Terre Haute, Ind. - Mike Davis has been to Terre Haute twice during his Indiana coaching career, and he probably isn't thinking about coming back anytime soon.
Indiana State guards David Moss and Tyson Schnittker scored 19 points apiece and the Sycamores overcame an 11-point second half deficit early and then held off an Indiana rally late in the half to hand the Hoosiers a 72-67 loss in front of 10,200 at the Hullman Center.
The win was Indiana State's second straight over the Hoosiers in Terre Haute. During Mike Davis' first season in Bloomington, ISU guard Michael Menser hit a shot at the buzzer to give Indiana State a 59-58 win. Both games culminated with the Sycamore fans storming the court, and Indiana returning to Bloomington wondering how it let one that it should have won slip away.
"It reminded me of the last time we came here," said Davis, whose team slipped to 4-2.
While this game wasn't decided at the buzzer, it did go down to the game's final minute. And after the Hoosiers battled back from a double-digit deficit themselves with six minutes remaining, the comeback went for not thanks to a couple of lapses – one defensive and one mental.
After Marshall Strickland converted both ends of a one-on-one to cut the lead to one, 66-65, with :40.3 remaining, Indiana let a pair of Sycamores get behind them on the ensuing in-bounds play. David Moss threw a three-quarters court pass to Jay Tunnell, who fed Trent Wurtz who converted a lay-up while being fouled by Robert Vaden. Wurtz missed the free-throw, giving Indiana State a 68-65 lead with :38.6 left.
"We screwed up on a defensive assignment and that really hurt us," said Davis.
Despite the defensive miscue, Indiana had one final chance to tie the game. After IU's Earl Calloway and Indiana State's Darron Moore converted a pair of free throws to make the ISU lead 70-67 with :28.4 on the clock, Indiana looked for a 3-pointer to knot the contest. But Errek Suhr's attempt from the corner with 12 seconds remaining was blocked by Tyson Schnitker, resulting in a loose ball that Marco Killingsworth eventually corralled.
But instead of calling timeout to get the ball in the hands of a better 3-point shooter, Killingsworth hoisted an attempt from behind the arc that came up short. Robert Vaden came away with the rebound and was fouled, but Killingsworth's attempt proved to be IU's final shot at knotting the game. Vaden missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Wurtz knocked down a pair of free throws with :05.0 remaining to pull out the win.
Davis said that his entire bench was trying to get a timeout called after IU rebounded Suhr's miss, but the officials never saw or heard the request.
"I was trying to get a timeout when the ball was in the corner, but they said it was too loud for them to hear me," said Davis. "We wanted a timeout…we were down three and had the ball in the corner and there's nothing we can do in the corner, we had the ball stuck. I was screaming timeout, my bench was screaming timeout, (but) I guess they didn't hear me call timeout."
Killingsworth's missed 3-pointer in the closing seconds capped a forgettable night for the Hoosiers' leading scorer. Just six days removed from a 34-point, 10-rebound effort against No. 1 Duke, Killingsworth was bottled up by the Sycamores' double and triple teams and finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a game-high seven turnovers.
"He has to understand there are some nights he'll only get 10 points," Davis said of Killingsworth. "He missed some point blank shots he'd normally make. But when they did double and triple him, the opportunity to get it out was there."
Killingsworth committed seven of IU's 22 turnovers, a statistic that stood out to Robert Vaden.
"It's disappointing to have 22 turnovers – that's not characteristic of our team," said Vaden, who scored 12 points. "We didn't play as a team tonight, and that's something we'll have to work on tomorrow at practice."
While Killingsworth struggled and the Hoosiers were plagued with turnovers, Davis did get a second straight big game out of freshman Ben Allen. The 6'11" freshman scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, finishing 8-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc. Allen's performance comes on the heels of a 15-point effort in Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan.
Allen scored 13 points in the first half, helping the Hoosiers to a 35-30 lead at the intermission. At the outset of the second half, Indiana appeared poised to pull away. Rod Wilmont, Marco Killingsworth and Robert Vaden scored on layups on three straight possessions to give Indiana its first double-digit lead, 41-30, with 18:30 remaining.
But Indiana State responded with an 18-2 run to wrestle the lead from the Hoosiers, 48-43.
"They fought, they didn't quit when they went down 11," said Davis. "I thought we had them. I thought they were tired. We really pushed the ball up and down the court, but they did a great job of staying with it."
After Indiana whittled the lead to two, 50-48, on a Lewis Monroe layup, the Sycamores answered with an 11-3 run to take a 10-point lead, 61-51, with 7:27 left. Indiana would eventually cut the lead to one in the final minute before its last-minute miscues cost it a chance to pull out the win.
Killingsworth 4-10 2-3 10, Vaden 43-11 2-3 12, Wilmont 1-3 0-0 2, Strickland 1-5 3-3 5, Monroe 3-5 2-2 8, Suhr 0-2 0-0 0, Ratliff 0-2 0-0 0, Allen 8-10 0-1 21, Calloway 3-6 2-2 9. Totals 24-54 11-14 67.
INDIANA STATE 72
Wurtz 3-7 1-3 7, Tunnell 4-11 2-2 10, Moore 5-10 2-2 13, Schnitker 7-14 0-0 19, Moss 8-17 3-4 19, Evans 1-1 0-2 2, Booe 0-0 0-0 0, Wise 1-1 0-0 2, Yelovich 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 29-66 8-13 72.
Halftime Score: Indiana 35, Indiana State 30. 3-Pointers: Indiana 8-24 (Killingsworth 0-1, Vaden 2-6, Wilmont 0-1, Strickland 0-3, Monroe 0-1, Suhr 0-2, Ratliff 0-2, Allen 5-6, Calloway 1-2), Indiana State 6-23 (Tunnell 0-2, Moore 1-4, Schnitker 5-11, Moss 0-4, Yelovich 0-2). Rebounds: Indiana 37 (Killingsworth 8), Indiana State 35 (Wurtz 12). Assists: Indiana 15 (Monroe 6), Indiana State 21 (Wurtz 6, Schnitker 6, Moss 6). Turnovers: Indiana 22 (Killingsworth 22), Indiana State 12 (Moss 3).
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