Well, the Hoosiers, nursing a 59-53 lead, committed six straight turnovers inside the final four minutes and the Buckeyes managed just three points off those miscues.
Couple that with the fact that IU's three-man starting backcourt outscored OSU's 49-20 and you now understand how the Hoosiers came away with an ugly 69-61 win before 15,453 Tuesday night at Value City Arena.
"It's disappointing," said OSU coach Jim O'Brien. "Now we've got to get something done on the road."
Bracey Wright led Indiana's backcourt barrage, staring down OSU's junk defenses to score 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half. Wright hit on 4 of 7 three-point tries and also hit 10 of his 11 foul shots. He helped the Hoosiers (9-6, 3-1) connect on 22 of 25 foul shots on the night.
"This is where you make your money at, on the road, especially in the Big Ten," Wright said. "If you can go on the road and steal a couple here and there, it is a real confidence boost."
Marshall Strickland chipped in 19 points as the Hoosiers overcame deep foul trouble to big men George Leach, Sean Kline and Patrick Ewing Jr. Leach and A.J. Moye each finished with nine points.
"I thought Bracey made some difficult shots," O'Brien said. "You have to give them credit. Those two kids (Wright and Strickland) are hard to defend."
Similar to OSU's loss at Penn State (where the Buckeyes were 0 of 13 on three-point tries), OSU could not exploit its advantage inside or outside. The Buckeyes (9-8, 1-3) ended up a dismal 2 of 16 (12.5 percent) on three-point tries.
Terence Dials led OSU with 19 points, while Velimir Radinovic had 16 points and eight rebounds.
The backcourt woes hurt OSU. J.J. Sullinger had nine points and seven rebounds before fouling out. Tony Stockman managed seven points, but he was just 3 of 12 from the floor and 1 of 9 from behind the three-point arc. Nick Dials added just four points on 1 of 6 shooting from the floor.
"Our problem area in this game was not defensively, no matter how many points Strickland and Bracey scored," O'Brien said. "Our deficiency in this game was at the offensive end."
After trailing 26-22 at halftime, the Buckeyes rallied to tie the game at 30-30 after back-to-back three-pointers by Stockman and Sullinger. OSU held a 42-41 lead after Terence Dials made a pair of free throws with 11:47 left. Two Nick Dials free throws gave the Buckeyes a 48-46 lead with 9:27 left.
But Indiana went on an 13-5 run, powered by seven points from Wright and four from Strickland, to go up 59-53 with 4:42 left.
This is when things got out of control -- for both sides.
Indiana came out of a TV timeout with 3:46 left and saw Stockman steal the ball away from Strickland for a layup. That was the first of six straight possessions where IU turned the ball over. But OSU managed just that one basket and one free throw from Radinovic. OSU lost possession on two misses and two turnovers as well during that stretch.
"That was disappointing," O'Brien said. "That really hurt us. Defensively, we were fine. We were very aggressive in trapping. They turned it over. We got some shots, but we didn't score ourselves."
Given new life, Wright helped lead IU to the win. He connected on all six of his free throws in the final 1:38 to help the Hoosiers put the game away. Stockman had two turnovers and his last two three-point misses during this stretch as well.
Early in the game, Indiana got back-to-back threes from Wright and Strickland to forge a 10-5 lead with 14:51 left in the first half. But Terence Dials rebounded his own miss to cut the IU lead to 15-13 with 8:37 left in the half.
The Hoosiers then reeled off nine unanswered points as Strickland tallied on a fadeaway jumper, Leach hit a bank shot, Wright drilled a three-pointer and completed the run with a 14-foot jumper to put IU up 24-13 with 6:07 left.
The Buckeyes moved to a diamond-and-one defense with Nick Dials tracking Wright. The move worked as the Hoosiers missed their last nine shots from the floor to end the half, allowing OSU to outscore IU 9-2 to end the half and draw within four at 26-22. Radinovic had five points during that run with Sullinger also tallying on a rebound of his own miss and Terence Dials, who had 11 points in the first half, hitting a turnaround bank shot.
* Indiana improved to 2-3 all-time in Value City Arena.
* OSU fell to 6-3 at home this season. The Buckeyes are 75-16 all-time in the six years at VCA.
* Dials' 19-point effort was a career high.
* OSU now visits Iowa (9-5, 2-2) Saturday at 8 p.m. (ESPN-Plus). The Hawkeyes face Iowa State Wednesday night.