Jeffrey Becker, USA Today

'Foul' season continues for Indiana

Indiana's habit of fouling has been a season long issue but at no time has it caught up with the Hoosiers as much as it did tonight in a 96-90 overtime loss at Iowa.

Committed a season high 35 fouls, Indiana again faltered in a close game, losing in overtime tonight at Iowa, 96-90.

Box score

Led by Peter Jok's 22-for-23 shooting on free throws, Iowa made 39-for-47 from the line versus 16-for-19 for the Indiana, a 23 point advantage.

Jok finished with a game high 35 points as Iowa moved to 15-13 and 7-8 in the Big Ten.

Robert Johnson broke out of his recent slump with a team high 19 points and added a career high five steals. Fellow junior guard James Blackmon Jr. added 18.

Indiana's losing streak is now five games and the team drops to 15-13 and now sits in a tie for 12th in the Big Ten with at 5-10 record. 

"It's disheartening when you play as hard as we play, make so many mistakes, and not have it go our way," IU coach Tom Crean said. 

Four different Hoosiers fouled out in the game, three of them in the overtime period. Juwan Morgan was the first to go with 1:26 in regulation as he tried to bull through a screen by Jok. It was an obvious foul and sent the Big Ten's highest percentage free throw shooter to the line when the game was tied.

Johnson, Blackmon and Josh Newkirk all were disqualified in the final four minutes of overtime as Iowa earned 15 free throw attempts in the extra period.

Foul discrepancies with opponents has been a season long issue for the Hoosiers. During the 15 conference games opponents have made more free throws (287) than Indiana has attempted (269). The total free throw attempts disparity is 396 to 269. That rounds up to seven more free throws for opponents on an average basis each game.

In his postgame with the media, Tom Crean did not want to discuss tonight's issues with the foul disparity. The coach likely did not want to be critical of the officiating which could lead to a fine or other penalty.

"I am not going to waste any time on questions if anybody asks on the free throws," Crean said. "I had no idea till I got back in here and saw the stat sheets.

"The last thing I want to do is put myself into any kind of situation that leads to some fallback or any pushback."

Indiana turnovers were again an issue as the Hoosiers had 22 miscues. 

Indiana jumped out early to a 17-4 lead and still led 26-14 when Iowa went on a 12 point run to turn this into a close contest. A move by the Hawkeyes to a zone defense helped fuel the comeback and Indiana went into the break up 33-32..

The game was similar to the loss at Minnesota last week as Indiana watched a late eight point lead quickly disappear in the final minutes. That advantage came after a Devonte Green three pointer with 4:46 put the Hoosiers up 66-58.

It took only 42 seconds for most of that lead to disappear. After a pair of Iowa free throws, a careless pass from Freddie McSwain turned into a layup for Christian Williams at other end. Thomas Bryant then tossed the inbound pass in too quickly and Jok intercepted and was fouled. His two free throws with 4:04 left made it just a two point game. 

Iowa did have a chance to win the tie game in the final seconds of regulation but when Bryant made a lot of contact with Tyler Cook under the basket, the officials did not opt to make a call and Cook's left half hook missed badly.

With a guaranteed losing record now in the Big Ten, Indiana has almost assuredly exhausted any chance of an at-large selection to the NCAA tournament.

Next up with be Indiana's final regular season home game, a Saturday night battle with Northwestern. The Wildcats are desperate for one more win to ensure a winning conference record and help lock up their first ever NCAA tournament bid.


Peegs.com Top Stories