It wasn't its last chance, but Indiana's best chance to secure another win this season might have come and gone Sunday evening.
Paced by Matt Gatens' career-high 25 points and aided by 20 Indiana turnovers, Iowa (10-19/4-12) jumped on Indiana early and held off the Hoosiers late in a 73-57 win in Iowa's home season finale at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The loss was Indiana's 10th straight, marking the first time the program has ever lost 10 straight Big Ten games. It also dropped the Hoosiers (9-19/3-13) out of a tie with Iowa in the conference standings and into tenth place with two regular season games remaining.
As has been the case throughout the Hoosiers' 10-game slide, the problems were plentiful. While Gatens was busy doing his damage on the perimeter, Iowa frontliners Jarryd Cole (eight points, eight rebounds) and Aaron Fuller (17 points, eight rebounds) gave Indiana plenty of problems inside.
But as much as that trio made things difficult for Indiana, IU created many of its own problems with a plethora of turnovers. Eight of those turnovers came in the game's first 10 minutes, which helped Iowa go on a 13-0 run and pull out to a quick 17-4 lead midway through the opening half.
"I think the thing that hurt us more than anything in the first half was not only were we not scoring, but we were turning over and they had us 12-2 on points off turnovers (in the first half)," Crean said.
On top of the turnovers, Indiana couldn't make shots when it really mattered. While Verdell Jones made 7-of-10 shots from the field and all eight of his free throws on his way to a team-high 22 points, the rest of the Hoosiers combined to make just 11-of-30 from the floor. Crean's team also missed all but one of its eight 3-point attempts, making it just 1-of-13 from behind the arc in its last two games.
"We have to find ways to win, and right now when you're not shooting a high percentage, it's not a real good idea to just come out and shoot 3s," Crean said. "We have to get to the foul line. We have to get closer to the basket."
The Hoosiers managed to do those things late, which enabled them to turn a 60-39 deficit with 3:29 remaining into just a 65-55 deficit two minutes later. Iowa would respond and extend the lead late, but Crean was at least encouraged by the effort he saw from his team after the game had seemingly been decided.
"That's the way it has to be," Crean said. "I'm going to fight. I'm going to look for people to fight with me. That's how this program is going to be built."
Indiana showed some of that fight Sunday night, but it wasn't enough to keep pace with an Iowa team that got IU's current losing streak started with a 58-43 loss in Bloomington five weeks ago. While the point differential in the two games was virtually identical, there were more things for Crean to be encouraged about with Sunday's effort.
"We were in a fight tonight," Crean said. "They fought, obviously, and they have a very good group of players, they have an excellent coach, and they have very strong bodies. We were in a fight, and our guys understood it, and I think that showed up with the way we played at the end."
Watford 3-7 7-10 13, Capobianco 1-4 0-0 3, Hulls 1-3 0-0 2, Rivers 1-2 2-2 4, Jones 7-10 8-8 22, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Pritchard 0-0 0-0 0, Elston 1-4 0-0 2, Dumes 4-10 3-5 11. Totals 18-40 20-25 57.
Fuller 5-8 7-11 17, May 4-8 0-0 9, Cole 3-8 2-5 8, Payme 2-6 9-10 13, Gatens 8-14 7-10 25, Bawinkel 0-2 1-2 1, Brommer 0-0 0-0 0, Lickliter 0-0 0-0 0, Cougill 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 26-38 73.
3-Pointers: Indiana 1-8 (Capobianco 1-1, Dumes 0-4, Hulls 0-2, Watford 0-1), Iowa 3-17 (Gatens 2-7, May 1-3, Payne 0-3, Bawinkel 0-2 Cougill 0-2). Rebounds: Indiana 26 (Watford 7), Iowa 30 (Fuller 8). Assists: Indiana 4 (Capobianco, Hulls, Jones, Elston), Iowa 9 (May 2, Payne 2, Gatens 2). Turnovers: Indiana 20, Iowa 11. Blocks: Indiana 2 (Capobianco, Elston), Iowa 3 (Fuller, Cole, Brommer). Steals: Indiana 4, Iowa 7. Officials: Rick Hartzell, Dan Chrisman, Mark Whitehead. Attendance: 11,011. Halftime Score: Iowa 32, Indiana 23.
Gatens, Turnovers Too Much For IU To Overcome
Peegs.com Top Stories
Feeney happy to be back on the fieldIndiana offensive lineman Dan Feeney spoke to the media about his first game action in more than a month.
Coach TV: Johns talks offensive woes, TerpsEarlier today offensive coordinator Kevin Johns met with the media as Indiana works to solve its offensive woes and prepares for the challenge ahead with Maryland on Saturday.
Video intro: Sophomore walk-on Johnny JagerToday we begin our video profiles of some of the Hoosier newcomers with an interview with walk-on transfer Johnny Jager.
Hoosiers in the NFL: Week 7Each week Peegs.com checks in on the all the action in the NFL and how former Hoosier players are doing around the league. This week we take a look at how eight former Indiana…
Peegs Podcast: Stopping the SlideIndiana is on a three-game losing streak and hopes to rebound at home with Maryland coming to town. The Terrapins are off to a solid start, but IU will have its opportunities at…
Peegs.comYesterday at 10:01 PM