Hoosiers Fall to Panthers at IBN Las Vegas Classic, 67-61
Dec. 22, 2010
LAS VEGAS- Indiana rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit, only to see Northern Iowa's Johnny Morn make a go-ahead layup with 2:07 to go, as the Panthers captured a 67-61 victory in the semifinals of the IBN Las Vegas Classic on Wednesday night at the Orleans Arena. Indiana (9-3) will now play Colorado (7-4) in the third place game Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will air on the CBS College Sports Network (DirecTV 613).
"We just didn't play well enough defensively in the first half," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "We got away from our mindset. We got away from what works for us, which is having a defensive disposition all the way across the court when it comes to pressuring shots, when it comes to pressuring the ball."
In the first half, sophomore Derek Elston scored 15 of his 19 points and helped Indiana build a 17-12 lead with 14:05 to go in the half. However, the Panthers got hot from long distance making eight of 16 three-pointers and led at one point, 42-29 with 1:23 left in the half, before IU scored the final four points and trailed 42-33 at halftime.
"We knew their stuff inside-out, we knew it cold, we prepared well, but then you just gotta turn around and go," said Crean. "And then we started thinking we were going to get it back with offense and it just doesn't work that way."
Northern Iowa would bend, but never broke in the second half. The Hoosiers cut the Panther lead to 44-40, but UNI would get back to double digits, 51-41 with 14:41 left.
Sophomore Christian Watford would scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, including a basket with 2:35 remaining that tied the game at 59-59.
But the Panthers, who went to the Sweet Sixteen last season, closed the game on an 8-2 run.
Watford finished with his sixth career double-double with 10 rebounds.
Kwadzo Ahelegbe scored 24 points to lead UNI to their fourth straight win.
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