IU’s disappointing Maui trip ends with 72-69 loss to UNLV #iubb

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Serenity eluded Indiana over its three-game run in Hawaii, a trip that saw the Hoosiers fail to find their footing.

After a 72-69 loss to UNLV in its Maui Invitational finale on Wednesday, Indiana returns to the mainland facing serious questions about its defensive capacity and general ball security after a troubling trip west.

In the middle of arguably the toughest two-week non-conference run in Tom Crean’s eight-year tenure as IU coach, the Hoosiers are — more than anything — stuck. Indiana returns Monday at home against Alcorn State before traveling to Duke on Wednesday night for a primetime showdown with the defending national champions in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Hoosiers committed 21 turnovers and never led, dropping the second of three games to one of the tournament field’s bottom-tier teams. IU shot 11-for-20 from beyond the arc, but only 10-for-19 at the free throw line.

Nick Zeisloft scored a team-high 17 points for Indiana, while James Blackmon Jr. added 13 points and seven rebounds.

A day after being removed from the lineup due to poor play in the tournament opener, Blackmon and Troy Williams each started for Indiana.

Williams, especially, was part of another sloppy start for the Hoosiers, who committed three turnovers — two by Williams — in the first four minutes and trailed 13-7 at the first media timeout. That deficit only swelled as the Hoosiers committed eight turnovers in the first eight minutes. It was easily the most troubling of IU’s three-day run on the island, a start that was only further torpedoed by Indiana’s struggles at the free throw line, where the Hoosiers hit only five of their first 12 shots at the line.

After UNLV’s lead extended to as many as 15 points, the Hoosiers responded with a 12-0 run to get within 27-24 with five minutes left in the half. The Rebels led 41-34 at halftime before Indiana forced its way back and tied the game on a 3-pointer by Blackmon five minutes into the second half.

After tying the game, IU failed to score over the next five minutes — a span that saw three IU turnovers. A 3-pointer from Max Bielfeldt and a layup from Williams got IU within 55-53, but turnovers, missed shots under the basket and an absent defensive approach from the Hoosiers allowed UNLV to a 7-0 run and a 62-53 lead with six minutes remaining in regulation. Two minutes later, that Rebels advantage expanded to 13 points.

Indiana charged back in the final minutes, inching as close as three points with seven seconds left. Following an inbounds play with three seconds on the clock, Nick Zeisloft’s potential game-tying 3 was blocked and IU hung their heads and walked off the court in defeat.


Maui live ticker: UNLV vs. Indiana


Hoosier Morning

Indiana bounced back with a win, albeit a sloppy one, over St. John’s in Maui, Mike writes.

Mistakes and misspellings in the box scores made for a frustrated Bob Knight and turned out to be the ticket for an annual trip to Maui as statkeepers for a Bloomington trio, Mike writes.

The IU football team is hungry for more than a big Thanksgiving meal this week, Andy writes.

Nate Sudfeld is a finalist for the Wuerrfel Trophy, while Jason Spriggs failed to make the final cut for the Outland Trophy, we reported.

A career-high 29 points from Tyra Buss helped pace IU women’s basketball to a road win at IPFW, we reported.

St. John’s showed signs of progress in the loss to Indiana, the New York Daily News reported.

Five takeaways from Indiana’s win on Tuesday, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

In case you missed it, a compilation of some of Bill Walton’s ramblings on the IU broadcast against St. John’s, via Alex McCarthy at Inside Indiana.

There’s belief, there’s perspective and there’s what passes for Indiana basketball, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

Five factors in Indiana overcoming a slow start to win at Maryland last Saturday, Billy at writes.

IU’s Jason Spriggs says not beating Purdue and going to a bowl would make his Hoosier career feel like a failure, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

The IU women’s basketball team escaped with a victory at IPFW despite too many turnovers and too many offensive rebounds allowed, Taylor Lehman of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

In keeping with our Hawaiian theme, here’s Don Ho with “Tiny Bubbles.”


Scoop Talk: IU still fixing itself


IU vs St. John’s men’s basketball photo gallery – Maui Tournament


IU postgame transcript from St. John’s

THE MODERATOR: We welcome Coach Crean, Yogi Ferrell and Thomas Bryant to the media room. Coach, an opening statement?

COACH CREAN: I thought for the fact that we played less than 24 hours completely differently today was a great sign of the aptitude of our team, the attitude of our team, and the desire of our team. I think that’s how it played out.

We didn’t play great. It wasn’t always pretty. They made baskets. But it’s not going to be when you’re playing against other competitive teams when you’re in this environment. But we played with great purpose. We went to a game plan that really was where we needed to end the game yesterday, and we didn’t end it that way, but we came at it and established it right away.

I thought Yogi and Rob did a fantastic job of getting the teams centered early and Thomas did a great job of getting the team anchored. And then Collin and Nick were all over the court. That’s exactly what it has to be. Thomas came out for a very young freshman, and after a tough day, one where he certainly could have played a lot better, we all could have played a lot better. We all could have done everything better. We came out and did a much, much better job of that today.

Offensively, defensively there are still things we’ve got to get better at. We’re the product right now on that front line of three very inexperienced freshmen and a senior that’s transferred in, and our deck is not stacked when it comes to dealing with some of these other teams in low post defense and isolation abilities and things like that. But we made enough adjustments and these guys did a very good job with their teammates of playing with great resolve today.


Indiana outlasts St. John’s 83-73

LAHAINA, Hawaii — It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

Despite 16 turnovers and general sloppiness, Indiana returned from a problematic tournament-opening loss to beat St. John’s 83-73 on Tuesday in its second game at the Maui Invitational.

The Hoosiers never trailed Tuesday and led by as many as 17 points late in the first half. But a maddening level of inconsistency and a lack of ball security allowed the Johnnies to hang around.

After trailing 42-31 at halftime, a strong St. John’s start out of the break got the Johnnies within four points. But that’s as close as Chris Mullins’ team would get, connecting on two field goals over their next eight attempts from the field after cutting it to a two-possession game. Indiana failed to provide itself a comfortable margin of victory, but created just enough separation to outlast St. John’s and secure a matchup with the winner between UNLV and Chaminade on Wednesday at noon.

Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 22 points.

Indiana did not make the trip to Hawaii with any intention of playing St. John’s, a team that lost an exhibition at home to a Division II school earlier this month.

Maui was supposed to be Indiana’s stage to announce itself as a national contender. Instead, the Hoosiers are paying for the sin of losing Monday’s opener against Wake Forest. As it was made clear throughout Tuesday’s contest, Indiana may not see a single NCAA Tournament team during its stay on the island — another sobering reminder of the consequences to losing to the Demon Deacons.

Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. were relegated to the bench Tuesday for their poor play against Wake Forest. Blackmon was Indiana’s first sub, coming off the bench at the 14:17 mark of the first half. Williams followed two minutes later and, on his first trip down the floor, hit a 3-pointer that gave the Hoosiers a 19-8 advantage midway through the period.

Blackmon finished with 12 points and Williams added seven.

Indiana got back to feeding the post against St. John’s, and freshman center Thomas Bryant bounced back from a rough game with 15 of his eventual 19 points in the first half.

But Indiana’s hope for a big response was somewhat muted but its turnovers and the 25 points St. Johns scored off of them.

This story will be updated.


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