Five weeks ago Thursday, Tyler Griffey’s layup at the buzzer helped Illinois knock off then-No. 1 Indiana.
On Thursday, in the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament, it was Brandon Paul’s jumper at the buzzer that sent the Illini into a matchup with the top-seeded Hoosiers.
Paul scored a game-high 25 points to lead No. 8 seed Illinois (22-11) over No. 9 seed Minnesota 51-49.
“We wanted to make sure that we got the last shot and worst-case scenario, we go to overtime,” Illinois coach John Groce said of the game’s final play, set up when Minnesota’s Austin Hollins stepped on the sideline with 14 seconds left and the game tied.
Paul took the inbounds pass and pulled up for a fadeaway jumper to help Illinois avoid a third straight defeat.
“I didn’t want to lose,” Paul said. “We worked too hard. This team has so much character and the coaching staff, they got us right for this one.”
The Illini will need to keep that mindset against the Hoosiers (26-5), who probably need at least one win in the Big Ten Tournament to ensure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“We know Illinois will be a tremendous challenge,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “They play with great intensity, passion and execution.
“When you’re going against great talent, which this tournament is full of, you’ve got to stay engaged for 40 minutes.”
That wasn’t the case the last time the two teams met, when the Hoosiers left Griffey unguarded on an inbounds pass with less than a second to play.
“We’re preparing for the next game,” Paul said. “We got Indiana next and we have a mindset that this is it for us. Especially for our seniors, we got to play, go out with a bang.”
When asked if he’s excited to get another shot against Indiana, D.J. Richardson said, “I’m ready to keep playing this tournament.
“There’s a lot of good teams in the Big Ten,” added Richardson, who had six points as one of several Illini who struggled to find his shooting touch on Thursday. Paul was 10 of 16 from the field; his teammates were a combined 8 of 40 (20 percent) as the Illini won for just the second time this season while shooting under 35 percent.
“We’re going to treat Indiana like we treat the rest of the teams in the Big Ten, take it one game at a time,” Richardson said.
Groce said he would have to wait for the scouting report from assistant coach Dustin Ford before looking ahead to the Hoosiers. One stat Ford will likely have shared with his boss: Illinois is 5-1 all-time against Indiana in the conference tournament.
Of course, they haven’t met in the Big Ten Tournament since 2007, either.
Five weeks ago Thursday, Tyler Griffey’s layup at the buzzer helped Illinois knock off then-No. 1 Indiana.
Basketball Hall of Fame selects ISU’s Moren
Eleven women will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball of Fame in April of 2014. One of the new inductees will be Teri Moren, who is in her fourth year of coaching the Indiana State women’s basketball team.
Rose women too strong for Illinois Tech
Freshman Josie Schmidt netted a career-high 19 points and senior Kelsey Ploof added 10 as the Rose-Hulman women dominated the paint to top visiting Illinois Institute of Technology 73-40 in nonleague women’s college action Monday.
Metro: Wittman, Small ready to play for Sycamores
Indiana State’s women’s basketball team will be a little deeper on Wednesday when the Sycamores play at East Tennessee State.
Metro: Pomeroys win MacMurray tourney
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods won the MacMurray Classic on Saturday, getting a game-high 17 points from Stephanie Moore in downing the host team 80-62 in the championship game.
Rose-Hulman rides stingy defense past Manchester
The first half of Saturday afternoon’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball game was probably a better assessment of host Rose-Hulman than the last 20 minutes.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is doing fine ... really
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is doing fine.
The Sycamores have a funny way of showing it. They keep teams beneath them in ability in games — like Alaska-Anchorage, Missouri-Kansas City ... should I go on? — long past the time they should. But the win-loss record doesn’t lie. The Sycamores are 7-2 and in a good position with three nonconference games left before Missouri Valley Conference play begins.
Notre Dame never trails in topping Hoosiers in Crossroads Classic
Notre Dame’s experience trumped Indiana’s athleticism in the Crossroads Classic, sending the Hoosiers to a second straight loss in the Indianapolis event.
The Irish never trailed in defeating the Hoosiers 79-72.
How big was this win for the Irish (8-3)?
