The Indiana University men’s basketball team begins its 118th season today against the Indiana State Sycamores at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Surprisingly, given their in-state proximity to one another, it will be only the 23rd all-time meeting between the programs, with the Hoosiers leading the series 17 to 5. It may be a mistake to assume that Indiana will cruise to an easy victory on its home floor. The Sycamores have been a thorn in the Hoosiers’ side in the more recent games in the series. 3 of the Sycamores’ 5 series wins have come in the last 6 games. The programs have split those 6 games, and each was tightly contested, with the Hoosiers outscoring the Sycamores by an aggregate total of 8 points.
The Series – The Last 6
2006 Indiana 73 Indiana State 66
2005 Indiana 67 Indiana State 72
2004 Indiana 56 Indiana State 52
2000 Indiana 58 Indiana State 59
1999 Indiana 60 Indiana State 63
1998 Indiana 76 Indiana State 70
2006 – Indiana would run out to a 33-18 lead on its home floor and maintained a 13 point lead at the half. The Sycamores kept battling and cut the lead to 2 points with under a minute to play. A late 3-pointer by Lance Stemler and free throws by Rod Wilmont would save the day for the Hoosiers. The Sycamores were led in scoring by Jay Tunnell with 16. Stemler led the Hoosiers with 18.
2005 – The Sycamores welcomed the Top 20 Hoosiers to a raucous environment in Terre Haute. After a tight first half, Indiana led 35-30. Indiana stretched its lead to 11 early in the second half but then ISU took over, eventually creating its own 10 point lead around the 7 minute mark. Indiana would cut the lead down to 2 but the Sycamore held on. Indiana was led by Australian big man Ben Allen with 21 points. ISU was led by David Moss who had 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Tyson Schnitker who also had 19 points behind five three-point shots.
2004 – Indiana State would come out strong early, taking an 8 point lead at Assembly Hall in the first half and forcing a 26 all tie at the half. Indiana mounted second half runs but the Sycamores kept battling back. A late steal by Marshall Strickland would seal it. The Hoosiers were led by Bracey Wright with 20 points. The Sycamores were led by David Moss with 15.
2000 – The Hoosiers went to Terre Haute for the first time in nearly a century and ended up regretting it. In what was almost certainly the most dramatic game in recent history, Michael Menser hit a last second buzzer beating 3 pointer to give ISU the win. It was the second of 2 three-pointers hit in the last minute by Menser for the come from behind win. Menser would lead the Sycamores with 14 for the game. Jared Jeffries led the Hoosiers with 19.
1999 – This game is memorable as it was the Hoosiers’ first ever loss in the Indiana Classic after winning 51 straight. Indiana committed 5 turnovers in the final minutes and squandered the game away. After the game Indiana coach Bob Knight went to the ISU locker room to congratulate them on their win. Indiana was led by Michael Lewis with 19, although he also had 7 turnovers in the game. ISU was led by Kelyn Block’s 17.
1998 – It would truly be a tale of two halves. ISU led 45-26 at Assembly Hall at the half despite losing their leading scorer Michael Menser at a point in the first half when they only had a 2 point lead. IU outshot the Sycamore 58 percent to 19 percent in the second half to rally for the victory. Luke Recker led the Hoosiers with 23. Kirk Haston had a noteworthy 16 rebounds. Nate Green led the Sycamores with 20.