IU falls to Ohio State in 2OT, 80-78

They wore long faces, understandably so.

At the end of a double-overtime disappointment, Indiana’s five seniors looked like they wanted to be anywhere but the court on which they’d just suffered their second consecutive loss to close the regular season.

Of course, in the wake of an 80-78 defeat to Ohio State, the Hoosiers pressed on with the traditional Senior Night speeches, one-by-one passing the microphone down the line so that Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk, Freddie McSwain and Tim Priller could address what remained of the Friday night crowd.

“Tonight was very painful that we weren’t able to get the job done for you,” IU coach Archie Miller told those left inside the building. “… It’s moments like this you look back on in time and say to yourself, ‘Do you remember where you started?'”

On one hand, the regular season finale served as the latest example of growing pains for this Indiana program in Miller’s first season. It also served as the latest example of just how far these Hoosiers have come.

If not for another rough night at the free throw line, this game wouldn’t have required two extra frames.

But the Hoosiers (16-14, 9-9 Big Ten) went 13-for-23 at the line, ruining another chance to knock off one of the Big Ten’s top teams.

That IU was able to overcome those free throw woes yet again spoke to this team’s ability to grind out a game like this.

“Heck of a night. Heck of a game,” Miller said. “Two teams really battled. We came up short. Really disappointed for our fans and our seniors, in particular. With that type of environment, you just hope they get an opportunity to close one out.”

For every big shot and Ohio State run, Indiana had a response.

That is, until the very last moments of the second overtime, when C.J. Jackson’s 3-pointer with a second remaining won the game for Ohio State (24-7, 15-3) and deflated the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall crowd.

Moments earlier, Juwan Morgan’s layup with seven seconds remaining gave Indiana a one-point advantage — the 15th lead change in a game of wild swings. But in an instant, the joy was gone.

Morgan led IU with 18 points, while Robert Johnson added 17 and Justin Smith finished with 16 points.

“It’s really tough,” Johnson said, “especially with it being two overtimes and it coming down to that. We have the lead, he put up what seemed like a tough shot for it to go in. Kind of stung a little bit, but at the end of the day I’m proud of the way we fought all the way to the end.”

Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Keita Bates-Diop had struggled somewhat in recent games. But not Friday.

Bates-Diop did his part for the Buckeyes, finishing with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Bloomington North product Musa Jallow, a freshman for Ohio State, went scoreless in two minutes of action late in the first half.

The Hoosiers struggled out of the gates in both halves of regulation. After entering halftime deadlocked at 33-all, IU watched Ohio State jump out to a seven-point advantage in the first four minutes of the second half.

But IU kept the pressure on the Buckeyes, largely leaning on the play of Smith and Zach McRoberts to steady itself midway through the second period.

Smith scored 10 of his 16 points across the final 30 minutes, while McRoberts was his steady self — at one point hitting a step-back 3-pointer to get IU within 59-57 nearing the under-8 media timeout.

It was all part of a 7-0 IU run that helped the Hoosiers to a 61-59 lead with four minutes remaining.

The teams traded baskets down the stretch before two free throws from Smith tied the game at 63-all. In the final minute, Morgan’s sticky defense on Jae’Sean Tate forced Tate to miss a layup with 28 seconds remaining, allowing the Hoosiers to hold for the final shot.

With seven seconds, Robert Johnson picked up a screen from Smith and drove to the rim for the potential game-winning layup. But he missed, forcing overtime.

A turnover by Josh Newkirk and a missed layup by Smith put the Hoosiers in a two-point hole with a minute left in the first extra period. Juwan Morgan also missed a layup attempt against a group of Ohio State defenders with 34 seconds remaining, before Zach McRoberts’ offensive rebound helped the Hoosiers hold possession for the waning moments of the period.

Johnson drew a foul while driving with 7.8 seconds left and hit both his free throws to tie the game at 70-all and force a second extra frame.

“We’ve been in some really, really tough games,” Miller said. “A lot of them in here that we weren’t able to close, something that’s going to eat at you in the offseason when it’s all said and done.”


  1. At this point, we are who we are. We can’t hit lay ups, FTs or 3s. Aside from that….we’re pretty damn good.

    9-9 Big Ten campaign. That’s an overachievement.

    It’ll be fun to see what happens next week. We may win 1 game, perhaps 2, in the NYC debacle.

    I’m all tooled up for the promise of next season. Morgan, Smith, Phinisee, McRoberts, Davis, Durham, Anderson & Green when/if he shows back up. I like our chances.

    Romeo, oh Romeo, wherefore art thou?

      1. I think so.

        Especially if Juwan sticks around. If he can instill the round the clock work ethic he has embraced the sky is the limit.

        Just imagine a team of guys putting in Juwan-like effort on every possession.

    1. Ohhhhhh-laaa-deeeee-pO!….

      Oh-Rohhhhhhh-meeee-ohhhhhhO! (?)

