Hoosiers Fall To Buckeyes
Jan. 31, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--Indiana freshman Matt Roth set a Big Ten freshman record and tied a Big Ten game and school record with nine three-point field goals, but it wasn't enough as Indiana fell to Ohio State, 93-81, in front of its largest home crowd of the season at 17,202.
"We knew it was a matter of time with him (Roth)," said Crean. "He has been spending so much more time in the gym on his own. He is an excellent shooter and sometimes when you're really good at something you can take it for granted once in awhile. He hasn't done that. Since the Lipscomb game he has really been one of our bigger gym rats in the sense of doing more things after practice or coming back at night."
The Washington, Illinois native, who set an Illinois record for three-point field goals made as a prep, entered the game averaging just over six points and matched his career-high on Wednesday with 12 points at Northwestern. He hit four of five triples in the first half and five of six in the second half. He tied the Big Ten game record established by Shawn Respert of Michigan State in 1995 against IU in Assembly Hall and was matched by Indiana's Roderick Wilmont in 2007 at Northwestern. The all-time record by a league player was 10 set by Chris Hill of Michigan State in 2003 against Syracuse.
"My teammates did a great job of finding me and I just got in a rhythm," said Roth. "We have played against a lot of zone the last two games and the extra work in the gym is paying off."
The Hoosiers started a 13-0 run in the first half after freshman Nick Williams, subbing for freshman Tom Pritchard who was bleeding, knocked in two free throws. Junior Devan Dumes hit a jumper and then Roth hit his first triple off the bench to make it 18-12 with 10:48 to go. Freshman Malik Story nailed a long distance shot and Roth would add another bomb for the corner to boost the IU lead to 24-12 with 9:23 left.
Ohio State would cut the lead to single digits but a conventional three-point play by freshman Verdell Jones III would give IU a 27-17 edge with 6:32 left. The Buckeyes countered with a 13-1 run of their own to lead 30-28, but two free throws by Pritchard, a layup by Taber, a Moore free throw, and two triples by Roth gave IU a 39-32 lead. The home team would enter the locker room with a 39-37 advantage.
"Today I did not feel good about where we stood this morning but these guys surprised me with their level of intensity," added Crean. "They really came out and played hard."
The Hoosiers would lead by five twice in the second half, once on a three-pointer by Dumes to start the half and again when Pritchard made a pair of free throws to make it 47-42 with 18:09 to go.
Ohio State's Evan Turner, who finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds, William Buford, who had 24 and Jon Diebler, who scored 18 of his 21 points led a Buckeye attack which shot 76.2% to help OSU pull away.
Indiana would get within 61-60 with 11:27 to go, but back to back baskets by Buford widened the margin for Ohio State.
Besides Roth's 29 points, Dumes would add 13 points and Williams had 11.
"We've got to continue to understand that safety of that basketball is paramount in the half court," said Crean. "We have to show our confidence in games with our ability to talk to one another and talk out situations in a game, call out screens better and things like that. But when it comes to playing hard and competing we are doing that well enough to win. We've just got to take care of some of the other things that really affect winning and losing."
The Hoosiers did make a season-high 15 three-pointers and have made 35 of 66 from long distance in the last three games. In addition, IU had a season-high 20 assists and has had 39 the last two games.
"We went toe-for-toe there for a while and they played really well and they are very capable of that," said Crean. We are showing improvement in other areas, we just have to understand what makes us successful.
In the last three home games, Assembly Hall has averaged 16,455 fans.
"It never ceases to amaze me what kind of support we get at Indiana," said Crean. "It was the largest crowd of the year... and I will never ever take that for granted. There can't be fan support that would be duplicated like this in a situation like ours. I can't imagine that anywhere in America. I hope that all of our fans understand when we lose and we don't get it done we are as disappointed for them as we are for us."
Indiana will return home to face Iowa at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 4 on the Big Ten Network.
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