Indiana Daily Student

Doyle falls just short

EVANSTON, Ill. – D.J White had all but sealed the deal.\nWith 2:42 to go, White nailed a layup, getting fouled in the process. He hit his free throw. IU grabbed an 11-point lead. Under three minutes remained in the game. It was over. Right?\nWell, nobody told Northwestern forward Tim Doyle that on his senior night. He’s the Wildcat player with slicked-back hair, two knee braces and a hook shot reminiscent of the ’50s – a time when basketball was more about jump shots than dunks.\nAfter White’s free throw, Doyle stormed down the court and missed a layup. He fell to the ground. But as Armon Bassett took the ball up court after an IU rebound, Doyle lurked close behind. He swooped the ball out of Bassett’s hand and fed teammate Craig Moore for an easy two. He wasn’t done there.\nAfter another Northwestern steal, he hit a layup. Then, he stole the ball, hitting another layup in the process. He fed teammate Sterling Williams a 3-pointer. Another layup followed soon after that.\nMind you, this was all within a span of two minutes.\nBut alas, for as hard as Doyle and his teammates fought to crawl back into this one, you just knew the Hoosiers would emerge victorious. They did, wining by a tally of 69-65.\nAfter the game, Kelvin Sampson described Northwestern’s play as unorthodox. Was it ever.\nWildcat coach Bill Carmody runs a slow, methodical offense he picked up from his days coaching at Princeton. It’s just real odd-looking.\nNorthwestern threw a 1-3-1 zone defense at the Hoosiers all night, with who else but Doyle playing out front. He kept IU out of the lane, trapped them in the top corners and forced the Hoosier offense to gun threes all game – a whopping 32 on the night. They made 13. Nine of those came from Rod Wilmont, and with it, setting the IU school record for threes made in a game.\nWithout Rod’s heroics, we may be talking about an IU team upended by lowly Northwestern, a squad that finished 2-13 this Big Ten season. We may be talking about IU as a bubble team with a tough shot at making the NCAA tourney.\nBut instead, we’re talking about a squad one win away from 20 – its highest win total in the regular season since 99-00, Bob Knight’s last year at the helm. We’re talking about a team that will most likely finish no worse than third in the Big Ten Conference. A team that’s finally starting to get playing time out of Earl Calloway again – no matter how poor he played Wednesday.\nAs the final buzzer sounded and the Wildcats down four points, Doyle grabbed A.J. Ratliff’s missed free throw and heaved a desperation 3-pointer into the air – a good 75 feet from Northwestern’s basket. It hit the front of the rim, and looked like it might drop in. No such luck. Game over. \nIt was just that kind of night for Doyle and the Wildcats.

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