TERRE HAUTE —
Basketball for breakfast is on tap at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Indiana State and Iona have a rare 11 a.m. tipoff in their ESPN BracketBusters game today. It’s a case where both teams hope the sun rises on a new day as far as their fortunes are concerned.
ISU (16-11) has lost three in a row and has seen its NCAA Tournament at-large hopes diminish. Two of ISU’s three losses in that span were by four points or less.
ISU’s losses have been frustrating enough, but the Gaels might have them beat.
Iona (15-12) has lost five of its last six, but all of the five were by the margin of a single possession. Two were double overtime losses.
The Sycamores’ recent frustration can be tied primarily to turnovers. ISU has averaged 18.5 in its last two games. Iona’s opponents average 14.2 giveaways per contest.
“We’re playing hard, but there are little things in our game plan we’re not focusing on as much as we should be. That’s why we’re losing close games,” ISU center Justin Gant said.
Gant isn’t overly concerned about his drop in scoring in the second half of the MVC season. Gant’s scoring average in February has dipped to 5.3 points per game in February and he’s reached double-figure scoring just once in the last 10 contests.
“I want to try and stay aggressive. I want to keep good movement within the offense with cuts and screens, things like that. I’m not always going to get the shot, but my screen can get a teammate open. I’m not worried about my scoring as long as I stay aggressive,” Gant said.
Iona is currently tied for fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Gaels are led by Lamont “Momo” Jones, who averages 22.9 points per game, the fifth-best total in the nation.
Iona – located in New Rochelle, N.Y., which is just north of New York City – has converted 38.2 percent of its 3-point shots. Sean Armand, Iona’s second-leading scorer at 17.7, has made 43.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.
“Armand has a big-time stroke with NBA range. He needs no room and he can get his own off a step-back. You can’t give him any room at all and he’s strong enough to get the basket,” Lansing said.
“Momo is just good. He can score off the bounce and uses how the defense plays him well. He’s unbelievable off ball screens, he eats up space and he gets into his defenders and gets to the line,” Lansing added.
Iona’s up-tempo style is not one that ISU is accustomed to playing against.
“That’s the hard thing about it. Not only do they have a really good team with outstanding players, they play a different way than basically every team in our league. It’s a lot of things to prepare for,” Lansing said. “The play zones, they switch a lot on defense and they score in a variety of ways. It’s tough to prepare for them.”
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. It’s the first time in the history of the BracketBusters series that ISU is playing in an ESPN-televised game. It’ll be the last time as this is the final year of the event in its current form.
Up-tempo Iona to test Sycamores’ defense
TERRE HAUTE —
Basketball for breakfast is on tap at Hulman Center on Saturday.
- Indiana State University
ISU hopes road toughness follows it home
The Indiana State women’s basketball team went 1-2 on its recent road swing, but memorable moments also were scattered throughout the trip.
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.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- ISU hopes road toughness follows it home