Hoosier Rewind: Indiana 61, Ohio State 82

The Hoosiers fell five games below .500 today after getting routed in Columbus by the Buckeyes. Indiana got off to a spirited start, but surprisingly Ohio State made their move when big man Jared Sullinger went to the bench. His supporting cast was huge in the lopsided IU defeat. Inside we take a look at the key storylines and events from the game.

Key Moment

With 13:52 left in the first half and the Hoosiers trailing just 10-8 Ohio State's Jared Sullinger picked up his second foul and was sent to the bench. If ever there was a good opportunity for IU to make a move in this game it was right here. Instead, the Buckeyes ripped off a 20-5 scoring run with the last 14 points of that run all coming from the hot hand of super-sub Deshaun Thomas. The freshman from Fort Wayne started with a couple of made free throws, then hit two dagger threes, and then immediately went to work down low. By the time Thomas' path of destruction had torn through the IU defense the score was 30-13 with just over four minutes left in the opening half but the game seemed over.

When It Was Over

The aforementioned moment is almost as good as any to pick, but since the Hoosiers were down just 15 points at halftime there was still some small measure of hope left for a stronger second half. Instead, the Buckeyes charged out of the gates on a 13-4 run to take a 24-point lead with less than four minutes gone in the half. Indiana would never get closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

MVP

No one stepped to the forefront for the Hoosiers on Sunday. Almost every player struggled in their own way. Christian Watford and Verdell Jones led the Hoosiers in scoring with 12 and 14 points respectively and in rebounding with four a piece, but since Watford had five turnovers and Jones had none we will give him the edge.

Why They Lost

It just boils down to talent, or lack thereof in Indiana's case when compared to a team like the Buckeyes. Even without the services of the Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Sullinger, Ohio State won this game in the first half. That's in large part due to a supporting cast that can more than carry the load. Thomas was the biggest contributor, but Dallas Lauderdale, Jon Diebler, William Buford, and David Lighty were also too much for the Hoosiers.

Meanwhile, when Indiana's trio of Watford, Tom Pritchard, and Jones got in early foul trouble the Hoosiers had to turn to players like Daniel Moore and Bobby Capobianco. The talent disparity between OSU's Thomas and the IU subs is immense. That's not to say this loss falls on the Hoosier bench's shoulders. IU's most talented player Watford, was 1-5 shooting in the first half with more turnovers (4) than points (3) in the opening half. Clearly, the entire Hoosier roster was outmatched and overpowered on Sunday. Again, this one just boils down to raw talent.

Biggest Surprise

Indiana's bench, which went nine players deep on Sunday, combined for just 17 points on Sunday. Meanwhile, starters Jordan Hulls and Pritchard combined for just nine points. That left the entire offensive load on the shoulders of Watford, Jones, and Victor Oladipo and only Oladipo connected on more than 40 percent of his shots. It was a rough offensive outing for the Hoosiers and gave them no chance of keeping up with a high-powered Buckeye offensive.

Most Promising Development

Uhm…freshman Hoosier walk-on Taylor Wayer made his first appearance in a Big Ten game on Sunday. Congratulations Taylor.

Most Concerning Development

Hulls finished the game with just 3 points on 1-10 shooting. What's concerning is not that Hulls struggled against such a sound defensive team, but that he's trending in the wrong direction as the season closes out. While Hulls seemed to blossom earlier this into a true offensive threat, he's struggled over the last couple weeks as defenses have keyed on him. What's more is that he seems to just not be able to get shots to fall, ones that he usually makes. This Indiana team is just not talented enough to be able to win games without Hulls being a huge factor. He was a non-factor today and it allowed things to really get ugly.

Forecast

The Hoosiers get the next three days off before facing Wisconsin at home on Thursday night. Unfortunately, they showed nothing in this game to inspire any confidence in that upcoming contest. Then again it was a very poor showing at Northwestern that inspired a big home win against Michigan in their next game earlier this season. It was a very sloppy effort at Iowa that led to an upset of Illinois four days later. Could this poor outing be the catalyst for another home upset this season? The Hoosiers are going to have to think that way.


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