June 17, 2021

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IU misses golden opportunity at NCAA resume-builder, flounders in OT vs. Illinois

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BLOOMINGTON – Given its pick of chances to win Tuesday’s game and add a signature win over No. 13 Illinois, IU let the opportunity slip away. The Hoosiers fell 75-71 in overtime. Here are three reasons why:



a group of men playing a game of basketball: Feb 2, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) shoots the ball past Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (R) during the first half of the game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.


© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) shoots the ball past Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (R) during the first half of the game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Hoosiers close strong to open

Fouls and stoppages chopped up an otherwise competitive first half, both sides trading punches.

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Ayo Dosunmu and Trayce Jackson-Davis struggled to get comfortable from the field but made up for it at the free-throw line. Armaan Franklin battled his ankle injury for some important buckets. Race Thompson held his ground against Kofi Cockburn inside. Khristian Lander continued his rise up the rotation with some impressive minutes.

Indiana (9-8, 4-6) got the last jab, closing the half on a 10-2 run while holding Illinois without a field goal for the last 4:31 of the frame. It was one of the Hoosiers’ best halves of the season, and handed them a seven-point lead going into intermission.



a man playing a game of football: Feb 2, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Khristian Lander (4) dribbles the ball past Illinois Fighting Illini guard Andre Curbelo (5) during the first half of the game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.


© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Khristian Lander (4) dribbles the ball past Illinois Fighting Illini guard Andre Curbelo (5) during the first half of the game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Sluggish restart

That good work went to waste minutes later, the Hoosiers outscored 16-6 over the first two media timeouts of the second half.

Turnovers, a problem only in spurts, showed up when needed least, IU committing four in the first eight minutes of the second half after just four throughout the entire first. Cockburn got going inside. Indiana shot 3-of-11 from the floor to begin the half, racking up a total of 12 empty possessions in their first 15 after halftime.

That’s not to say Illinois was without flaws. Indeed, the Illini (12-5, 8-3) left the door open a couple times for IU to take greater command of the game. But the Hoosiers once again wasted those chances, and found themselves dragged into the dogfight of a foul-ridden game. 

More: This week, IU can put one foot into the NCAA tournament, or keep sweating 

Fouls fog up the end

So extensive were the foul problems on both sides that, in one 30-second stretch late in the second half, three different players fouled out. The most notable among them, Dosunmu, who walked off the floor after an iffy charge call. 

In total, the two sides combined to commit 53 fouls and shoot 66 free throws. Both numbers played heavily on the eventual outcome, the free throws for the extra points and the fouls because it left both teams short-handed in an unwelcome overtime period. 

There, the Hoosiers’ offense dried up. They did not score for the first 4:50 of overtime, offense a myth. Fouls dried up. Everything dried up. Indiana let a golden opportunity slip away on a night it could have notched a signature win. The Hoosiers may come to regret it soon.

Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman. 

No. 12 Illinois 75, Indiana 71, OT 

ILLINOIS (12-5): Cockburn 7-15 2-2 16, Dosunmu 2-11 6-6 10, Frazier 5-11 5-7 19, Miller 1-6 1-2 4, Grandison 2-3 0-0 5, Williams 0-0 4-6 4, Curbelo 3-6 6-9 12, Bezhanishvili 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 22-57 24-32 75.

INDIANA (9-8): Jackson-Davis 6-18 7-10 19, Thompson 6-9 6-12 18, Durham 2-6 7-8 13, Franklin 4-9 3-4 11, Phinisee 0-2 0-0 0, Galloway 1-3 0-0 2, Lander 2-5 0-0 6, Geronimo 1-1 0-0 2, Leal 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-54 23-34 71.

Halftime—Indiana 41-34. 3-Point Goals_Illinois 7-19 (Frazier 4-9, Bezhanishvili 1-1, Grandison 1-2, Miller 1-6, Dosunmu 0-1), Indiana 4-8 (Durham 2-2, Lander 2-4, Franklin 0-1, Leal 0-1). Fouled Out_Dosunmu, Bezhanishvili, Franklin, Phinisee, Lander. Rebounds_Illinois 35 (Cockburn 10), Indiana 34 (Jackson-Davis 14). Assists_Illinois 10 (Curbelo 4), Indiana 12 (Galloway 3). Total Fouls_Illinois 26, Indiana 28.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IU misses golden opportunity at NCAA resume-builder, flounders in OT vs. Illinois

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