Indiana rallies but falls short again

Indiana erased a 10-point halftime deficit against Northwestern but missed crucial free throws down the stretch and missed an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute, falling 70-64.

The Hoosiers shot 50 percent for the game and actually hit more field goals than Northwestern, knocking down 23 to Northwestern’s 19. However, the Wildcats made 11 3-pointers and 21 free throws, including some crucial ones down the stretch.

Senior point guard Michael Thompson scored 22 points, knocking down all 11 of his free throws and hitting three 3-pointers. Junior forward John Shurna scored 19 points and guard Alex Marcotullio scored 11.

Junior guard Verdell Jones had 18 points and six assists, sophomore guard Jordan Hulls had 14 points and sophomore forward Christian Watford had 11.

The Hoosiers won the rebound battle, grabbing 28 to Northwestern’s 22, and scored 24 points in the paint to Northwestern’s 10. They were down by as many as 12 points in the first half and trailed by 10 in the second, but rallied back to tie the game at 52 with 8:20 to go and stayed within two possessions until the 3:42 mark.

After falling behind by six, they cut the deficit to three points on a 3-pointer by Hulls with 1:12 to go. On their next possession with a chance to tie the game with 37.2 seconds left, the Hoosiers instead decided to go for 2 on a drive by Verdell Jones. Jones missed and sophomore forward Christian Watford was unable to control the rebound. Thompson eventually knocked down two free throws and Christian Watford eventually missed a three on the other end to effectively clinch the win for Northwestern.

AUDIO: Verdell Jones

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 1

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 2

43 comments

  1. Are you all happy with this ? Do u remember when Indiana neeeeever lost to NW for 17 straight years ? Do you remember Indiana paying a supposed coach almost 2 million a year to be a total loser ?? Indiana athletics is at the bottom of the Big Ten …and is last out of 11 in a Big Ten conference …the joke continues …up to me? I would fire all of them …Felicia included …she asks for fans …why should we go watch just another loser hoosier team??

  2. While the loss sucked, look at all the scores today.

    Most of the top teams lost to teams they shouldn’t have or the scores were much closer than they should have been.

    Crean isn’t the only one not having his team be as great as it could/should be.

  3. The Hoosiers are a long, long way from being a power again. I only hope that we can even return to greatness. It does not ,look very promising at this time.

  4. Hoosierwynn Out of those 17 years, how many of those years was IU left an entire season w/o players? How many of those years did they have to rebuild from scratch b/c of restrictions? Sanctions? Although next year has to be the year the team jumps up in wins, you are clearly not being fair in your reasoning by making that sort of comparison!!! There is not a 3 year anywhere in IU basketball history to gauge this with, so forget the comparison route. Although most of these payers are recruits of Crean, I still believe he does not have the team of his choice completely. The inside needs to be squared away to go with the outside game.

  5. I think Pritchard has stepped up big. I feel the inside players skills are still on the weak side. I do believe they have out performed what I thought they would do, skill wise. We’re still looking for that standout inside presence.

  6. dustin/hugh,

    after watching Crean’s post game comments, he just looked beyond furious and frustrated with the effort that these guys are giving on the defensive end. Considering how much emphasis Crean puts on this do you see him asking a few scholarship guys to seek shelter elsewhere? Also, is he looking to bring in any defensive minded guys, notably the PG Maurice Anelfok from Huntington Prep? TIA

  7. First year of Crean: swept by Northwestern.

    Crean’s second year: swept by Iowa.

    Now, in Crean’s third year: swept by BOTH Iowa and Northwestern.

    I blame Kelvin Sampson. Let’s fire him!

