Hoosiers unravel in second half in 82-64 loss to Purdue

WHAT HAPPENED: Purdue went on a 14-1 run to start the second half of Saturday’s game and Indiana never recovered, falling 82-64 in front of 14,846 at Mackey Arena.

The Hoosiers have now lost three straight to fall to 14-11 overall, 4-8 in the Big Ten. All three of those losses were to teams in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Purdue improved to 15-10, 5-7.

The Hoosiers were down 35-33 with the ball with 30 seconds left in the first half and a chance to tie or take the lead. However, sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell missed a 3-pointer, Purdue swingman Basil Smotherman grabbed the rebound and drew the foul from IU forward Devin Davis. The Boilermakers were in the bonus, so Smotherman went to the free throw line. He made the first and missed the second but got his own rebound and put it back up for a three-point play, giving the Boilermakers a 38-33 at half.

Purdue’s Sterling Carter opened the second half with a 3-pointer to begin the 14-1 run to put the Boilers up 52-34. From that point forward, the Boilermakers never led by fewer than 15 points and the lead was as great as 25 points. The 18-point margin of defeat was the greatest for Indiana on the season. 

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Carter, a senior transfer from Seattle University, had been struggling from outside the arc for much of this season, making just 21 of 80 attempts coming into Saturday’s game (26.3 percent). On Saturday he took advantage of openings in Indiana’s zone and hit five of his six 3-pointers and six of his eight field goals to finish with a season-high 19 points.

Sophomore point guard Ronnie Johnson scored 16 points, hitting all eight of his free throws and a pair of three-pointers. His brother and former North Central star Terone Johnson scored 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting with a pair of key 3-pointers as well.

Ferrell led all scorers with 27 points, but was less than efficient, shooting 6-for-17. Freshman forward Noah Vonleh scored 14 points, but many of those came in garbage time because he picked up three first half fouls and four total. Senior forward Will Sheehey had 10 points, but missed his last five field goals and didn’t score in the game’s final 30 minutes. No one else scored more than four points in the game for Indiana.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: The primary reason, certainly, is that the Hoosiers simply didn’t bring the same amount of fight to the second half as Purdue did. The Hoosiers were out-worked across the board and effectively folded up when Purdue went on its 14-1 run. There wasn’t zero effort, but there wasn’t much and they didn’t seem to truly fight back until the game had already been decided.

The Hoosiers had problems on both offense and defense, and they even lost the rebounding battle for just the second time this season. On defense, the Hoosiers weren’t quick enough to get out to shooters in either the zone or man to man. The Boilemakers came into the game shooting just 39.5 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in Big Ten play. On Saturday, they made 10 of 18 3-pointers (55.6 percent) and 48.1 percent from the field. They won the rebounding battle 39-35 and scored 15 second-chance points, matching the most scored by an Indiana opponent in Big Ten play.

Indiana, meanwhile, was a mess offensively. They turned the ball over nine times in the first half, which kept them from getting any real momentum. They finished with 14 turnovers, which the Boilermakers turned into 13 points. More problematic were the missed layups. IU coach Tom Crean said he counted 12 and there were more misses in the paint. Many of those were point blank without much of a challenge and the Hoosiers just bricked them. All told they finished 19-for-59 from the field and 8-for-23 from beyond the arc. Guards Stanford Robinson and Evan Gordon were a combined 0-for-9 from the field for zero points. Troy Williams, Jeremy Hollowell, Austin Etherington, Devin Davis, Collin Hartman and Jeff Howard scored a combined 13 points, which was the entirety of Indiana’s scoring outside of Ferrell, Vonleh and Sheehey.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: The Hoosiers appear to be in a downward spiral. Wednesday’s collapse in the loss to Penn State, Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s OWI arrest on Friday and this blowout have combined to put this team in nosedive position and if the Hoosiers don’t pull up out of it, they might watch their entire season come apart at the seams. The NCAA Tournament has reached pipe dream status. Getting to the NIT might be an uphill battle. The CBI is officially on the table and so too is the possibility that the Hoosiers might not make the postseason at all. The Hoosiers have lost three straight games and all of them have been against teams in the bottom half of the Big Ten. They are currently in 10th place in the conference and a lot has to change and they need to start winning fast to move up at all. Their last six games include four top-half teams in Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa and wins won’t be easy to come by the rest of the way.

