Bloomington – A night to remember for Northeastern was one to forget for Tom Crean's Hoosiers.
Northeastern held Indiana to its lowest offensive output ever in Assembly Hall, handing the Hoosiers a 55-42 setback in front of 10,701 fans.
The loss clearly didn't sit well with Crean, who spent approximately a half hour with his team in the locker room before emerging for the postgame press conference. He said his team's play during the game mirrored many of the things he saw that he didn't like during the week's practices.
"Tonight was a lack of aggressiveness, lack of focus, lack of will more than anything else," Crean said.
The game didn't start out as if it would go down as one of IU's all-time worst offensive outings. The Hoosiers made five of their first seven shots to jump to a 12-3 lead less than five minutes into the first half. But IU scored only six points during the final 15 minutes of the half to put itself in a 28-18 halftime hole and they were never able to recover.
"We didn't recognize what was there," Crean said about the team's inability to capitalize on the fast start.
Ultimately, many of the Hoosiers' problems were no different than the ones IU has encountered most of the season. Indiana committed 21 turnovers and made only 4-of-14 from behind the 3-point arc. Crean's team suffered through a couple of long offensive droughts during the game – including a 6:15 stretch in the first half when it went from up seven to down four - and never serious threatened in the second half.
But what frustrated Crean the most was his team's inability to match Northeastern's toughness. Indiana shot only six free throws compared to Northeastern's 20 and the visitors also owned a 20-6 edge in points off turnovers.
"There was one aggressive basketball team tonight, and it wasn't Indiana," Crean said. "We missed big opportunities to get the ball where we wanted it, where we game-planned to have it."
Devan Dumes actually kept the game from being even worse historically for the Hoosiers. Dumes connected on a 3pointer with 27 seconds remaining for the game's final points, preventing IU from having its first sub-40-point game since 1951. But it was still an anemic offensive effort for the Hoosiers, who scored their fewest points in any game since losing to Kentucky, 80-41, in Indianapolis on Dec. 20, 2003.
Indiana was led by Dumes, who finished with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Tom Pritchard, meanwhile, added 12 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double on the season but committed a team-high five turnovers. The rest of the team combined for 17 points on 7-of-25 shooting.
Northeastern took control of the game at the end of the first half with a 10-2 run. The half ended with Daniel Moore losing the ball for the Hoosiers' tenth turnover, and Baptiste Bataille scoring on an uncontested layup with one second remaining for Northeastern's biggest lead of the half, 28-18.
Things didn't get any better in the second half. A fastbreak layup by Dumes got IU to within six, 34-28, with 12:30 remaining. But Matt Janning scored four of his team-high 17 points during a 10-2 Northeastern run that extended the lead back to 14, 44-30.
The win was Northeastern's second quality victory against a major conference team this season, as it handed Providence a 70-66 loss earlier this season.
"They have been in these type of environments," said Northeastern Coach Bill Coen. "We've played at Louisville, we've played at Illinois and Connecticut and Boston College and so on. So I think those games prepares us for this terrific college basketball environment."
The loss was easily the most disappointing on the season for Indiana, which slipped to 5-6. After a short break for the holidays, Indiana will return to practice Dec. 26 to get ready for its non-conference finale against Lipscomb on Dec. 28.
"We have to get a tough mentality, a winning mentality," said Kyle Taber, who had six points and six rebounds. "We'll work on that when we get back from Christmas and make sure this never happens again."
Pritchard 6-8 0-3 12, Taber 3-6 0-0 6, Moore 2-4 0-0 5, Williams 1-5 2-2 4, Dumes 5-12 0-0 13, Roth 0-3 0-0 0, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 1-4 0-0 2, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Story 0-3 0-1 0. Totals 18-45 2-6 42.
Spates 1-4 0-0 3, Adako 3-8 0-0 6, Ojougboh 4-4 0-0 8, Allen 3-9 7-8 13, Janning 5-11 6-9 17, Alvarez 1-1 1-2 3, Lima 0-2, 0-1 0, McDonald 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Bataille 2-3 0-0 5, Aragbaye 0-0 0-0 0, Felix 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-43 14-20 55.
3-Pointers: Indiana 4-14 (Dumes 3-6, Moore 1-2, Roth 0-3, Williams 0-2, Story 0-1), Northeastern 3-9 (Spates 1-3, Janning 1-3, Bataille 1-1, Allen 0-1, Lima 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 31 (Pritchard 14), Northeastern 26 (Alvarez 5, Adako 5). Assists: Indiana 9 (Dumes 3), Northeastern 8 (Bataille 2, Ojougboh 2, Allen 2). Turnovers: Indiana 21, Northeastern 11. Blocks: Indiana 4, Northeastern 4. Steals: Indiana 4, Northeastern 11. Officials: Jim Burr, Rick Hartzell, Steve Skiles. Attendance: 10,701.
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Hoosiers Humbled At Home, 55-42
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