  8. Larry …ok I will take that challenege …post mark this junk loss again at home to the math-oriented NW team …let’s see what happens here ..Indiana stinks …even the junk coach Crean admits that …and also admits he I’d to blame …listen to the post junk comments before commenting …Crean admiringly has locjked down Indiana for a year …congrats to him …YEAH …ut oh …let’s see whatthe confused married-into Harbaugh does with this …I’ve got this on day to day lock down … In Milwaukee, no bigee …like he says …this is INDIANA …be careful what u say Creanee

  9. 33 years …and no you can’t have it …those two courtside seats will sit empty until Glass gets this fixed …I pay for it …I have the right to let then sit empty during this continued inept hoosier product …years in the process …no end in sight

  10. Next year or the year after that or the year after that.Until then sit down shut up and be good boys and girls.

  11. I have an idea for you, Hoosierwynn (and RAM too)…go grab some seats at Cameron Indoor. Maybe that’ll cure your incessant negativity and lack of support for a team that has had to completely rebuild on the fly at the highest level of Division One hoops. You both sound like congenital front runners.

  12. Crean needs to learn and then teach the X & O’s of basketball or the pain will continue no matter who suits up in future, gee.

  13. I think Mr. Crean has done a masterful job of lowering the expectations of IU fans. I’m just looking forward to 2014, 2015 or 2016 when everything really comes together. Let’s not expect much for a few more years. After all we just don’t have the players, and all the injuries and it was a cold winter and Mr. Crean stubbed his toe on the way to the game and couldn’t coach effectively and we only had a week to prepare for Northwestern, and we were clearly overmatched by their inside power game. I mean what do you guys expect???

  14. I just want to know why Crean didn’t stick Watford on the block and pound it inside. He could have had 40 against their pathetic inside defense. I just don’t understand what Crean thinks he’s watching sometimes.

    We’re a long, long way from being relevant again. And I’m running out of patience.

  15. This is my last post here (I’ll still read the articles), but it is my hope that all of the fairweather “fans” here are washed out of the system by the time IU hoops is a national contender again (I’m predicting 2013)–you guys can go ahead and watch your IU in the 70’s tapes until they’re dust. Go Hoosiers!

  16. Sorry Speedy. I should have included 2013 in my note. Good point! Let’s not look for anything next year though, that’s way too much to expect. I mean we’ll only have a bunch of juniors and seniors plus some promising newcomers. We don’t want to raise the bar too high. Let’s just shoot for 5 or 6 wins in the Big 10 as a reasonable goal. Then we can call the season a success. Heck let’s make a split with Northwestern next years goal.

  17. Uninspired play? Yes. But I’m not quitting on them. Quick point. First half TP gets away from the big guy with the unpronounceable name who then hits a 3, and goes back down court waving 3s to the crowd. Tommy comes down and dunks on him and waves twos back(crowd goes nuts) and then proceeds to lock him down and make him look silly on the next possession. Way to go TP!!!

    My point? These guys just need to take it personally all the time.

    And Hulls needs ten attempts per game no matter who is on the court with him.

    And NW is worse guarding the dribble than we are.

  18. I totally agree with Hoosierwynn on the disgrace of our program….I guess Crean’s bought enough friends with his millions to have them start bashing Hoosierwynn instead of the disgraceful attitudes of our players (they never foul, they never travel or carry, they always get fouled but it’s not called) and the lack of any discernable coaching strategy beyond a pathetic blame the players for not trying hard enough and vow to punish them next day at 7:30 A.M. Maybe he can injure someone else and have a real excuse against Purdue, which is an ascending program.

  19. Chet remains a genius. Yes, let’s talk about Izzo. Izzo lost his team last summer when he expressed interest in coaching the Cavaliers (but only if LeBron stays), so he almost ended it himself. His summer escapade has more to do with where MSU is at the moment than Crean’s incompetence, dude…

    If you truly want to compare with others how about this, Chet: in his second year at Texas Tech Bob Knight voluntarily returned one year’s salary because the team underperformed that year (did ” not meet expectations” were his words) When is Crean going to do something like that Chet? When will Crean ever assume any responsibility at all,

    Crean can’t coach. He can talk, pace, clap — but he can”t coach.

  20. This was my first time posting on this site….I had no idea the name Chet was used previously.

    However, Rico Chet, if your point is that Knight’s returning his yearly salary of 250,000 is an act of a real Coach and that Crean is paid 1,000,000 and should only return 250,000 of it, I agree totally with the implication.

    Why expect more from Crean than a fraction of Knight?

