TERRE HAUTE —
“I had just air-balled a 3-pointer, so I felt I had to come back and make a big hustle play,” Mahurin said.
Though ISU could have played for the late shot, it didn’t want to take that risk. Once the ball got into Odum’s hands, he made no mistake, he drove the right side of the lane and converted a contested layup with 19 seconds left to put ISU up one.
“I asked Lou [Gudino, ISU Associate Head Coach] in the last timeout, ‘Should we go for the last [shot]?’ I just wanted it to be over with. We felt we were better on defense than we had been earlier in the game, so we felt comfortable guarding them,” Lansing said.
Hinson felt aggrieved on its last SIU possession. Jackson lost the ball near the top of the key with 10 seconds left and Hinson felt there was contact by Manny Arop during the scramble. Jackson recovered the ball and got it to Pendleton on the baseline. His shot bounced harmlessly off the rim and ISU escaped.
“It was a heckuva last play. I don’t know if you saw the one I’m talking about? Where Des [Jackson] got pummeled at half-court?” said an animated Hinson. “… Gets the fire knocked out of him on the ground. It was a heckuva play. That’s my sarcastic way of saying I didn’t agree with that.”
Hinson also lamented SIU’s missed free throws. The Salukis were 9 of 20 in the second half and shot 57.7 percent overall.
ISU put itself in a hole from jump. It would be hard to conceive a flatter start for ISU. The Sycamores, who had five turnovers total in Wednesday’s win over Creighton, had reached the mark by the 14-minute mark in the first half.