Sycamores depend on post game to rally at Missouri-Kansas City
Down two at halftime to unfancied Missouri-Kansas City, something had to be done to break Indiana State’s men’s basketball team free from its doldrums.
What did it was pounding the ball inside. Over and over and over again.
Sycamores facing old friend today
Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing has never been shy in his sentimentality towards his former colleagues and friends in the college basketball world, but that trait only goes so far. At 3 p.m. today, Lansing will face his friend Kareem Richardson — currently in his first year as coach at Missouri-Kansas City — and Lansing made it plain where he stands on facing buddies in the business.
Metro: Mascari breaks ISU record in men’s 5,000
Indiana State sophomore John Mascari set a school record in the indoor men’s 5,000-meter run Friday at the Indiana Open.
Marshall's Duncan, North's Weatherford help EIU playoff run
In Dino Babers’ world there is no pretty good. There is only good and everything else.
“Don’t even use the PG word,” the high-energy head coach at Eastern Illinois said. He laughed, but he wasn’t joking.
Rose-Hulman's Strickland being more assertive in senior year
Nobody would argue that Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been a good basketball player, at the very least, since his high school days at Pike in Indianapolis.
Some might say “great,” although he seemed to shy away from the spotlight.
Rose-Hulman builds early lead, holds off DePauw
Rose-Hulman built a 19-point halftime advantage and withstood a second half rally to earn a 64-61 victory at DePauw University on Wednesday night.
DePauw forward Pat Haggin missed a potential game tying three-pointer in the final seconds as the Tigers nearly rallied from a double-figure deficit.
IU holds Oakland marksman in check
Oakland’s Travis Bader came into Tuesday night’s game at Indiana University’s Assembly Hall as the NCAA’s active leading 3-point shooter in men’s basketball.
The Hoosiers didn’t give him a chance to shoot the Grizzlies to an upset.
Bader’s NCAA-leading streak of games with a made 3-pointer ended at 62 as IU cruised to an 81-54 win.
Tough defeat: Inability to finish drops ISU women’s record to 3-4
It wasn’t a smooth ride for Indiana State’s women’s basketball team against IUPUI on Monday. Defense wasn’t up to par. Turnovers were rampant. Foul shooting was not consistent and misses were ill-timed.
ISU’s Munn, ex-Riverton Parke player Dickey earn MVC honors
Wabash VaIley athletes swept Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball honors on Monday, with Indiana State’s Anna Munn named Player of the Week and Evansville’s Sara Dickey, a Riverton Parke graduate, earning Newcomer of the Week honors.
Strong defensive effort keys RHIT victory
Rose-Hulman placed three players in double figures and relied on a strong defensive effort to top Millikin 64-55 in men’s college basketball action Monday night.
Metro: Indiana Hall of Fame lauds two Wabash Valley athletes
Two players from the Wabash Valley have been named members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team that will be honored in March. Tony McGee and Kenny Rowan are members of the honor team.
ISU picks up the defense to take down Eastern Illinois
When it's cold outside, it takes a while for your car engine to crank.
It wasn't cold inside Eastern Illinois' Lantz Arena on Saturday, but the same principle applied for the Indiana State men's basketball team.
Once the Sycamore engine revved up, the Sycamores cruised to a 66-48 victory over the Panthers.
Michigan State shakes up national title chase with win over Ohio State
Michigan State shook up the BCS title chase again Saturday night.
The No. 10 Spartans regained the lead on Connor Cook's 9-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price with 11:41 left and upset No. 2 Ohio State 34-24 to take the Big Ten title and put Auburn back in the national title hunt.
Zurek, one of ISU's best defenders, also working hard off the court
Winning basketball teams need glue players, the term sometimes used when referring to someone who helps hold it all together.
In some cases, that means getting the ball in the right place at the right time. Or having a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
It’s more often than not coming away with a loose ball on the court. It’s deflecting so many passes that you become the player that most annoys the opponent.
For Indiana State, that’s Natasha Zurek. The junior athletic training major was inserted into the starting lineup for the past two games.
Zurek leads the Sycamores with 16 steals through six games, which isn’t surprising to anyone on the team.
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.
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