TERRE HAUTE —
It didn’t take long to take Greg Lansing’s temperature Saturday regarding Indiana State’s men’s basketball game against visiting Truman State in Hulman Center.
The Sycamore coach called his first timeout less than two minutes into the game, and by the first media timeout — at which point ISU trailed 9-5 — he had sent five substitutes into the game, replacing one position twice.
Indiana State’s eventual 70-57 victory didn’t mollify him much — or at all.
“What you saw out there was a really poor job of getting a team ready to play,” Lansing said after the game. “I’m embarrassed about how I coached and how we played. We got outcoached and outplayed.
“We were not a very mature team today … we didn’t improve one bit from the Winthrop game [Tuesday’s 66-55 victory].”
The home team took the lead for good with a 10-0 run late in the first half that made the score 27-19 and maintained that eight-point advantage for a 34-26 halftime score.
The Division II Bulldogs, who haven’t won a game yet this year — but were within five in all three previous losses — crept back within 40-36 early in the second half before a 19-7 Sycamore run resulted in the game’s biggest lead at 59-43; the visitors were still hanging around at the end.
“Indiana State is a very good team,” said coach Matt Woodley of Truman State, a former Drake player and a longtime friend of Lansing’s, “but I think we caught ‘em at a good time.”
ISU beat the Bulldogs 87-33 in an exhibition game last year, but Woodley started two freshmen and two sophomores on Saturday and noted that a five-point exhibition loss this year to Southeast Missouri State — picked second in the Ohio Valley Conference behind mid-major powerhouse Murray State — “shows what this team’s capable of.
“The [Truman State] kids were really excited to play in this game,” Woodley added. “Indiana State had their way with us when they needed to, but I’m very proud of how our kids competed.”
“They’re a tough team,” ISU point guard Jake Odum said of the Bulldogs. “They moved the ball around, they’re well coached … we came out a little sluggish, but we were able to fight through it and get the win.”
“[The Bulldogs] kept the floor spaced and made it tough on us,” R.J. Mahurin added. “Defensively it was not our best effort.”
Indiana State got its first lead thanks to an 8-0 run sparked by Manny Arop and Khristian Smith. Arop worked inside for a three-point play that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 10-8, Smith assisted on a 3-pointer by Lucas Eitel that gave ISU its first lead with 13:41 left in the half, and a defensive hustle play by Smith moments later led to a two-hand dunk by Arop at the other end.
Truman State was back on top 19-17 when Isaac Gardner — who came off the bench for 15 points and four 3-pointers — got a four-point play. But Jake Kitchell tied the score with a pair of free throws following an offensive rebound and Mahurin and Justin Gant took care of the rest of the 10-0 rally, Mahurin with a pair of 3-pointers (one on an assist from Gant) and Gant with an emphatic slam tip-in off a Mahurin miss.
“We had some good moments and bad moments, but we’ll be able to build from it,” Odum predicted. “Inexperience is part of [the team’s fits and starts], but those good spurts show we have the potential to be a really good team.”
Odum was at his efficient best offensively, leading all scorers with 17 points despite just six field goal attempts. “As a point guard, I’ve got to pick and choose my moments,” he said, “and tonight some shots fell.”
Mahurin added 12, the only other Sycamore in double figures, with Gant and Kitchell combining for 17 more points. The Sycamores had a 32-16 dominance of points in the paint and also had the rebound edge, even though sometimes it didn’t appear that was the case.
“We’d like to get the ball inside more,” said Lansing, taking a jaundiced look at the field goal percentages of ISU’s big men, “but we have to count those shots.”
“We have to do a better job finishing … [and] we have to eliminate the other team’s offensive rebounds,” said Mahurin, who had seven caroms to share game honors with Gant and Truman State’s Seth Jackson. “We really have to buckle down and get better at it.”
Gardner was complemented by Cory Myers — one of the Bulldogs’ starting freshman twins at guard — and Mike Carlson with 10 points each. Carlson came into the game with a 23.5-point average.
TRUMAN STATE (57) — Carlson 4-6 1-2 10, Jackson 3-11 1-2 7, Anderson 2-2 2-2 6, Cole Myers 1-5 0-0 3, Cory Myers 1-3 8-10 10, Bush 2-5 0-0 4, Hicks 0-2 0-0 0, Gardner 5-8 1-1 15, Burmester 1-1 0-0 2, Patterson 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 19-46 FG, 13-19 FT, 57 TP.
INDIANA STATE (70) — Arop 3-8 1-1 7, Kitchell 3-7 2-4 8, Gant 3-8 3-4 9, Odum 5-6 6-6 17, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, K.Smith 2-5 1-2 6, Mahurin 4-9 2-3 12, Eitel 2-4 0-0 6, Cummings 2-5 0-0 5, R.Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-53 FG, 15-20 FT, 70 TP.
Halftme score — ISU 34-26. FG Pct. — TSU .413, ISU .453. 3-pt FG Pct. — TSU .429, ISU .368. FT Pct. — TSU .684, ISU .750. Total fouls — TSU 20, ISU 15. Fouled out — Hicks. Turnovers — TSU 14 (Carlson 4, Hicks 4, Jackson 2, Cory Myers 2, Anderson, Bush), ISU 11 (K.Smith 5, Gant, Odum, Brown, Mahurin, Eitel, Cummings). Rebounds — TSU 26 (Jackson 7, Cory Myers 6, Gardner 3, Carlson 2, Cole Myers 2, Team 2, Anderson, Bush, Hicks, Patterson), ISU 35 (Gant 7, Mahurin 7, Kitchell 4, Odum 4, K.Smith 4, Arop 3, Eitel 3, Team 2, Cummings). Assists — TSU 6 (Cory Myers 3, Carlson 2, Cole Myers), ISU 11 (Odum 3, Arop 2, Kitchell 2, Gant 2, K.Smith, Mahurin). Steals — TSU 8 (Jackson 3, Carlson, Cole Myers, Cory Myers, Hicks, Gardner), ISU 9 (Gant 2, Odum 2, Mahurin 2, Arop, Brown, Eitel). Blocks — TSU 0, ISU 1 (Kitchell).
Next — Indiana State (2-1) plays Tuesday at Ball State. Truman State (0-2; Saturday’s game counted as an exhibition for TSU) hosts Central Christian on Monday.