FINAL: CLEVELAND STATE 69, INDIANA 58. Indiana got it as close as three points with 2:23 to play, but got sloppy on both ends and couldn’t get stops. Another ugly game for IU, but they nearly pulled it off. Jasmine McGhee led the Hoosiers with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
2:23: 3-point play for McGhee. She has a double double (13 pts, 11, reb) and it’s a 60-57 CSU lead.
3:28: And there is her first field goal. Sinclair hits a 3 from the corner to make it a 57-54 CSU lead. Miller quickly calls timeout.
4:36: Bell’s layup cuts CSU lead to 54-51. Closest IU has been since early first half.
9:00: And there it is. Sinclair hits 2 free-throws to snap her scoring slump and cut CSU’s lead to 52-47.
11:42: McGhee hits the first 3-pointer of the day for IU. Hoosiers trail 48-43.
13:35: IU back in it. Hoosiers cut CSU lead to 46-40 with a 5-0 run. Sinclair still scoreless.
15:13:CSU up 46-35. Shalonda Winton with a beautiful reverse layup moments ago.
18:48: Three fouls for Jasmine McGhee in first minute-plus of second half.
HALFTIME: CLEVELAND STATE 37, INDIANA 27. Coach Miller drew a loud ovation when he was asked by a sideline reporter what he will tell his team at halftime. “Well, I’m not going to be singing Kumbaya, that’s for sure.” Couple items of note: Sinclair remains on scoreless on four attempts. She also has four turnovers. On the other side, Cleveland State is shooting 51 percent from the field and the Vikings’ top player, Shalonda Winton, is on pace for a double-double. She has nine points and eight assists so far. To keep their six-game winning streak alive, the Hoosiers will need to overcome their largest halftime deficit of the season. In my preview of today’s game, I mentioned the size advantage IU has over CSU. You wouldn’t know it. The Vikings are countering with elusiveness, running and twisting around Hoosier defenders to get to the basket. They’re also shooting 4 of 9 from 3-point range, so it’s a rather thorough approach that’s giving IU fits.
3:38: Aulani Sinclair scoreless so far. Missed from perimeter on last three possessions. She also leads the team with three turnovers. I guess she was due? CSU up 32-21.
6:40: Just a sloppy start for Indiana. Needless to say, Curt Miller is not pleased. Eight turnovers so far and IU returns from under-8 timeout and gives up an easy bucket to spark another quick timeout by Miller. CSU up 21-15.
8:23: McGhee ties it at 13-13 by hitting 1 of 2 free-throws.
11:00: Bell finds Taufa wide open in the post for the bucket. IU cuts the deficit to 13-10
12:27: Indiana completely out of synch on offensive end. CSU up 13-6.
15:30: Indiana only 2-for-10 shooting early. CSU up 8-4
18:30: Hoosiers missed open looks inside on first two possessions.
PREGAME: The Hoosiers look to keep their six-game winning streak alive in a Sunday matinee against Cleveland State. A win today would allow Indiana to surpass its win total of a year ago (6).
Courtesy of the IU media relations department, here a few nuggets to tide you over until tip:
• The Indiana women’s and men’s basketball teams combined to go 13-1 through seven games played for each team this season, the last time that happened was 1992-93.
• With Indiana’s 6-1 record, the Hoosiers are off to their best start through seven games since the 2006-07 season when IU started that year at 6-1.
• By topping Clemson on Nov. 28, IU has won six-straight games, the longest winning streak since 2008-09 when Indiana won nine-consecutive games from Nov. 25, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009.
• For the fifth time in as many games, IU held an opponent to under 50 points in the win over Clemson, marking the longest such streak since the 1973-74 season when the Hoosiers held five-straight opponents to under 50 during that campaign.
• In each of Indiana’s wins, the Hoosier defense has held opponents to shooting 33.3 percent or lower from the field.
• As a team, Indiana had a season-high 10 blocks against Clemson, marking the first time an IU team has swatted 10 shots in a single game since hitting that mark on Nov. 19, 2004, at Baylor.
• Aulani Sinclair has scored 16 or more points in every game this season, including tying her season-best of 23 points against Clemson on Nov. 28.
• Quaneisha McCurty tied her career mark with six blocked shots in the win over Clemson.