Morehead, Ky. —
Indiana State swingman Khristian Smith put it best in describing the Sycamores’ 71-63 loss to Morehead State on Saturday.
“They came out and punched us in the face,” Smith said.
ISU not only took the first punch from the spirited Eagles, but did little to parry any of the blows that followed.
The Sycamores lost their mojo deep in the foggy mountains of eastern Kentucky, and despite the best efforts of the foul and turnover-prone Eagles to let them recover it, ISU never did. The resulting loss left the Sycamores maligning their toughness.
“You have to give them a ton of credit. They were the tougher team today, there’s no question. They completely asserted themselves at both ends of the floor,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
Smith led the Sycamores with 20 points, a career-high. Manny Arop added a career-high 19 and Jake Odum had 15, but little went right for ISU.
The lively Eagles forced their style of play — frantic and kinetic ball pressure — on the Sycamores and ISU could not muster the energy, nor conjure the mistake-free play, needed to handle it.
“You go on the road against a team like this that puts ball pressure on … you have to be tough. You have to attack, you have to come to the ball, you have to want the ball. You can’t just be afraid to not make a play. We just didn’t come out from the get-go,” Odum said.
The Sycamores had 17 turnovers and shot 22.7 percent from 3-point range. Morehead State shot 48.9 percent and 52.9 percent from 3-point range.
ISU’s response to strong starts to both halves was a lack of calmness that Lansing lamented.
“It’s hard to simulate that stuff in practice, we don’t play teams like this often, but you have to handle it with calmness. They want to create chaos and they did that in too many minutes and too many spurts today. We didn’t handle it well,” Lansing said.
ISU’s inability to stay cool was reflected in its shooting, particularly its 3-point shooting. ISU was 5 of 22 from 3-point range. ISU has struggled all season from long-range, but it’s struggles on Saturday has as much to do with some hurried shots as it did inaccuracy.
“We just can’t settle. We haven’t shot the ball well all year. When we swing the ball around, we have to attack more and be more aggressive. We have to attack. We have to get the ball in the paint and score,” Odum said.
Lansing thought most of ISU’s 3-point attempts were sound. He wants ISU to take open jumpers when it has them. ISU is shooting 31.7 percent from 3-point range this season.
“I thought most of them were good shots. A couple were quick. It’s something we have to keep working on,” Lansing said.
ISU (4-3) couldn’t match Morehead State’s energy on either end of the floor. The Eagles jumped to a 9-2 lead, using its pressure defense to give its half-court offense energy.
ISU never really got the hang of the tempo in the opening 20 minutes. The Eagles (5-5) forced 10 first half turnovers, seven in the first 10 minutes alone. ISU tried to mix and match combinations without success. At times, ISU tried to shoot its way out of trouble, but hurt itself in the bargain, as ISU was 1 of 7 from 3-point range in the first half.
“Their tempo dictated the whole game. We rushed a few things. We couldn’t get over the hump,” Smith said.
Morehead State had a 13-point lead with 3:03 left in the half before its frantic style of play began to work against it. Morehead State is last in the NCAA in fouls (26 per game) and that weakness began to show in the final three minutes.
ISU finished the half on a 9-2 run to cut its halftime deficit to 32-26 as all of ISU’s points were scored at the free throw line.
ISU’s deficit was cut to three just after the break, but then it went back into a funk. A 13-0 Morehead State run gave the Eagles their biggest lead at 45-29.
To that point in the half, ISU had made 1 of 6 from the field and had three turnovers. Smith — one of the few ISU bright spots — got ISU’s ship turned around. He converted a three-point play at 14:04 that sparked a 10-0 ISU run, which cut the deficit to 45-39.
ISU would close the gap to 49-46 and 52-49, but in each case, Morehead State answered with a 3-point bucket to maintain the gap.
ISU closed the gap to 59-57 with 2:56 left and had a possession to tie the game, but an Odum shot didn’t fall at 2:07. The Eagles once again got a timely 3-point bucket — this time by Angelo Warner with 1:01 left — to restore a multi-possession lead.
ISU would not get within a possession again. The Sycamores couldn’t string together successive shots to get back in it as ISU made just one of its last seven 3-point attempts.
ISU has exams this week. It returns to action next Saturday with a game at IUPUI.
“We have to be tougher. Coach Lansing said we can’t turn it on like a light switch. It always has to be turned on,” Odum said.
INDIANA STATE (63) — Kitchell 0-0 0-1 0, Arop 6-13 4-4 19, Eitel 1-3 0-0 3, Odum 3-9 9-12 15, K. Smith 6-9 8-11 20, Gant 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Cummings 1-7 3-5 6, Burnett 0-1 0-0 0, Mahurin 0-3 0-0 0. 17-46 FG, 24-33 FT, 63 TP.
