News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

February 8, 2014

ISU has fared well in bounce-back games

Odum: Wichita State loss 'pushes us'

TERRE HAUTE — Life, as we all know, moves on. So it goes for the Indiana State men’s basketball team after its 65-58 loss to unbeaten Wichita State on Wednesday.

Have the Sycamores moved on from a game they felt they let slip out of their fingers? Not on your life.

The loss to the Shockers will stick in the Sycamores’ craw for a long time, but letting the loss linger and letting it affect preparation for today’s opponent — Drake — are two different things.

“I’m still not over it. I don’t think we’ll get over it. We gave up an opportunity to get a big win for us, but we’ve grown from it. We understand we’re close, but not quite there. It pushes us,” ISU point guard Jake Odum said.

ISU (17-6, 8-3) has done very well in bounce-back games so far this season. The Sycamores have not had any consecutive losses at all, a record of 6-0 in games after a defeat.

Most of its bounce-back games were quality efforts. ISU’s win at Notre Dame, a 97-point effort against Alaska-Anchorage, a 20-point win over IUPUI, and a 53-point second-half at Northern Iowa last Saturday all came in games after a loss.

“Everyone comes in with a new focus and energy after a loss. No one likes to take losses. You take the bad things out of the film and work on them the next game,” ISU guard Dawon Cummings said.

ISU coach Greg Lansing credits the veteran make-up of the Sycamores’ roster for its ability to bounce back. But Lansing also drove home the point that the Sycamores really have no choice but to get over it if they want to achieve lofty goals this season.

ISU has seven regular season games left plus the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. There’s still plenty of time to make or break the season.

“That’s something that’s a sign of a veteran team. We got beat by one of the nation’s best teams and there’s no disgrace in that at all,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said. “We have to put Wednesday behind us. We have a whole month ahead of good games against good opponents. We have to keep taking care of business.”

Today’s 3 p.m. features a Drake team that has struggled after it entered MVC play with an 9-3 record. The Bulldogs (12-11, 3-8)  had a stretch where they lost five in a row — including a 77-73 loss to ISU at Knapp Center on Jan. 8.

Since then, Drake has gone 2-3, but the Bulldogs have been poor on the road in conference. Drake has one MVC road win — at Southern Illinois on Jan. 22 — but its lost its other four conference road games by double-digit margins.

Drake guard Richard Carter scored 29 against ISU in the game at Drake. He hasn’t reached that level again, but he has twice scored in the 20s since.

The Bulldogs have won three of the last five meetings and conquered ISU 67-56 at Hulman Center a year ago. Because of that, they have the Sycamores’ attention.

“They beat us here last year and they played us tough in the second half at their place,” Odum said. “They’ve got threats everywhere. They’ve got all of the areas covered, but our defense has been getting better. We’ve been finishing possessions and keeping teams off the offensive rebounds.”

Odum noted that his aching knees have felt better in the last week and he’s getting more confident in playing on them.

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