      Do remember that Shakespeare was big on tragedies.

  2. Variables. Juwan Morgan, how does Davis show up, and who else will show up big. Plus health, and whatever else may factor in etc.
    Wait til next year, we will get them next year is all to in line with the Cubs and IU football tradition. It finally worked for the Cubs and IU football is still a work in progress. Currently, IU basketball is also a work in progress by IU basketball expectations. I to think IU will be better. How much, like other teams depends on several variables. Not dominant and Just a small margin for error.

  3. If you can’t see the extensive Improvement this year under a new competent coach and his new system then you won’t recognize the success when it does arrive big time next year.

  4. There will be better days ahead for IU basketball. It starts with the point guard position. The PG position for IU this year has been an extreme weakness. Phinisee could make a huge difference. I expect Morgan to return as he is not NBA ready. I still feel Archie needs another big man as I am not confident in Davis and Moore. Surely he will be looking at transfers/graduate transfer options. Regardless, IU will be a much better team with more depth.

  5. Responses to a few comments made above.

    With or without Davis being back and healthy, just improving guard play should allow IU to win 20 games next season. And if Davis is back and healthy, I think HC’s prediction of 24 wins is likely.

    To be honest, I see significant improvement in certain aspects of this year’s team, but overall, this year’s team is not as good as last year’s team. This year’s team just didn’t have the level of talent or size that last year’s team had. And last season, injuries to Morgan, Hartman and especially OG were devastating. If OG does not get hurt, last year’s team wins over 20 games. This year’s team works hard, rebounds better, and began playing better defense mid way through the season, but they are just terrible on offense. The saying, “defense wins games” in only true if the team has an adequate offense. And IU’s offense this year is far from adequate.

    With or without Romeo, next year’s team is going to be much better. Romeo could make the difference between IU competing for the Big Ten Championship or finishing in the top third of the conference, but I think we’re going to be pleased and encouraged by next year’s roster, regardless.

    Lastly, don’t be surprised if there are some really good players transferring out of schools like Arizona, whose coaches get wiped out by this brewing corruption scandal.

    1. Gonna have to exercise a lot of due diligence with any transfers. I imagine this situation is gonna leave a bunch of talented players completely untouchable.

      The NCAA should have a clearinghouse for those guys. Provide a thumbs up or a thumbs down for potential transfers.

  6. Sounds like they have pretty secure evidence …..I see no reason the NCAA should not ban from tournament participation all names with undeniable money/gifts exchanged via agents/shoe company conspirators. Give them the chance to bow out this week….on their own accord. But if they choose to stay involved with the team and the NCAA tournament, communicate to the university and the named player of the risk of much harsher penalties going forward if more egregious corruption is unveiled (e.g postseason ban and limitations on transferring to another program).
    If you can “wreck” a program over a water bottle, then what should be in store for these college mafia insiders buying their school’s way to banners?

  7. Still need to prove an allegation is true before a player can be banned. The NCAA will have to be careful not to punish an innocent player, otherwise their legal liability would be huge and what’s left of their reputation would be destroyed. Due process still applies, regardless of the rumors and news stories, otherwise it’s a “he said, he said” situation, and that’s probably not good enough to deny a young man from playing college basketball on a scholarship.

    But overall, the system needs to be changed completely, starting with the NBA being forced to eliminate the one-and-done rule. I’m surprised some 18 year old kid out of HS hasn’t gotten a powerful law firm to sew the NBA for denying him his rights to employment. How can any organization create a rule that prohibits or delays an adult from pursuing his/her career? The NBA has financially benefitted from that stupid rule at the colleges’ and players’ expense, and it’s time they be forced to eliminate it. Let the NBA invest to broaden and fortify their D-League. Let the NBA take the financial risk on kids coming out of High School. They can easily afford it.

    Maybe the Federal Government needs to create a division dedicated to amateur sports and have a certain number of FBI agents dedicated to “policing” amateur and college sports, working with the NCAA and other athletic associations to reduce this crap (it will never be eliminated completely). I mean, between the girls gymnastics sex abuse scandals, the scandals about the sexual abuse of female swimmers, and now this mess with college basketball, maybe it’s time our society provide these various governing bodies some real teeth so that the rules will be enforced and the scumbags get punished.

    1. We are talking the FBI here…..They typically aren’t in the business of “he said, he said”….They are generally in the business of jail time.

      The NCAA is already a joke. They were a joke for making example out of a 3-way call bandit. Meanwhile UNC and ghost classes are just fine. Mafia infiltration into the game is just fine.

      NCAA’s reputation? (That would be known as an oxymoron)

      Lastly, IU fans have rarely been guilty of Salem-like rushes to judgments of the harshest order….nor have they been the highly public victims of such in the media, said Kevin Wilson and Kelvin Sampson (That would be known as sarcasm).

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