Hoosiers Squander Lead, Suffer Heartbreaker

Bloomington – Everyone knew this would be a season of tough lessons for Tom Crean's young basketball team, but Wednesday's seemed especially cruel. The Hoosiers squandered a 20-point second half lead to Michigan, missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and ultimately dropped a 72-66 decision to the Wolverines in overtime.

Bloomington – Everyone knew this would be a season of tough lessons for Tom Crean's young basketball team, but Wednesday's seemed especially cruel.

The Hoosiers squandered a 20-point second half lead to Michigan, missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and ultimately dropped a 72-66 decision to the Wolverines in overtime.

"This is an unbelievably tough pill to swallow," Crean said. "We have to learn to turn right around, get right back at it, learn from the film, and get rid of that feeling."

Losing that feeling won't be easy for Indiana (5-9/0-2), which dropped its fifth straight and its second straight at Assembly Hall where it lost a 20-point lead. The Hoosiers saw a 21-point lead vanish against Lipscomb in its non-conference finale Dec. 28, and then opened a 44-24 lead against Michigan with 18:02 left before seeing the Wolverines storm back.

Michigan closed to within four, 57-53, with 1:22 remaining on a pair of Laval-Lucas-Perry free throws. But Indiana appeared to regain control on a tough leaner from Devan Dumes just outside the lane with :57 left on the clock that pushed the lead to six.

But a Manny Harris 3-pointer whittled the lead back to three, and Lucas-Perry capped the 20-point turnaround with a game-tying 3-pointer that bounced on the front of the rim and then dropped through with 25 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 59. It was one of 40 3-point attempts for Michigan, which shook off a 3-for-17 effort from deep in the first half to finish 12-of-40 from deep.

Perry's game-tying shot was set up by a turnover by Devan Dumes on the other end, when he opted to try to attack the basket in transition instead of pulling it back out and making Michigan foul. Dumes was stripped by C.J. Lee on the play and Michigan tied it seconds later.

"There are some things in the last minute we'd like to have back," Crean admitted. "(But) most years, most teams, most times you're going to the foul line. This Indiana team hasn't earned that yet."

Dumes concurred that he felt he was fouled on the play, but admitted hindsight suggested the wiser move would have been to force Michigan to foul.

"I didn't recognize the whole situation until we went into overtime," Dumes said. "I should have brought it out. If I had a second chance I'd do it over."

In overtime Michigan quickly took control with back-to-back 3-pointers from Kelvin Grady and Lucas-Perry to open a 65-50 lead with 2:43 left. A Nick Williams dunk and a Tom Pritchard free throw cut the lead to 65-63 with 1:14 left, but the Hoosiers would get no closer thanks in large part to 3-of-9 free-throw shooting in the extra session.

Lucas-Perry led Michigan with 18 points, while Manny Harris added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Indiana, meanwhile, was paced by 17 from Dumes and 14 from Nick Williams. Verdell Jones added 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists, although he missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation.

As tough as the setback was to take, there were plenty of positives. For the second straight game IU gave itself a chance to win a Big Ten game, something that few gave them a chance to do against a Michigan team that was ranked in the nation's top 25 a week ago.

Crean said afterwards that there are no morale victories for his young team, but he's confident that they're making progress and that the difficult losses will soon give way to some better results and memories.

"My battle cry is we're getting closer," Crean said. "We just have to stick with it. That doesn't sound very fun, but we have to stick with it, what we're doing…Are we getting better? We don't have the wins to show for it, but they're improving and growing."

INDIANA 66
Pritchard 3-7 3-4 9, Roth 3-8 0-0 9, Jones 6-16 1-2 13, Williams 6-12 2-4 14, Dumes 6-15 1-3 17, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Story 1-2 0-0 2, Taber 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 26-63 7-13 66.

MICHIGAN 72
Sims 7-15 0-0 14, Novak 2-6 0-0 6, Harris 4-12 7-8 17, Lucas-Perry 5-12 5-6 18, Grady 2-6 0-0 6, Douglass 1-4 0-0 3, Lee 2-3 0-0 6, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Merritt 0-1 0-0 0, Gibson 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 24-61 12-14 72.

Halftime Score: Indiana 39, Michigan 22. 3-Pointers: Indiana 7-21 (Dumes 4-9, Roth 3-7, Jones 0-4, Story 0-1), Michigan 12-40 (Lucas-Perry 3-9, Harris 2-8, Grady 2-5, Novak 2-6, Lee 2-2, Douglass 1-4, Sims 0-4, Merritt 0-1, Gibson 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 40 (Pritchard 9), Michigan 35 (Harris 11). Assists: Indiana 13 (Jones 6), Michigan 15 (Grady 4). Turnovers: Indiana 16, Michigan 13. Blocks: Indiana 2, Michigan 5. Steals: Indiana 7, Michigan 6.


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