It is becoming more and more difficult to wrap your mind around this season and what has transpired since a 12-2 start that had Indiana firmly in the top 25 nationally.
That seems like a distant memory as the Hoosiers dropped their ninth game in ten tries against Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. This one particularly stings, as for the first time this year the NCAA Tournament now seems out of reach. Of course a late season run could salvage a spot in the big dance, but that seems like an impossibility from where things stand right now.
Indiana (13-11, 4-9) returns to action on Saturday at Minnesota.
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
A classic defensive Big 10 battle had IU’s offense sputtering. Ohio State kept everything in front of them for most of the game, putting points at a premium in this one. Fueled by a late run, Indiana was slightly better in the second half, but this game marked yet another sub-40% day from the field after IU had at one time been a top 10 field goal percentage team nationally. The pack it in and make IU shoot over the top defensive approach continues to be a riddle that this team just cannot solve.
A flurry of late IU three-pointers. At one point in the second half Indiana was shooting 14% from three-point range. Down 47-38 with just over six minutes left, it seemed like perimeter shooting would be the last thing to get the Hoosiers back in it. Indiana would proceed to hit four three-pointers over the next five minutes to take a 52-49 lead with 1:46 remaining. Devonte Green and Romeo Langford each hit two long range shots to spur the rally.
Ohio State had the answers late. After Devonte Green hit a late shot clock three-pointer from 25 feet to give Indiana the 52-49 lead, it was all Buckeyes the rest of the way. CJ Jackson immediately answered with a three-pointer to tie it. Indiana botched an in-bounds play, and then missed a defensive assignment on an Andre Wesson slip to the basket which became the game winner for OSU.
FINAL BOX SCORE AND SPECIALTY STATS
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