PEORIA, ILL. —
Indiana State was playing to maintain control of its destiny in the fight for Missouri Valley Conference supremacy on Saturday at Bradley.
The wounded Braves were trying to fight their way out of Thursday night at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal, but the Sycamores were just as hazardous to themselves.
Bradley took advantage of ISU’s 21 turnovers — 12 chalked up in the second half — and a sub-standard defensive effort by the Sycamores. Bradley pulled away for an 80-68 victory at Carver Arena.
ISU was in a position to control its own destiny for the Missouri Valley Conference lead, but that opportunity has been squandered. ISU (16-10, 9-6) fell a game-and-a-half behind first-place Wichita State, pending the Shockers’ game at Illinois State tonight.
ISU also fell a game behind Creighton as the Bluejays rallied to beat Evansville on Saturday.
Bradley (15-12, 7-8) scored 28 points off ISU turnovers. The Braves also shot 60 percent in the second half on their way to 52.6 percent overall.
ISU shot 45.3 percent, which included a career effort from Dawon Cummings, who scored 19 on 7 of 8 shooting. But it was not nearly enough to overcome the many self-inflicted wounds the Sycamores brought down upon themselves.
“We turned it over too much; we gave them easy baskets in transition. We gave them 28 points off turnovers and 44 in the paint. You can’t win like that on the road. You can’t win like that anywhere,” ISU forward Manny Arop said.
The 21 turnovers were especially galling for ISU coach Greg Lansing, considering that avoidance of giveaways was an emphasis going into a contest in which the Sycamores faced the 11th-best team in the nation in steals.
“They’re the best in the league at creating turnovers and turning them into baskets. … Our emphasis going into the game was taking care of the ball, sharing it, giving it up, not over-dribbling. We didn’t do that and they took advantage,” Lansing said.
Bradley was also not playing at full strength. Up until tipoff, it was not known whether Bradley swingman Dyrics Simms-Edwards — the Braves’ leading scorer and the nation’s sixth-best in steals — would play. Just before halftime, Bradley’s other forward — Tyshon Pickett — crumpled to the hardwood after he bruised his knee cap.
Simms-Edwards played through 28 minutes of pain and had 13 points, four assists and four steals. Pickett soldiered on in the second half and ultimately had 17 points and seven rebounds.
“We have tough kids. We really do. We want to be known for being winners. When you can suck it up and play when it’s not going your way and you’re not physically at your best, it says a lot,” Bradley coach Geno Ford said.
ISU led 38-35 at halftime, but Bradley took advantage of slack defending by the Sycamores and used a 15-4 run to take a 50-44 lead. Bradley scored on eight of its first 10 second-half possessions.
Bradley would never relinquish the advantage, but the Sycamores stayed close. When Arop made a reverse layup off a tipped rebound by R.J. Mahurin and pass by Jake Kitchell to cut Bradley’s lead to 58-56, the game was there for ISU’s taking with 8:13 to go.
But then the game veered south for the Sycamores.
ISU had two chances to tie the game and both ended ominously in turnovers. Bradley’s Ka’Darryl Bell converted a layup at 6:55 to give the Braves some breathing room at 60-56.
Mahurin then stepped on the baseline while trying to inbound the ball. It would be the first of three unforced ISU turnovers in the span of three minutes in which a Sycamore stepped on the baseline or the sideline.
Bradley pounced. Bell drained a 3-pointer, Simms-Edwards converted a layup and Pickett hit a short jumper to cap a 9-0 Bradley run to put the Braves up 67-56.
The ignominy was complete when Jake Odum rolled the ball down the floor in an effort to preserve time on the game clock. Bell caught Odum looking down the floor and dove for an unlikely steal.
ISU cut the deficit to six briefly in the final minute, but had no comeback in them.
“They got a lot of transition layups and they killed us inside. They threw it to the guys in the post and those guys finished. When they didn’t, they got to the free-throw line. We had two guys go to the free-throw line, so that tells you a little about our aggressiveness,” Lansing said.
