The Collapse: Part II

Indiana had a pair of collapses on the hardwood this week. Wednesday against Penn State, IU couldn't protect an 11 point lead in the final 3 minutes. Saturday against rival Purdue, the Hoosiers gave up a 19-1 run midway through the game at a time when the score was tied. Nathan Brown takes a look at what happened Saturday.

Indiana's late-game collapse in Assembly Hall at the hands of Penn State Wednesday evening happened in a blur. In the matter of just a few minutes of game time, the Hoosiers lost a double-digit lead in a slew of costly turnovers that proved to be the team's demise.

But in "The Collapse, Part II" Saturday afternoon at Mackey Arena, the fall was much slower and contagious, bridging halfway through the first half and past the opening minutes of the second. IU, down by as many as eight early on, stormed back to take the lead with 8:05 remaining in the first half off a jumper from Troy Williams. At this point, IU was 8-for-16 shooting from the field.

Not until 3:13 left in regulation would IU make eight more field goals – 24 minutes and 52 seconds of game time. After Williams's jumper, IU would make just one bucket from the floor over a span of 14 minutes and 57 seconds. Purdue would outscore IU 31-12, a collapse by any standards.

After the media timeout with under eight minutes left in the half, the Hoosiers sank four more quick free throws to finish off a 10-0 run to take a 27-22 lead. But just 20 seconds later, Noah Vonleh picked up his third foul of the game, getting baited into the air on a shot-fake from Purdue's Jay Simpson. Tom Crean said after the game that even with two quick fouls, the Hoosiers needed Vonleh in at that point to help keep up with a Purdue team shooting much better than its regular season averages.

"We put you (Vonleh) back in, to not be tentative, but not to be overly aggressive," Crean said. "We needed to put him in at that point. I've sat him with two fouls before, but we're not in that position right now. We're not getting enough off the front line to keep him out that long."

Vonleh exited, and in came Purdue's big man, A.J. Hammons, who had been sitting on the bench with two fouls of his own. The Hoosiers missed three shots in the span of a minute, and Terone Johnson hit his first of two back-to-back 3-pointers, the second of which tied the game 29-all with 4:07 to go, just under four minutes since IU's last field goal.

Basil Smotherman made a layup going into the final media timeout of the half to give Purdue a 31-29 lead. Coming out of the break, the Hoosiers had three opportunities to score. Yogi Ferrell missed a 3-pointer and Will Sheehey and Jeff Howard each missed layups, just two of the 12 the Hoosiers would miss, according to IU's self-reported statistics.

"We just missed layups. You can go back and watch the film, but the basket didn't move," Crean said.

With 36 seconds left, the Hoosiers took the ball up the court, likely to have the last shot in the half with a chance to tie at 35-all, but with 1.9 seconds left, Davis was called for a offensive foul on a loose ball near the baseline, giving Smotherman a trip to the free throw line and a one-and-one opportunity. He missed the front end, but off of what Crean described a "freak bounce", combined with poor blocking out, Smotherman caught his rebound in mid-air and tossed it in just before the buzzer sounded, giving Purdue a 38-33 halftime lead.

The Hoosiers finished the half shooting 1-for-15, and things would only get worse from there.

"I'm not a big believer of the whole you take momentum into the half thing," Crean said. "They got momentum when they went on a 13-1 run. That's when they got the momentum."

Purdue's Sterling Carter came out the star of the show in the second half, scoring his team's first 10 points and 10 of the first 11 from either team. Just over three minutes had elapsed, and Purdue had secured its first double-digit lead of the game 48-34, one it would never relinquish, while the Hoosiers missed four shots and turned the ball over three times.

Over the next three and a half minutes, Purdue missed its share of shots as well, but IU missed four more, to finish the collapse 1-for-23 from the field from the 8:05 mark in the first half to the 13:08 mark in the second when Ferrell finally found a way to put the ball through the hoop.

The damage, though, had already been done.

"We didn't answer the bell the way that we needed to when they were on that run and get back and get stops the way that we needed to," Crean said. "They took advantage of that, and we were playing catch up the rest of the way." Top Stories