On top of all of that, the fanbase is irate with much of its vitriol directed at Crean. His contract status gives him far too much job security to imagine athletic director Fred Glass making a change, but the pitchforks have been out since the Penn State loss and this game only brings them out in more force. The Hoosiers have suffered worse losses in terms of margin of victory in Crean’s tenure, but those were more understandable because Crean was still building the program up from the rubble. Though this group is young, it’s also talented and it’s also all made up all of his recruits. From the fanbase’s perspective, these have been the two least acceptable losses of his career.


AUDIO: Yogi Ferrell and Austin Etherington

AUDIO: Matt Painter

AUDIO: Terone Johnson, Sterling Carter, Basil Smotherman


  1. Farrell is undisciplined and selfish with the ball, esp. when it comes to Vonleh. IMHO he likes to see himself like Victor, who could barrel into traffic under the net and score. But, he is not Vic, and his judgment is questionable in terms of strategic decisions. I assume he has the full approval of the coaching staff for his actions on the floor.

  2. Justin, your What Does it Mean is far the most honest assessment I’ve seen of this IU team and it’s staff to date by any writer. Remember: Most important part of the game: first five minutes of the second half. “Victory favors the team that makes the fewest mistakes”. How soon we have forgotten. It’s difficult watching this team make the same mistakes in games over and over and over and over. Either the the message is not getting through or it’s not being taught. And since some of these problems date back to last year (the game at Illinois comes to mind) I believe the blame isn’t with the players tuning out the coaching staff. We have Iowa at home, Northwestern at Evanston, Wisconsin @ Madison. Ohio St at Home, Nebraska @ Home, and Finish the regular season @ Ann Arbor. Six games. The way we have played the last three, I don’t see us winning another game this season unless there is a dramatic turnaround.

  3. Well said Dustin. I suspect you will be scorned by the “coach” again soon and discriminated against for your accurate depiction of this team and the black clouds that surround it.

    How can INDIANA have players and an offense, and I use that term loosely, that just stands around in 1 spot. Dakich was all over that and I have been from the start of this season. This is 1 on 1 ball hogging offense. Grade school stuff. Give it to the kid who can dribble and who can hit shots. Grade school, not even AAU ball.

    I’m sure you all see what I see, and I am also pretty sure they are not taught to do this in practice. But they are frankly inept. They cannot run plays or be in the right positions in 35 sec. stints. As I mentioned in a prior post following the PSU game, watch how many times these kids run into one another on offense.

    We did create at least 8 lay-ups (& I was only half paying attention) that were missed at point blank range. This is a lack of focus and determination.

    I suspect we are going to win 2 more Big 10 games; Nebraska and we’ll steal one somewhere else, either Iowa or NW. But that is it. 6 – 12 in the Big 10.

  4. Enjoyed the article….After watching the game again….I was shocked by the lack of defensive effort….I want to see what ctc puts on that clip board.

  5. Missed layups, inept offense, what is Vonleh doing out on the perimeter shooting 3’s? I guess it’s because he and Farrell are the only ones who can score and they haven’t figured out how to consistently get Vonleh the ball in the paint. I have no idea what the rest of the team is doing on offense, what’s scary is neither do they. I’m really disappointed this team hasn’t improved throughout the season, if anything it seems they are getting worse. How can you drop a game at home to Penn St. when you’re up by 13 in the second half? I couldn’t believe they weren’t able to get the ball in-bounds, it seemed like it was the first time they had seen a full-court press. Players fault? Certainly, but the coaches must have the kids better prepared to play, or find new players. Or find new coaches. This is Crean’s baby. Two Sweet 16’s shouldn’t get you a pass to field a lousy non-tourney bound team. Most premier programs deal with losing players after their Frosh and Soph seasons yet they come back with strong young teams and make deep runs in the tourney, if not win it all. IU needs to get there.