ISU put the ball in the basket in the first half — the Sycamores shot 58.3 percent — but the Sycamores’ defensive woes and generosity with the ball were in evidence from the start.
The Sycamores were also 5 of 7 from 3-point range, but the halftime lead was only 38-35 as ISU’s nine first-half turnovers stung.
Simms-Edwards’ presence gave the Braves enough of a lift to take a 21-15 lead at the 11:40 mark.
ISU ramped up the defense and an 8-0 run erased Bradley’s lead and gave ISU a 26-23 advantage. After Bradley tied it, a 10-3 run put the Sycamores up 36-29 with 2:36 left.
Bradley finished the half on a 6-2 run to make its halftime deficit manageable.
“We knew we had to clamp down on defense in the second half, but we didn’t. We were even worse,” Lansing said.
ISU next plays host to Wichita State on Tuesday.
INDIANA STATE (68) — Arop 4-13 0-0 9, Mahurin 6-11 0-0 14, Gant 1-4 0-0 2, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Odum 2-5 10-10 14, Kitchell 2-3 0-0 4, Eitel 1-6 0-0 3, Cummings 7-8 0-0 19, K. Smith 1-3 1-2 3. 24-53 FG, 11-12 FT, 68 TP.
BRADLEY (80) — Eastman 1-1 2-2 5, Pickett 6-10 4-6 17, Egolf 6-13 0-1 12, Crawford 0-4 0-0 0, Lemon 6-11 4-4 17, Bell 3-4 3-3 10, Shayok 0-0 0-0 0, Simms-Edwards 5-10 2-3 13, Prosser 3-4 0-2 6. 30-57 FG, 15-21 FT, 80 TP.
Halftime score — ISU 38-35. 3-point goals — ISU 9-25 (Cummings 5-6, Mahurin 2-6, Arop 1-6, Eitel 1-6, Gant 0-1), BU 5-16 (Simms-Edwards 1-3, Lemon 1-2, Bell 1-2, Eastman 1-1, Pickett 1-1, Egolf 0-4, Crawford 0-3). Rebounds — ISU 29 (Mahurin 6, Arip 5, Gant 4, Eitel 4, Kitchell 3, Brown 2, Odum 2, Eitel 2, Team), BU 32 (Egolf 9, Pickett 7, Lemon 4, Eastman 3, Bell 2, Simms-Edwards 2, Prosser 2, Team 2, Crawford), Assists — ISU 14 (Odum 6, Arop 2, Brown 2, Mahurin, Kitchell, Eitel, Cummings), BU 17 (Egolf 4, Simms-Edwards 4, Lemon 3, Pickett 2, Crawford 2, Bell), Steals — ISU 7 (Cummings 3, Odum, Kitchell, Eitel, K. Smith), BU 11 (Bell 4, Simms-Edwards 4, Crawford 2, Lemon), Blocks — ISU 2 (Mahurin, K. Smith), BU 1 (Egolf), Turnovers — ISU 21 (Odum 6, Arop 4, Cummings 4, Mahurin 2, Brown 2, Eitel 2, Gant), BU 15 (Simms-Edwards 4, Eastman 3, Pickett 2, Lemon 2, Bell 2, Egolf, Team), Total fouls — ISU 18, BU 13. A — 8,443.
Next — ISU (16-10, 9-6) plays host to Wichita State on Tuesday. Bradley (15-12, 7-8) plays at Drake on Wednesday.
Sycamores suffer costly loss in Missouri Valley race
PEORIA, ILL. —
Indiana State was playing to maintain control of its destiny in the fight for Missouri Valley Conference supremacy on Saturday at Bradley.
- Indiana State University
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.
Swift excels for ISU track in EIU Early Bird indoor track meet
The Indiana State men’s track and field team won the Eastern Illinois Early Bird meet by scoring 133 points.
Eastern Illinois placed second with 111 and Illinois State was third with 70.
