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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Hoosiers collapse in final minutes of loss

On a night that looked destined to be a celebration, the Hoosiers fell apart.

With an 11-point lead and senior forward Will Sheehey sitting just one point shy of becoming the 47th Hoosier to reach 1,000 career points, IU was three minutes and 19 seconds away from festivities that never came to be.

During those final minutes, when Penn State outscored IU 13-1 to snatch a victory, a familiar foe returned to hurt the Hoosiers — turnovers.

IU gave the ball away five times during the game’s final 199 seconds, including back-to-back inbound plays that allowed Penn State to complete its comeback.

Turnovers dogged the Hoosiers’ throughout the game. In total, IU gave the ball away 20 times and, on multiple occasions, turned it over on back-to-back possessions.

IU Coach Tom Crean said the Hoosiers’ inability to protect the ball played an important role in the loss.

“The two things that hurt us throughout the night were the turnovers, and the ridiculousness of those,” he said.

After struggling with turnovers in the early part of the season, the Hoosiers appeared to have solved the issue. IU turned the ball over an average of 16.3 times per game in its first 16 games this season, but cut that number to 13.9 per game during its last seven contests.

The 20 turnovers Wednesday night were the Hoosiers’ most since the Dec. 20-31 stretch, in which they gave the ball away 20, 20 and 23 times.

Crean said while many of IU’s turnovers are a problem, many come from its high-pace, run-the-floor offensive style.

He added he will not look to change his game plan in order to take better care of the ball.

“The turnovers, there’s no excuse,” Crean said. “I’d like to say, ‘You know what, if we did this, if we did that, what if we just aired it out, slowed it down,’ I’m not sure that’s the answer. We need easy baskets, so you have to run some.”

Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, who committed four turnovers Wednesday night, said it will be up to him and Sheehey to help the Hoosiers stem the flow.

“We’ve just got to get more intelligent,” Ferrell said. “It starts, of course, with me and Will, always does. We’re the front-runners for that. But we’ve just got to be more intelligent with the ball and how we play the game.”

He said he will look for players to step up and take a leadership role to slow the turnovers and keep the team’s composure as a whole.

“You can’t just play to play at this level,” he said. “We’ve all got to do better ... Our leadership could’ve been better.”

Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293

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