Hoosiers fall to Huskies

With the confidence level high after a close game with UNC, the Hoosiers know they have what it takes to compete against the nation's best. The test came with 6th ranked University of Connecticut, and freshman Rudy Gay who in the beginning was said to give the Hoosiers a run for their money.

What kept Indiana alive in the first half was UConn's nine turnovers and impatient offense. After receiving much criticism about their own offense, the Hoosiers played more aggressive basketball during the first half. Freshman Robert Vaden landed a three-pointer within the first minute of play, and Bracey Wright sunk another three after recuperating from a nasty spill into a table within the first few minutes. Mike Roberts did his part by shooting two-for-two at the line after being fouled, securing the score to 29-23 in favor of the Crimson and Cream. Fans wondering what role the freshmen would play were left wondering in the first half. Freshman Robert Vaden knocked down a few shots while freshmen Lucas Steijn, A.J. Ratliff, and James Hardy warmed the bench. Freshman D.J. White, who picked up cheap fouls in the early portion of the game, found himself on the bench as well for the majority of the first half.

At the start of the second half, with IU leading 38-33, White attempted a dunk for the second time, this time landing on the floor apparently unready for Huskie sophomore Josh Boone's rejection. The Hoosiers then capitalized off excessive turnovers by the Huskies, with Mike Roberts' two-point shot and a fast break resulting in a sweet layup from Bracey Wright on a Robert Vaden assist. Marshall Strickland, who had a hard time finding his niche in the game, iced the cake with a shot from the 3-pt range to put the Hoosiers up 52-41 with a little under 12 minutes of play remaining.

In as little as three minutes, the ghosts of UNC's game reared their ugly heads, with the Hoosier defense almost stagnate with 10 minutes of play remaining. Though Indiana led by as many as 13 points, Pat Ewing's fourth foul along with Ryan Tapak's multiple turnovers produced a dramatic turnaround on the scoreboard as Connecticut went up by a score of 58-55.

The boom of the crowd seemed to rattle the Crimson and Cream, with Indiana missing 8 field goal attempts before Rodrick Wilmont's two- pointer and Wright's possible three point play, had he not missed the free throw. With the Huskies leading by four, Wright was sent to the line once again where he was unable to shake the crowd, and possibly himself, missing the much needed points at the line.

With D.J. White's fourth foul against Gay, who made both free throws in his three point play, Ewing, Jr. was sent in to wake up a slumbering Hoosier offense with four fouls himself. Ewing was sent back to the bench seconds later after receiving his fifth foul for a block from behind, sending yet another Huskie to the line. With 1:09 remaining, the Hoosiers were down by three at 64-67. Determined to win, Vaden landed a three with 24 seconds remaining while three different attempts at a three-pointer were taken seconds later by the Hoosiers to no avail. Indiana's foul trouble sent two more Connecticut players to the line, ending the game with the UConn Huskies ahead with a final score of 69-74.

Peegs.com Top Stories