The Sycamores started off the meet strong with wins in the mile run and 60-meter hurdles.
Freshman David Timlin won the mile, leading from the gun in a time of 4:15.20. In the hurdles, senior Greggmar Swift led a dominating performance by the Sycamores as they took the top four places in the event. Swift won the race in 7.74 seconds.
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.
Carmel firm’s brace a good fit for Manning
Local entrepreneur Rick Peters is a devoted Indianapolis Colts fan, but he jumped out of his living room recliner on the evening of Nov. 13 when he saw an ESPN report on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s bad ankle.
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.
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.
From The Press Box: If ISU figures out defense, look out
The Great Alaska Shootout is not going to provide the Great RPI Bump that Indiana State’s participation in last year’s Diamond Head Classic provided.
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.
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.
Humbled Sycamores want to make amends
The disappointment undeniably exists, but the bottom line for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is there’s nothing that can be done about its 63-62 loss to Tulsa late Wednesday night.
But the Sycamores want to remember it. They want to let the bad feeling they had simmer, but turn into something positive.
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.
ISU wants to take Hawaii spirit to Alaska
Since Greg Lansing took over as Indiana State’s men’s basketball coach, the Sycamores have seen their frequent flier and hotel points skyrocket.
After a decade or so prior in which the Sycamores mostly stayed in the Midwest to play tournaments, if they played them at all, holiday trips to Florida and Hawaii were on the docket during the last two seasons.
Sanford vows to get ISU football back on track
Indiana State football coach Mike Sanford said that the Sycamores’ just-concluded 1-11 season was a learning experience for everyone.
Free throws seal win for ISU women in 20-point comeback
Two free throws by Lashonda Littleton with 1.7 seconds left Sunday enabled visiting Indiana State to overcome a deficit that was 20 points at one time and earn a 68-67 nonconference women’s basketball victory at Marshall.
METRO/PREP ROUNDUP: ISU volleyball barely misses MVC tournament
A 15-13 loss in the decisive fifth set at Southern Illinois late Saturday ended the Indiana State volleyball season one victory short of the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament.
ISU puts up fight, but can’t hold off SIU in football
Indiana State’s football team had nothing to play for aside from pride in its finale Saturday against Southern Illinois. The Sycamores also had an injury list that made it difficult to cobble together a starting unit at all.
Given the circumstances, ISU put up a very good fight against the playoff-hopeful Salukis, but the task was too much for the Sycamores as they fell 31-9 at Memorial Stadium.
ISU women play today at Marshall
The Indiana State women’s basketball players put their hands together at the end of practice Thursday, shouting a collective “do work.”
On the heels of a 90-74 loss at Stetson, the Missouri Valley Conference preseason favorites are 2-2 and not content with losing, especially when giving up 90 points.
Weather forced move of start line at NCAA
Indiana State coach John McNichols made the decision early Saturday morning to move the starting line up about 100 meters. The reason was to ensure every team in the NCAA Cross Country Championships would have a fair start. Sticking one team directly in front of a large puddle of standing water and another in front of a relatively dry area would not have provided fair conditions.
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
John Mascari’s sights set high in NCAA cross country championships
Big John is in the big show for the second straight year.
This time, Terre Haute’s own John Mascari, an Indiana State sophomore, has his sights on an All-American finish Saturday on the course he grew up racing as a prep standout at Terre Haute North.
Mascari was 60th in the NCAA championships as a freshman at Louisville, and after last week’s Great Lakes Region victory, he is confident he can crack the top 40 at LaVern Gibson Championship Course in front of hometown fans.
ISU basketball hopes to continue free-throw accuracy
Taking — and then making — free throws have been important in basketball from the beginning, regardless of changes in offensive philosophy or rules. But when the NCAA mandated that officials consistently call contact fouls, everyone in the game knew that making free throws would take on even greater importance than usual this season.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- Zurek, one of ISU's best defenders, also working hard off the court