IU shares Big Ten title

IU shares Big Ten title

By Bob Hammel, Sunday Herald-Times

March 8, 1987

From the March 8, 1987 Bloomington Herald-Telephone

Forget the possibility that the Steve Alford-Daryl Thomas-Todd Meier senior class would be the fist to pass through Indiana University in the Bob Knight era without winning a Big Ten championship.

No class will have to worry about that for at lest another four years – thanks in large part to a non-senior who was also a non-starter for one of the rare times in his IU career, sophomore Rick Calloway.

Indiana pulled off a Big Ten co-championship Saturday by doing its own job with a 90-81 victory over Ohio State at Assembly Hall. Then Michigan came through with unexpected gusto in blastering Purdue, 104-68, to drop the Boilermakers into a tie for the title – on a day when they hoped to take it all by winning.

The result: 15-3 records for both teams in Big Ten play, 24-4 for each overall. It’s the eighth championship or co-championship in Hoosier coach Bob Knight’s 16 seasons, ranking behind only the late Ward “Piggy” Lambert of Purdue – an 11-time winner – among all-time Big Ten coaches. Purdue still has won only one clear-cut Big Ten title in the 47 years since Lambert’s last one in 1940.

With a game and a half to go Saturday, Purdue had a game and a half lead. While the Boilermakers were waiting for their late-afternoon tipoff at Ann Arbor, Ohio State put Indiana down 40-39 at halftime.

It got worse for the Hoosiers and the 17,289 who came to shower adoration on the traditional Senior Day closing out IU’s home season.

Ohio State picked the Hoosier defense apart for four layups opening the second half and expanded its lead to 50-44, then 56-46.

Indiana tried to scramble back, but Ohio State all-America Dennis Hopson wouldn’t allow it. A dunk by Daryl Thomas cut the gap to 60-54; Hopson countered with a jump shot. Thomas turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play; Hopson answered with a three-point shot.

After consecutive baskets by Jerry Francis and Kip Lomax, Ohio State led 69-61 with 10 minutes left.

About then, it became a good idea that the day’s activities weren’t limited to seniors. Calloway, the Ohioan who has stung his homestate school with some of his timeliest play, did it again.

After two Thomas free throws, Calloway scored for the Hoosiers to cut the lead to 69-65. Hopson tried to stand Indiana off with a three-point shot but missed, and Calloway drove the baseline to put the Hoosiers within 69-67 with 8:30 left.

Indiana caught up at 71, then went ahead at 75-73 on a one-and-one conversion by Keith Smart.

From the March 8, 1987 Bloomington Herald-Telephone

The Hoosiers led 84-80 with 1:35 left when Ohio State tried to go to Hopson once too often – with a pass from the baseline on an out-of-bounds play.

A few minutes earlier, Hopson had cut to the basket and taken a lob that he laid in softly.

“The coaches had told us he would either go for the lob or break out (to take a deep pass),” Calloway said.

“I told Dean (Garrett) to come off his man, get up under the basket and play the lob pass, so I could cheat a little bit. I saw Hopson break out, and I just stepped in front and stole it.”

Actually he leaped in front – as high as he could get – and he didn’t confine the play to making the interception. He headed downcourt on a two-on-one break, Lomax back and Alford breaking up the other side.

“I was thinking, ‘Should I back it out or get the ball to Steve?'” Calloway said. “But Lomax kept backing up, so I just took it in and hit the shot.”

“That wasn’t a layup,” Ohio State coach Gary Williams said. “He pulled up and made a pretty nice jump shot off the board.

“I think he surprised a lot of people by taking the shot. I thought they might just try to draw it out there and run some time off the clock.

“He’s a great player. He knew it was going in. He just stuck it when he had to.”

Good choice, said Knight.

“He’s taking the shot going at the bucket,” Knight said. “It was a six-foot shot and he went up and knocked it in.

“The only thing we can get that’s going to be better than that is run off 30 seconds on the clock. He really made a good choice. I thought he would end up going to Steve.”

Knight could almost hear the record he has at home, the one well-worn because it chronicles the most famous play of the Hall of Fame career of Knight’s Ohio State teammate and pal, John Havlicek. The record is titled “Havlicek Stole the Ball!” It memorializes a 1960s play that got Boston past Philadelphia in the seventh game of the Eastern Division playoffs. “That’s the play that Calloway made, almost identical to Havlicek’s,” Knight said. “It was a really big play for us.”

Ohio State was forced to hurry shots the rest of the way and didn’t hit any. The Hoosiers finally got breathing room on two free throws by Alford at 0:38 and two by Smart at 0:13.

Alford, in his last home appearance, led the Hoosiers with 22 points, while Calloway had his season high of 20 points, Thomas had 16 (plus a game-high 10 rebounds) and Smart (8-for-8 on free throws) had 14.

Hopson, No. 2 scorer in the nation with a 29.4 average, hit just 9 of 21 shots against the defensive work of first-time starter Kreigh Smith, Steve Eyl and Calloway. Hopson scored 25 points to lead Ohio State, which finished 9-9 and sixth in the Big Ten and 19-12 overall, probably plenty good for an NCAA tournament assignment. Guard Curtis Wilson added 21 for the Buckeyes, who outshot Indiana .477 to .422.

Hopson 9-21 5-6 9 25
Francis 7-10 0-0 6 14
Anderson 1-6 4-4 8 6
Wilson 8-18 4-5 4 21
Burson 4-5 2-2 3 10
White 0-1 0-0 3 0
Wesson 0-0 0-0 1 0
Lomax 2-4 1-2 2 5
Martin 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 31-65 16-19 38 81
Thomas 5-9 6-7 10 16
Smith 2-6 0-0 3 6
Garrett 4-8 1-2 9 9
Alford 6-13 8-10 2 22
Smart 3-10 8-8 5 14
Calloway 6-14 8-9 2 20
Meier 0-1 0-0 0 0
Eyl 1-3 1-1 2 3
Hillman 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 27-64 32-37 37 90
Ohio State 40 41 – 81
Indiana 39 51 – 90
Attendance: 17,289