    All I really care about is that our players start acting like IU Basketball Players and stop their incessant whining to the refs, and idiotic tongue outing and strutting whenever they make a good play. And that behavior begins with the Coach (Crean), who is constantly whining about how ‘we’ need ‘help’ from the refs.

    an utter disgrace, this season is. it has gotten worse these past 3 years of being Creaned…

  21. I hope the postman has the check Coach Crean sent to buy me. What this blog needs is more sheep herders and less sheep.

  22. I’m in the disappointed on the progess to date but not ready to throw Mr. Crean over the side group. I think he thought recruiting would be easier than it has been with the Indiana “brand” but he has picked it up and we do have talent coming in over the next few years. He’s got a 10 year contract that we really can’t buy out very easily at this point so let’s see if he can blend the talent and make us difficult to play at both ends. Haven’t seen any evidence of that yet but this guy (Mr. Crean) is here for a while. They are not going to get rid of him, so like it or not I think as much as we may disagree, we still root for the Hoosiers. Hope it’s not a long hard slog. We should begin to see signs of life next year if he’s the coach we hope he is.

  23. Sit down and shut up kids we have a great team. Don’t you just love watching them play? I KNOW I do. They have learned so much about defending the three point shot since the Northern Iowa game. OH HAPPY DAY!

  24. A few games ago things were really looking up. Now we’ve seen a couple of poor outings. Whenever things are down there’s always a turnaround ahead. Maybe the next one will be the turnaround.

    See ya in the Hall wednesday night.

    Go Hoosiers!!!

  25. Ugh, the Northwestern loss was hard to take, but Watford’s playing with one hand, Creek is gone, we relying heavily on two freshman, and Hulls and Elston are in a bit of slump that they need to work through.

    I’m glad that we can a least have something to watch, and things are going to get better.

    And for anyone who is still complaining about Crean clapping. I hope you were delighted when he through down his clipboard in frustration.

    How about Pritchard! Go IU!!

  26. Our best player is a 5’11 white sophomore guard and we are complaining how we cant play with these Big10 Junior and Seniors. I think there is a reason the other teams close it out when we are so close to winning.

  27. Clarion-

    Clearer heads prevail. There are signs of upward momentum everywhere, and we aren’t talking in an empty Bill Lynch way.

    Despite injuries, youth, and talent issues, we haven’t thrown in the towel for a long while, and we have competed in an impressive string of games. We are no longer quitting, and like someone said here last week, and as fans we feel like there is now at least a chance to win any given game.

    The fans continue to impress. The majority of them see the big picture, and understand the concept of deferred gratification.

    Blogging forums in general are a haven for repressed pessimists and hate-mongers; this forum certainly has the same elements. Judging fan sentiment by what’s on this forum would be like basing your opinion of dogs off of the movie “Cujo.”

  28. Crean can do as well as any other coax but never by voice — only by accident. We saw that already.

    Bill Lynch is a far better coach than Tan Cream.

    Mikka here ^^^ predicted 15 wins before the Penn State game. The fact he doesn’t have the guts to defend his prediction and keeps changing his nickname says almost everything there is to say about him.

    Mikka is obsessed with what he describes “the need for instant gratification”. In that sense he is a little Hosni Mubarak although only a caricature of that. He can’t stand any opinion other than his and would do anything to inflict it. He’s the only one here addicted to instant gratification.

    If Crean lets Hulls run the show we can beat Purdue.

  29. Oops: Crean can do as well as any other [coach] but never by [choice] only by accident.

  30. Might not be my place to comment here, but it seems to me like you have one blogger whose nickname is mocking other bloggers names, accusing another of changing his screen names.

    Isn’t this a pot calling the kettle black?

  31. Hoosier Dan, two questions:

    (a) calling the kettle black is a bit racist don’t you think?

    (b) you mocking Dakich?

    I hope Crean will see the light. Just let Hulls run the show. He has the ability to empower his teammates, something Crean hasn’t been able to do so far (with his players).

  32. I dont want to be overly critical but any resembelence to basketball is purely accidental. I read the last twitter account and I cant understand what the man is talkingt about, its all gobbly-gook. Amen

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