MOREHEAD STATE (71) — Posthumus 1-2 3-4 5, Reed 1-2 0-0 2, Atkinson 2-4 0-1 5, Warner 4-8 5-6 15, Stickler 1-3 0-0 3, Kelly 0-1 2-2 2, Lewis-Briggs 4-7 0-0 8, Stokes 1-1 0-0 3, Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Percell 0-1 0-0 0, Chavis 4-6 5-10 15, James 1-3 2-2 5, Holmes 3-6 1-2 8. 22-45 FG, 18-27 FT, 71 TP.
3-point field goals — ISU 5-22 (Arop 3-8, Cummings 1-6, Eitel 1-3, Odum 0-2, Mahurin 0-2, Burnett 0-1), MSU 9-17 (Warner 2-4, Chavis 2-2, James 1-3, Stickler 1-2, Holmes 1-2, Atkinson 1-1, Stokes 1-1, Lewis-Briggs 0-2). Rebounds — ISU 29 (Arop 6, Kitchell 4, Team 4, Eitel 3, Gant 3, Cummings 3, Odum 2, Mahurin 2, K. Smith, Brown), MSU 32 (Holmes 8, Lewis-Briggs 6, Team 5, Reed 4, Posthumus 2, Atkinson 2, Chavis 2, Warner, Stickler, Turner). Assists — ISU 8 (Odum 2, Mahurin 2, Arop, Eitel, K. Smith, Cummings), MSU 15 (Atkinson 4, Warner 3, Chavis 2, Holmes 2, Reed, Stickler, Lewis-Briggs, James). Blocks — ISU 4 (Kitchell, Odum, Cummings, Mahurin), MSU 0. Steals: ISU 9 (Eitel 2, Odum 2, Cummings 2, Arop, K. Smith, Mahurin), MSU 10 (Chavis 3, Warner 2, Lewis-Briggs 2, Reed, Atkinson, Holmes). Turnovers — ISU 17 (Arop 5, K. Smith 3, Cummings 3, Kitchell, Odum, Gant, Brown, Mahurin), MSU 19 (Warner 4, Reed 2, Atkinson 2, Stickler 2, Lewis-Briggs 2, James 2, Holmes 2, Posthumus, Chavis, Team). Total fouls — ISU 20, MSU 31. Fouled out: none. A — 2,038.
Next — ISU (4-3) plays at IUPUI next Saturday. Morehead State (5-5) plays at South Dakota on Wednesday.
Morehead, Ky. —
Indiana State swingman Khristian Smith put it best in describing the Sycamores’ 71-63 loss to Morehead State on Saturday.
ISU's athletic treasure trove
Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
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ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
Johnson, Lyke win MVC titles for ISU
Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson and Maurice Lyke were both crowned Missouri Valley Conference champions on Saturday during the MVC Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
Metro roundup: RHIT’s Evans sets Div. III record in high jump
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ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
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ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Sycamores searching for answers after seventh loss in eight games
These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
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The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
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Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
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The Indiana State Sycamores either won or finished as the top collegian in 12 events, led by the record-breaking performance of senior Brandon Pounds at the 2013 Billy Hayes Invitational Friday at Indiana University.
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Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
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Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
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In fact, her efforts almost seem like a government secret.
Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
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ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
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The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
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Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
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Indiana State loses 2 in MVC softball
Indiana State aspired to upset Illinois State to get at least a doubleheader split in Missouri Valley Conference softball Thursday at Price Field as the Sycamores opened an eight-game season-ending homestand.
Paige Schreiner hit a two-run blast over the left-field fence in the fifth inning and junior Shelby Wilson delivered a sizzling RBI triple down the right-field line in the sixth as ISU ended the day playing well against the league’s highest-scoring offense.
The result was still a 5-3 loss to the Redbirds (26-18, 11-6 Missouri Valley Conference) as freshman Halle Humphrey gave up four runs in the first two innings. Humphrey, called upon to pitch the opener as well — she’s the only full-time pitcher remaining on the team — gave up six runs and eight hits as the Sycamores dropped a 6-1 game to start the day.
Sycamores fall: Slumping ISU drops 8-1 decision to No. 19-ranked IU
The margin in baseball between success and failure is so tight.
Indiana State learned that lesson the hard way against No. 19-ranked Indiana on Wednesday.
For most of the contest, ISU matched IU hit-for-hit, but couldn’t match the Hoosiers run-for-run as IU took maximum advantage of its baserunners to post an 8-1 victory at IU’s new Bart Kaufman Field.
IU — winners of four in a row and owners of a 19-game win streak earlier this season — proved its quality by putting the foot on the gas in the last three innings of the contest. The Hoosiers scored five of their runs in that period.
But up until that point, the game was in either team’s hands, but the Hoosiers took it with better situational hitting. IU’s first baserunners in three separate innings came around to score; two of them did so with two outs on the board.
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