the Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.
- ISU women have options in the post
Terre Haute’s Mundy helping young Hoosiers climb toward top
It didn’t take long for Chanli Mundy to find her way home from Bloomington.
The 2011 Terre Haute North all-state cross country runner arrived on the Indiana University campus this summer knowing making the varsity team might be a long shot.
But she put in the quality miles, believed in herself and is ahead of schedule as a freshman for the Hoosiers, who received an at-large berth to Saturday’s NCAA championships at LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
- More College Headlines
- EIU might come at right time for ISU