There was only one prevailing emotion among Indiana State’s football players in the wake of a 73-35 loss to Indiana on Thursday.
The Sycamores were shell-shocked.
ISU was confident it could produce a repeat of its performance against IU in 2012, when it lost by a touchdown and had a chance to tie the game on the last play of the game.
Not this time. Not this year against an improved IU team and an ISU team that showed it has some learning to do.
“It’s not what we expected or what we wanted. It’s nothing close to what we expected or wanted, but the reality is, it’s what happened,” ISU coach Mike Sanford said.
How sobering was it for the Sycamores? Consider this.
The 73 points Indiana scored was the most ISU has conceded since 1920 and the most in the modern history of ISU’s program.
ISU gave up 158 points to Millikin in 1920, but ISU dropped football in 1921-22 before it was revived for good in 1923. ISU’s highest point total conceded since then was 72 against Southern Illinois in 2007.
“It’s heartbreaking right now,” said ISU cornerback Calvin Burnett. “We have to go back to the drawing board and come back strong.”
It was the Hoosiers’ second-highest scoring total in school history and most ever scored at Memorial Stadium. IU took a knee in field goal range late in the game which prevented the total amassed against ISU from being worse.
“We got some stats that look cool,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said.
On the bright side, ISU matched its highest point total against a Big Ten team, tying the 35 points scored against Purdue in 2007.
But that just made the Sycamores’ self-inflicted wounds, ones that helped the Hoosiers get rolling in the first half, that much more galling.
“It was very, very frustrating and very difficult,” Sanford said.
Defensively, ISU was playing its first game with more aggressive principles than it had last season. ISU’s defensive players couldn’t put a finger on how it allowed six touchdowns of over 20 yards or IU’s 632 yards of total offense — 313 rushing yards and 319 passing yards.
“Right now we have to play all together. Everyone has to do the right thing at the right time. If someone does the wrong thing, it’s an 80-yard run. It’s too hard to recoup from that too many times in one game,” ISU’s Connor Underwood said.
Sanford said there’s a lot to learn on both sides of the ball.
“I think we have a lot to learn. We have a new scheme on both sides of the ball, new terminology. I’m never going to make excuses, but we’ve got to learn our system better. We have to play better, get better with fundamentals and prevent mistakes,” said Sanford, who said the opportunity some young Sycamores got was a “good thing.”
The challenge for the Sycamores is to not let the bad feelings linger, especially with another Big Ten team — Purdue — next up Sept. 7.
“We’ll watch film and figure out how to do better. There’s obviously things we need to do better on both sides of the ball and the kicking game. We’re not going to hang our heads. It’s a speed bump. We’ll see how we bounce back,” Shakir Bell said.
• Field position hurt ISU — One of the results of ISU’s mistakes was advantageous field position for the Hoosiers. IU started eight series in ISU territory, including six of its first nine.
That put pressure on ISU’s defense, but Burnett wasn’t using it as an excuse.
“If there’s green on the field, we should be able to defend it. It’s still on the defense. Our motto is ‘as long as we have green, we have a chance.’ We have to bow up in the red zone more,” Burnett said.
• Fresh blood in receiving corps — One of the surprises Sanford unveiled on Thursday was a receiving corps that hadn’t practiced much together in the preseason.
ISU started Louisiana Tech transfer Travis Reyes and junior college transfer Kyani Harris in a two-tight-end set that included Jamar Brown and Garrick Dikos.
Reyes didn’t have a catch, but Harris had two catches for 22 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Freshman Sampson Levingston also contributed as he had an 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Tanner Riley and Demory Lawshe, announced as starters, also played extensively.
Brown, in his first game at tight end, had a strong effort. He had four catches for 50 yards, including a one-handed grab on the sideline that helped set up ISU’s first touchdown.
• Aviles hit — A low point for the Sycamores, and one that had IU fans up in arms at Memorial Stadium, was a dangerous hit on IU punt returner Shane Wynn by ISU freshman defensive back Carlos Aviles in the third quarter.
Aviles hit a defenseless Wynn with both arms as Wynn prepared to catch a punt. Aviles was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from the game. Wynn was briefly down on the field injured and received treatment, but is not expected to miss any action for the Hoosiers.
“That was a youth error. He’s a young guy who plays hard and plays fast. He made a huge mistake,” Sanford said. “Afterward, he said, ‘Coach, I don’t know how I did that.’ It wasn’t intentional. He hit him, but there was no design to have that happen. It’s a freshman mistake.”
IU also had a player ejected. Offensive lineman Jake Reed was ejected in the first half for throwing a punch at an ISU player.
73-35 loss at Indiana painful in many ways for Indiana State
There was only one prevailing emotion among Indiana State’s football players in the wake of a 73-35 loss to Indiana on Thursday.
Rose’s Stull pitches well in losing cause
Andrew Stull made a strong bid to stay in the Rose-Hulman baseball starting pitching rotation Friday evening, but his lack of support — offensively and defensively — still added up to a 7-0 loss as the Engineers opened the Rose-Hulman Invitational against Concordia Chicago.
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ISU defeats Loyola in MVC women's tournament
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Indiana State’s men’s basketball team returned to practice on Friday without a team or a tournament to prepare for.
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Now, Indiana waits.
To see if the NIT wants the Hoosiers for an at-large berth.
To see if Noah Vonleh will head to the NBA after one season in Bloomington.
No. 24 Ohio State holds off Purdue 63-61
Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter appreciated his team’s effort Thursday.
He still didn’t like the numbers on the box score — or the scoreboard.
Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross combined to score nine points in a late 12-4 run that gave No. 24 Ohio State control and the Buckeyes held on for a 63-61 win — only after Terone Johnson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer came up short in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
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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.”
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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