Bloomington - Six days after a historically woeful offensive effort, IU suffered through a colossal collapse Sunday against Lipscomb.
Indiana built a 35-14 first half lead courtesy a 21-0 run, then lost its 21-point lead in breakneck speed and ultimately dropped a 74-69 decision to its Atlantic Sun Conference foe in front of 14,827 at Assembly Hall.
The loss sends the Hoosiers into the Big Ten Conference slate on a three-game losing streak, and the last two have been of the crushing variety. On Monday Coach Tom Crean's team was held to the fewest points ever scored by an Indiana team in Assembly Hall in a 55-42 loss to Northeastern. The Hoosiers eclipsed the 42-point total in the first half Sunday, but Lipscomb used a 13-0 run to start the second half to erase a 10-point deficit and then held on down the stretch for a huge win.
"When you're that far down, you have to spend so much energy to come back," Lipscomb Coach Scott Sanderson said. "We were so bad so early. it's a great character win for our team and our university."
It's an equally demoralizing loss for the Hoosiers, who slipped to 5-7 on the season. While Indiana shot 50 percent from the floor and cut its turnover total to 13, Crean said it was the team's rebounding and defensive performance in the second half that ultimately did his team in. After owning a 14-9 edge on the glass in the first half, IU was out-rebounded 26-11 in the second half.
"If you want to hang on one stat, it's the rebounding," Crean said. "They all have to be rebounders, especially on the defensive end. You're not going to win games giving up 50 percent field goal shooting and getting out-rebounded by 10."
The loss was disappointing for Crean not only because it was IU's third straight, but also because it was the final game during Rick Greenspan's tenure as athletic director. Greenspan gave an emotional speech to the team after the game, and Crean had hoped to present a winning game ball to the man who helped lure him to Bloomington last spring.
"I appreciate him so much," Crean said. "For those of you who have covered us…you wouldn't have believed what we had to endure (in the spring and summer). I couldn't imagine going through that without him every step of the way."
Early on, it appeared Indiana was poised for one of its best efforts and biggest wins of the season thanks to its 21-0, five-minute run midway through the first half. Daniel Moore did a little bit of everything during the run after he entered off the bench, contributing five points, four rebounds six assists and two steals in only eight first-half minutes.
But Lipscomb answered IU's flurry with a 14-4 run to cut the lead to 11, and then used another 5-0 run in the half's final two minutes to cut the margin to 10, 44-34.
"I told them we have to get the score to a workable margin by halftime," Sanderson said.
That's what Lipscomb did, and the Bison then completely erased IU's lead with a 13-0 run to open the second half. While Lipscomb was busy making seven of its first nine shots to start the second half, Indiana missed its first four shots and a pair of free throws as Lipscomb took a 47-44 lead three minutes into the second half.
"You can never let up," said Verdell Jones, who scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. "When you've got them down, you have to put your foot on their neck and keep them down. We let up a little too much today."
The game remained a one possession game until the final two minutes. After a pair of Tom Pritchard free throws tied the game at 66, Lipscomb's Adnan Hodzic scored on back-to-back layups to give the Bison a four-point lead with 1:34 remaining.
Indiana couldn't answer, missing four 3-pointers in the game's final two minutes as well as a pair of free throws down the stretch. A Matt Roth 3-pointer cut the lead to three, 72-69, with 13 seconds left, but Lipscomb's Jimmy Oden secured the win with a pair of free throws two seconds later.
"It's tough to blow a lead like that, but have to keep getting better and hopefully that won't happen again next time," Moore said.
Indiana was led by Devan Dumes, who scored 18 on 7-of-12 shooting. Dumes was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field in the first half – including three 3-pointers – but Lipscomb did a better job of keeping him under wraps in the second half. Jones added 13, while Tom Pritchard added 12.
Lipscomb, meanwhile, was led by 19 from each of its two Indiana products – Hodzic and Lafayette's Michael Teller. Hodzik scored 15 of his points in the second half, while Teller scored 14 of his points in the first half.
Despite the tough setback, the players said afterwards that their confidence hasn't wavered, and Crean said he'll have to team back to work on Monday gearing up for Saturday's match-up at Iowa.
"I won't get down on our guys one bit," Crean said. "We'll be back out here tomorrow…we didn't los the game because of a lack of energy or not wanting it. We didn't have great where with all."
Pritchard 4-8 4-6 12, Taber 3-6 1-1 7, Jones 6-8 0-1 13, Williams 1-5 1-2 3, Dumes 7-12 0-2 18, Roth 1-6 0-0 3, Moore 3-4 1-2 8, Story 2-5 1-2 5, Jobe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 8-16 69.
Wright 0-3 0-0 0, Teller 6-10 3-4 19, Brown 5-7 1-1 11, Hodzic 7-13 5-6 19, Lusk 1-5 1-2 3, Slater 5-9 0-0 11, Burgason 0-1 0-0 0, oden 2-3 5-6 9, Pfaff 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 27-53 15-20 74.
3-Pointers: Indiana 7-20 (Dumes 4-7, Jones 1-3, Moore 1-1, Roth 1-6, Story 0-2, Williams 0-1), Lipscomb 5-15 (Teller 4-6, Slater 1-3, Lusk 0-2, Burgason 0-1, Oden 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 25 (Story 6), Lipscomb 35 (Brown 7). Assists: Indiana 19 (Moore 7), Lipscomb 13 (Teller 4). Turnovers: Indiana 13, Lipscomb 14. Blocks: Indiana 3 (Story 2, Pritchard 1), Lipscomb 4 (Wright, Brown, Hodzic, Slater). Steals: Indiana 7, Lipscomb 6. Attendance: 14,827. Officials: Jim Burr, Sid Rodeheffer, Dwayne Gladden.
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