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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

A tough goodbye

2 seniors lead scoring, bid farewell to Hoosier fans in last home game of careers

Before the game was even over, the look on senior forward A.J. Moye's face summed up the entire Big Ten season of IU basketball.\nAnd even after thousands chanted Moye's infamous "A.J. Moye" cheer and a few started up a cheer for senior center George Leach, the emotions still weren't satisfying for Moye.\nSad. Disappointed. Frustrated. \nAll words Moye used to describe his feelings after IU's (13-14, 7-9) 70-52 loss to Wisconsin (21-6, 12-4) senior night. \n"It's a hard pill to swallow," Moye said. "My last game, to go out like that, that's a disgrace."\nLeach said he's got to live the rest of his life knowing he lost his senior night game. \n"Fans may not know it, but that hurt us so much to lose," Leach said, "especially me and A.J. It killed our team to lose on senior night."\nLeach and Moye were the top scorers for the Hoosiers Saturday against Wisconsin. Moye played 37 minutes and had a team-high 11 points and nine rebounds. Leach had 10 points and eight rebounds.\nThe two seniors, and senior walk-on forward Jason Stewart, gave emotional speeches after the game thanking everyone who has been a big part of their basketball careers while at IU.\nMoye's speech was the longest, as he thanked almost his entire family who came to see him play in his last game at Assembly Hall. \nMoye thanked his father, Malume Moye, and was then surprised as his father snuck up behind him and gave him a hug. The two laughed, and everyone cheered.\nAfter the speeches, when a member of the media asked Leach if he was satisfied with his overall career at IU, he didn't think twice before speaking.\n"If I were satisfied, I'd be sitting here smiling instead of frowning," Leach said. "I wish we, as a team, or myself, could have done better. I wish we had two or three Big Ten Championships instead of one."\nLeach said fans have criticized IU coach Mike Davis for IU's losing season but it wasn't Davis' fault the team didn't live up to the fans' expectations. \n"He gives us a system that y'all have seen work because it got us to the Final Four," Leach said. "It's us because we haven't carried out everything. It works. It works. We won a Big Ten Championship with it and went to the final game. It's just us. We've got to buy into what he's teaching us."\nMoye said one of the reasons the Badgers beat Indiana was because they bought into their coach's system.\nLike Leach, Moye also showed love for his coach.\n"Our coach, I think, is the best coach in the Big Ten," Moye said. "And it's on us to execute (his system)."\nDavis said he was disappointed for Leach and Moye, having to go out the way they did.\n"That's not what I want for them," Davis said. "Hopefully, they can go out on a better note."\nWhile the seniors were top scorers for the Hoosiers Saturday, it didn't make the wound feel any better. IU finished the regular Big Ten season 7-9 and lost five home games. \nLeach said he hopes future IU teams can learn from the 2003-04 season.\n"If this year doesn't teach you to come out and give your heart and soul and fight for this program," Leach said, "I don't know what will."\nDespite the disappointing season, Moye said he is still proud to have worn the Indiana uniform and represent the school. He said, win or lose, he always believes the team can win its next game.\nBut, one more loss and IU's two senior starters, Leach and Moye, are finished with their IU basketball careers forever.\nMoye isn't ready for that to happen.\n"I hate losing. I just hate it," Moye said.\nAnd in case you didn't hear him the first time, he hung his head and repeated himself.\n"I just hate it," Moye said looking at the ground. "I just hate it."\n-- Contact staff writer Natalie A. Trout at natrout@indiana.edu.

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