ST. LOUIS —
21-51, 11-36, 9-29, 11-31
Those numbers were enigmatically etched on the greaseboard inside Indiana State’s locker room after its 51-50 victory over Evansville on Friday.
No, someone’s credit card number hasn’t just been revealed to the world. Nor do the numbers represent some sort of secret code.
Those are Colt Ryan’s career shooting numbers against Indiana State. The prolific Aces’ scorer was 52 of 147 (35.4 percent) from the field in his career against the Sycamores.
After Ryan converted 11 of 19 and scored 31 in an 84-68 Evansville victory on March 2, Ryan was at 17 of 33 for the season against the Sycamores. ISU made it a priority to get back to what it’s done for the majority of Ryan’s career — keep the hot-shooting senior in control.
The Sycamores did more. They completely wiped Ryan out.
Ryan scored eight points — the first time in 20 games the 20-point-per-game scorer failed to reach double-figures.
Ryan also failed to shoot a free throw, breaking a 24-game streak in which he attempted at least one.
Most important, ISU held Ryan scoreless in the second half and the Batesville native was 0-for-9 from the field after the break.
Everyone inside Scottrade Center was waiting for Ryan to get untracked and get a roll late in the game. It never happened. ISU could put its “21-51 [21 of 51 this season]” on its greaseboard with a sense of pride.
“To be able to hold Colt Ryan scoreless in the second half is outstanding,” said ISU point guard Jake Odum, whose eyes lit up when he was told Ryan was held scoreless for a half. “He’s one of the best players in the league and even in the country.”
The Purple Aces were shocked that Ryan was so completely taken out of the game. Evansville coach Marty Simmons thought Evansville was a little too quick to shoot in general.
“We shot the ball. I mean, it’s a lot different than the game at Evansville, where we had 26 assists versus that. I think you’ve got to give Indiana State a lot of credit, but I think our basketball team got a little frustrated with that, and our decision making wasn’t as good as it needed to be,” Simmons said.
ISU sent nearly everyone at Ryan at various stages of the game. Devonte Brown and Manny Arop had the initial one-on-one assignment, but it was a team effort.
“It’s Devonte a lot. It’s Manny. It’s Jake [Odum]. It’s Khristian [Smith]. Lucas [Eitel] maybe a little bit in there and Justin Gant a bit when we switched,” said ISU coach Greg Lansing, explaining ISU’s defense on Ryan.
“To do what we did in the second half is tremendous. It’s as good a defense as we’ve ever played. It’s unbelievable for him to not get to the line. You just commend the guys on how hard they worked,” Lansing said.
Ryan couldn’t argue that point after the game.
“I think they did a good job on me, just sending extra defenders, even on tight cuts and stuff. I missed some shots that I would normally make and I should have made. They did a good job at sending extra attention,” Ryan said.
The defense on Ryan was probably the biggest reason the Sycamores are alive in the MVC Tournament. Not only did ISU recover some of its mojo by ending a five-game MVC losing streak with the hard-fought victory, the Sycamores also proved something else. They proved they can still conjure an extraordinary effort when they’re at their best.
This isn’t the first time ISU has shut down an elite scorer. Miami’s Shane Larkin — a 40.6 3-point shooter who averages 13.8 points per game — scored just four points and was 0-for-5 from 3-point range in ISU’s Christmas Day 57-55 victory over the Hurricanes. On Feb. 6 at Hulman Center, ISU held Creighton’s Doug McDermott (23.3 ppg) to eight points in a 76-57 win.
ISU had to prove on Friday that it could back to winning ways. They did so. They also proved they’re still capable of doing the extraordinary. They’ll need to conjure more of that magic to keep their Arch Madness dream alive.
Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow him on Twitter @TribStarTodd.
ST. LOUIS —
21-51, 11-36, 9-29, 11-31
- Indiana State University
ISU men NIT-bound
After sitting on pins and needles for a week and after watching one conference champion after another fall in their conference tournaments, Indiana State’s National Invitation Tournament chances seemed to be a knife’s edge on Sunday.
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Indiana State’s baseball team rebounded from a 3-2 setback at the hands of UNC-Wilmington on Friday to sweep a doubleheader Saturday, taking the first game 11-5 and posting a 6-1 win in the nightcap.
Today’s originally scheduled game was moved up to Saturday due to the possibility of strong thunderstorms moving into the Wilmington area.
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The UNC-Wilmington Seahawks scored on a walk-off single in the ninth inning to end Indiana State’s 12-game winning streak in baseball with a 3-2 victory Friday at Brooks Field.
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The toughness — both mental and physical — of Marina Laramie and Racheal Mahan — is a big reason the Indiana State women’s basketball team won five games in a row to close the regular season.
The resolve of the Sycamore post duo was put to the test Friday in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals, and Laramie and Mahan were up to the task.
ISU men await postseason fate
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team returned to practice on Friday without a team or a tournament to prepare for.
ISU women have sights set on MVC tournament title
With a win today in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals, Indiana State will secure its fourth 20-win season in women’s basketball since 1981-82.
Getting to that point has been like competing in one of those urban adventure races with obstacles, mud pits and scavenger hunts. In other words, it hasn’t been permeated with style and grace. But the Sycamores stuck with it and got the job done.
At least so far.
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The transfer from Memphis was eligible right away because she had finished her bachelor’s degree upon arrival in Terre Haute.
Swift, Theisen vie for NCAA indoor honors
Indiana State seniors Greggmar Swift and Mary Theisen are within striking distance of winning an NCAA title this weekend at the NCAA Division I indoor track and field championships.
Sophomore sprinter Katie Wise is ranked 13th going into the meet in the 60-meter dash and has her sights on an All-American finish.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
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.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- ISU men NIT-bound