No questioning Hoosiers now

No questioning Hoosiers now

Indiana rallies from 17 down to stun top-seeded Duke, 74-73

By Stan Sutton, Herald-Times Sports Editor

March 22, 2002

Indiana’s Jared Jeffries beats Duke’s Carlos Boozer to a loose ball during Thursday night’s South Regional semifinal in Lexington, Ky. Jeffries had 24 points and 15 rebounds as the Hoosiers upset top-ranked Duke, 74-73. Staff photo by David Snodgress
From the March 22, 2002 Bloomington Herald-Times

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Indiana basketball team provided an answer Thursday night to the longtime question, “What is a Hoosier?”

A Hoosier is someone who doesn’t give up when he is 17 points behind the nation’s No. 1 basketball team.

A Hoosier is someone who doesn’t get intimidated. Who, in fact, intimidated the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils and left them to be carried out on their sword.

A Hoosier plays for a college basketball team that barely scraped the national rankings all season and yet is headed for the Elite Eight of the NCAA’s South Regional against KentState on Saturday.

Indiana 74, Duke 73. Let the celebrating begin.

No one predicted Indiana would be within one step of the Final Four. Most laughed at the suggestion. Many didn’t think this team would beat Utah or North Carolina-Wilmington, which of course, it did.

The IU team had a meeting before beating Duke, and decided enough was enough.

“When someone disrespects us like this, we’ve got to come out and fight,” coach Mike Davis said.

Indiana won mostly with fight and with an indestructible spirit. But it also won with a bit of destiny.

IU trailed 61-55 with 7:20 to play but pulled within 63-62 when Jared Jeffries followed up a missed foul shot by Moye.

Then, incredibly, the 6-foot-3 Moye went up and blocked a shot by 6-9 Carlos Boozer, which gave possession to Indiana.

The Hoosiers still were down 70-64 after Mike Dunleavy made a 3-pointer at 2:50. But Tom Coverdale hit a foul shot and Jeffries converted a Coverdale assist into a three-point play.

At the 1:54 mark, Coverdale tied the game with two foul shots. At the one-minute mark he made a little baseline jumper to give IU its first lead.

Duke’s Daniel Ewing missed a 3 and Indiana’s Jeff Newton rebounded, setting the stage for Moye to make a pair of free throws at 0:11.1 that put IU up 70-74.

There was celebrating throughout the crowd of 22,338, but it was premature.

Williams drove upcourt and made a 3-pointer from the top of the key as Dane Fife fouled him.

The crowd sat in stunned silence as the Duke All-American missed the foul shot. Boozer seemed to grab it but had the ball knocked loose by Jeffries. Newton grabbed it as time expired.

“I grabbed him but I got a piece of the ball,’ Jeffries said.

The Blue Devils (31-4) led by 17 late in the first half and were ahead 59-45 with 12 minutes to play, but the Hoosiers (23-11) battled back with a strong defense and an offense led by Jeffries, Moye and Jarrad Odle.

Jeffries had 24 points and 15 rebounds, including nine under his own backboard. Odle had 15 points in only 18 minutes and Moye provided an energy-filled 17 minutes in which he scored 14.

“Their kids hung tough the whole ballgame. They played with tremendous determination and won the ballgame. They just hung in there the whole time,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

The Hoosiers’ halftime deficit was 42-29, a margin built on 16 Indiana turnovers. The Blue Devils were quicker to the boards, quicker to loose balls and quicker to capitalize on every opportunity.

The Hoosiers had four more turnovers than they had field goals in the first period.

Indiana enjoyed a couple of nice moments at the outset, when Jeffries stole a pass and Fife took a charge from Boozer. But Dunleavy, Boozer and Dahntay Jones scored for Duke and IU’s only answer was a 3-pointer by Fife at 16:15.

Coverdale, who obviously was bothered by his ankle injury, picked up his second personal at 15:27 and six seconds later Williams nailed a 3 and then Duhon drove for another score that put IU down 11-3.

Indiana missed five of its first six shots but got a lift when freshman point guard Donald Perry entered the game. Perry scored on a slick drive and then fed Newton for a bucket that made it 11-7.

But the Hoosiers’ outburst was short-lived and Duke scored nine of the next 11 points. Ewing came off the bench to make a 3. Boozer and Williams each followed Indiana turnovers with baskets.

Duke had 11 steals in the first half and converted those in 23 points. The Blue Devils also profited from five 3-pointers while IU was only 2 of 5. The Hoosiers had three more rebounds and shot 52 percent but not even that could soften the turnover travesty.

Duke’s biggest first-half lead was 29-12 following 3s by Dunleavy and Duhon. Indiana answered with a 15-footer by Kyle Hornsby and a 3 by Jeffries, who had 8 points before intermission. IU got within 31-21, whereupon Boozer hit a hook, and 33-23, when Ewing countered with a 3.

The Hoosiers went all out to make a run early in the second period, when Odle scored 10 of the team’s first 12 points in the period. That enabled IU to get within 51-41.

But Duke seemed to have a response to every challenge. Casey Sanders had a tip-in, and after Coverdale made one of two at the line Dunleavy hit a 17-footer. Odle made 1 of 2 free throws and IU rebounded the second, but Coverdale charged.

Jeffries got IU within 55-45 at 13:08, but Dunleavy answered with a 3. Boozer made one at the line, and Jeffries made two at the other end after a strong rebounding effort. A missed foul shot and a missed layup by Williams set up another score by Jeffries, and when Moye made two foul shots at 9:46 Indiana was in striking distance at 59-51.

However, the Hoosiers let Boozer get loose underneath for a score, and Fife’s push against him didn’t hurt because Boozer missed the foul shot. Newton’s missing two free throws did, but after a Duke turnover he returned to the line and hit a pair.

It was 61-53 with 8:44 to play, and IU quickly got the basketball back for a spinning layup by Moye.

This is Indiana’s first trip to the Elite Eight since 1993, when the top-seeded Hoosiers lost to No. 2 Kansas in St. Louis.