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LAS VEGAS — Indiana fell behind by 19 points to Colorado midway through a largely hideous second half and a furious comeback late fell short, as the Hoosiers lost 78-69 in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Classic.
Colorado senior swingman Cory Higgins led the Buffaloes with 22 points while classmate Marcus Relphorde added 14 points. Junior forward Austin Dufault had 10 points and seven rebounds while senior guard Levi Knutson added 10 points.
Freshman guard Victor Oladipo had 16 points and seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end, to spark a late rally that brought the Hoosiers back to within three points. Sophomore guard Jordan Hulls hit three early 3’s and led the team with 17 points. However, each of IU’s top three scorers for the season had rough nights.
Sophomore forward Christian Watford still managed 14 points in the game, but was 3-for-14 and missed his first 11 shots. Junior guard Verdell Jones had yet another gouth night, shooting 4-for-15 from the field, and sophomore Maurice Creek also continued to strubble with a 1-for-4 shooting outing.
The Hoosiers had a sub-par defensive outing for the second straight game, allowing Colorado to shoot 54.5 percent from the field, including 64.7 percent (11-for-17) in the second half.
IU cut the deficit to three points with 3:08 left in the game and then 69-66 with 1:33 to go. However, Higgins drove for a 3-point play on the next possession to start a 7-0 run and the Hoosiers were never closer than seven points after that.
At least one member of Indiana’s departing football coaching staff managed to land on his feet quickly.
Former IU offensive coordinator Matt Canada said Thursday that he has been hired as the offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois under new coach David Doeren, the former defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Doeren was one of three coaches to interview for the head coaching position at IU before Kevin Wilson was hired.
“I needed a job and I was really fortunate to land at a top 25 program, which is what they are right now,” Canada said. “They’ve got a bunch of players coming back. It’s a great opportunity for me. It’s really nice to get a job that quickly after getting the rug pulled out from under you here. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.” (more…)
By now, you’ve no doubt realized that the live chat is not, well, live. Blame the time zone difference — the thought of an 8 a.m. chat was too hard to imagine going well, no matter our location.
But we’re still going to chat, because we need to. The current state of the basketball team, I am sure, will be a topic of discussion, and perhaps Kevin Wilson’s latest coaching hires.
We’ll start at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT. As always, you can find us here.
LAS VEGAS — Indiana hasn’t lost at Assembly Hall yet, but it hasn’t won away from there either.
The Hoosiers fell 67-61 to Northern Iowa on Wednesday night at the Las Vegas Classic. They rallied back from a 13-point deficit to tie the game, but allowed Northern Iowa to get back-to-back scores to take the lead for good.
Northern Iowa led 42-33 at halftime thanks to eight first-half 3-pointers. Senior guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe hit two of those and finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Panthers. Junior guard Johnny Moran hit four 3’s and scored 15 points while sophomore foward Jake Koch hit three 3’s in the game and scored 11 points. The Panthers went cold in the second half, hitting just one of seven 3’s, but scored just enough to hold off IU’s comeback.
The Hoosiers got the best combined production they’ve had all season from their forwards. Sophomore Christian Watford led the squad with 23 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Derek Elston scored a season-high 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting. However, IU’s guards had a brutal day. Maurice Creek, Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls shot a combined 2-for-18 from the field and totaled 11 points. The Hoosiers got just eight points from their bench and shot just 30.4 percent in the second half.
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