Photo via @HawkeyeReport

The Latest Problem for Indiana Basketball: They Can’t Finish

Dictionary.com says this about Murphy’s Law:

“A facetious proposition that if something can go wrong, it will.”

Facetious?

They had no idea about this Indiana basketball team.

In a season that has felt like a never ending series of springing leaks, we are now to the point of fixing a leaky faucet in a burning building.

Okay, no, we are past even that point now.

From slow starts, to giving up big runs, to poor shooting, to a never ending rash of injuries, everything seemingly could and has gone wrong.

The latest leak du jour to emerge during this incomprehensible season?

These Hoosiers can’t finish.

And as a result — the burning building has been reduced to a smoldering heap of ash.

INDIANA STRUGGLING AT THE END OF GAMES

This one might have been the hardest to see coming.  After all, the talk in December was about how this same group of players might not have been perfect, but they sure knew how to close out games.  Whether it was Northwestern, Louisville, or Butler, IU continued to find a way to make enough plays to win.

Even after a stunning win in East Lansing over Michigan State, the Hoosiers appeared to have some semblance of being clutch down the stretch and perhaps on their way to saving that burning building.

But since that improbable win over the Spartans, it has been the end of games that has doomed this team, save for a trip to Minneapolis that was doomed from the start.

IOWA 77  INDIANA 72

The Hoosiers didn’t lead late in this one, but after trailing by 10 midway through the second half, Indiana fought, scratched and clawed to get the lead down to three points with just under three minutes remaining in the game.

Defense fueled the rally, with IU holding Iowa scoreless from the field for more than five minutes down the stretch.

A pair of De’Ron Davis free throws made the score 64-61 Iowa with 3:47 left.  That score stood until Tyler Cook hit a shot with 2:25 remaining, and from there Iowa would score on every remaining possession, with Jordan Bohannon (remember that name) scoring the final 11 points for the Hawkeyes.

Was it good offense, bad defense, or just bad luck?  It was probably a little bit of everything.  And there would be more to come.

OHIO STATE 55  INDIANA 52

Once again Indiana fell behind early, with the Buckeyes running out to a 11-2 lead.

And again, the Hoosiers fought back.  This time Indiana came all the way back, as late three-pointers by Romeo Langford and Devonte Green pushed IU to a 52-49 lead with just 1:46 remaining in the game.

Just 35 seconds later, after Indiana played exceptional defense for the entire ensuing possession, C.J. Jackson did this —

Staggered, IU wouldn’t score again the rest of the way.  Indiana missed shots and committed a critical turnover on an inbound play.

Finally, a late defensive breakdown gave Andre Wesson a free run to the basket for the game-winning dunk and the Buckeyes finished the game on a 6-0 run.

PURDUE 48  INDIANA 46

Nobody gained any significant separation in this slug fest as the Hoosiers and Boilers played football on the hardwood.

With 3:49 remaining, a Juwan Morgan three-pointer gave Indiana a 43-39 lead and IU appeared to have all of the momentum.

Carsen Edwards shot just 4 for 24 for the game, but he hit one of his four shots just 18 seconds later and spurred a 9-3 Purdue closing rally to win it.

An ultra physical game led to altercations, with Purdue’s Matt Haarms at the center of most of the action.

Should it have really come as any surprise that the game ended like this?

IOWA 76  INDIANA 70 (OT)

Once again a Juwan Morgan three-pointer had Indiana smelling victory.  His long range shot with 2:27 remaining in regulation put IU up 62-56.

But once again, the Hoosiers would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Iowa would outscore Indiana 7-1 for the remainder of overtime and then 13-7 in the extra session for a 20-8 finish.

Leading the charge for Iowa was of course none other than Jordan-freaking-Bohannon, who scored 14 points in the game’s final seven minutes, including this dagger to force overtime.

Watch as Devonte Green gets himself turned around and loses Bohannon.  On the ensuing possession, Langford settled for a long three-pointer despite being guarded by Luka Garza.

What’s next as Indiana hosts always pain-inducing Wisconsin on Tuesday night?

One can only imagine the next chapter in this cruel season.

But we’ll be there…to help you sift through the ashes.


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