  6. well written Dustin;articulate and factual. I know most dont like Dakich BUT he did make 2 important observations;1..kids cant be considered “young” at this point in season( that excuse is wearing thin if not already worn out. 2.. while at the scorers table,Yogi was asked by Evan Gordon what to do or where players should be. I am assuming that Dakich heard that “convo” from his announcers position and being an ex-player and coach he was really dumbfounded why someone ON the court would be asking someone OFF the court what to do;let alone the fact Gordon is a 5th year. MAYBE someone should ask Fred Glass ,for the fanbase’s sake, if Crean has lost control of this team OR if the Team has QUIT on the Coaching staff

  7. That building “up from the rubble” is so GD overrated and overkill.

    It’s journalists and fans with motives beyond basketball that were selling and buying into all that “we were decimated” and “you wrecked the program” garbage that allowed for the ridiculous protection of long coaching contracts with long extensions.

    Indiana was never rubble. We could disband this entire team and its coach tomorrow and find a pool of top Indiana ballers and a young coach that would give anything to be part of Indiana Basketball.

    And why doesn’t any reporter speak of the total “collapse” any usefulness one A-Hope recruit? How many hopes a strong bench has exited with the “pipe dreams” of placing unrealistic pressures and too much investment of resources and coaching time on all the project players that Adams forced down Crean’s throat?
    Bawa, Tijan, Jurkin, Perea…? And then we watch a kid with the talents of Luke Fischer get depressed with the atmosphere of all the cronyism and preaching? Go figure….

    The program is wrought with politics and excuse makers..Indiana can still attract the best talent in this state. They could do it if they cleaned house and fired Crean tomorrow.

    There should have been no excuses seven years ago. Some of Crean’s first players were better than what we’re seeing now. Without Zeller, the last seven years would have made the Mike Davis years look like the glory days.

    The talent is too raw…The coaching ability has never been there. It was the Indiana kids that had learned the game by way of great teachers of the game at the high school level, that allowed for anything resembling basketball for a couple seasons.

  8. These times are the consequences of believing the answer lies in recruiting four (****) and (*****) star prospects. The very thing that puts and highlights them on the various ‘star lists’ is what keeps them from being a solid ‘part’ of a team of five basketball players (or a valued 6th., 7th. or 8th. ‘off the bench’ part of a real team. They can seldom conjugate from the ‘me’ to ‘us’.

    At Indiana we are used to ‘great teams’, even in the stands we are a part of what we are on the floor, respecting and loving them even when the ‘championship’ does not necessarily come. That’s what being a Hoosier is. We know our basketball, we know our basketball players.Our banners hang on simple cement.

    When you walk into Assembly Hall, especially as a coach, you’d better understand what the 17,000 Hoosiers are expecting and demanding. And, you can’t fool them. Understand the 17,000 were raised and and educated from their childhood as true basketball fans; too devoted to ‘our’ game to accept or tolerate press hype or marketing department promotion. The five banners were too carefully weaved from the simplest and strongest thread grown on our dirt, not from synthetic junk promoted as ‘NBA futures’. We accept no substitute.

    Future applicants need to know this if considering sending in their resume for the Indiana University coaching position. A simple concept that needs no artificial light.

  9. Harvard/HC…yes, missed some of my great Hoosier pals in ‘our’ section of the stands (like both of you, Harvey and HC). (Doing meditation and yoga through this didn’t do it for me). Thanks both for the reception!! Great to be back with good friends who bleed Hoosier.

  10. Fischer didn’t leave because of preaching. Fischer was homesick. It happens. Been there, done that. Get your facts straight, before you jump all over the church bus Harvard.

  11. Iv`e lived just outside Lafayette for 40 years. Born and raised in Bedford. Today was the 1st time I was to ashamed to wear my IU gear to town.

  12. since harv mentioned bawa I think most might find this interesting. bawa evidently is his last name. he is playng for lee college or university or whatever at the dII level after failing to make it at Tennessee st. in the box scores he is listed as muniru bawa and his bio states his mother is alice bawa. who knew?

  13. Forgot about Bawa. Hopefully he can attain a degree, make something of himself, and aid his home country in a peaceful, beneficial way.

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