RECAP: Southern Indiana at Indiana

Zane Clodfelter

IU vs. USI

Pregame: We are 90 minutes away from tip between the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles and the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. IU players are already warming up and USI players will be out shortly to begin warming up for their first contest of the 2013-14 campaign.

With less than an hour to go before the tip, USI is on Branch McCracken Court warming up. Fans are filling in slowly, with a couple of Screaming Eagles already scattered throughout the 17,456 seat Assembly Hall. Tonight’s game is a sellout, a streak that dates back to the 2011-12 season for Indiana.

Fifteen minutes from tip, both teams are on the floor for their final warm-ups before the 2013-14 season begins. Hoosiers are wearing their traditional cream jerseys with crimson trim, crimson numbers and cream shorts. Eagles are going with red jerseys and red shorts. Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean now appears on the video screen at midcourt, addressing the fans and preaching patience. Hoosiers lost key contributors Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, and Jordan Hulls from last season’s Big Ten Championship team.

Starting lineups: USI G #12 Lawrence Thomas, G/F #20 Austin Davis, F #2 Aaron Nelson, F #13 Manny Qgunfolu, F #32 Taylor Wischmeier IU G #10 Evan Gordon, G #11 Kevin ‘Yogi’ Ferrell, F #0 Will Sheehey, F #1 Noah Vonleh, F #5 Troy Williams

Media timeout 15:15 left in the first half: Senior forward Aaron Nelson got the first basket of the Eagles season, connecting on an inside shot to give USI a 2-0 lead out of the gate. Indiana responded with an 11-2 run, but senior guard Lawrence Thomas is keeping the Eagles in the game early. Thomas is leading all scorers with five points. So far, Indiana is controlling the pace, running down the floor every opportunity that they can get.

Media timeout 11:41 left in the first half: USI is hanging tough, already a physical game with bodies flying on the floor, the Eagles find themselves down only 3 (12-15) at the under-12 media timeout. USI Head Coach Rodney Watson has utilized his bench early, with nine players already seeing the floor. Eagles leading scorer Lawrence Thomas is in a bit of foul trouble early, already picking up two personal fouls, he is currently sitting on the bench.

Media timeout 7:56 left in the first half: Both teams have gone cold over the last three minutes of game action. USI regained the lead on Indiana temporarily at 16-15, thanks to newcomer Gavin Schumann. USI has had several chances down in the paint, and they have connected on most of their opportunities. With Thomas on the bench, Aaron Nelson has taken over the scoring role for USI. The Hoosiers are quick, the main question will be if the Eagles can keep up for a full forty minutes. Indiana leads 22-20.

Media timeout 3:53 left in the first half: The Hoosiers have extended their lead t0 30-22, thanks in large part to a stingy defense that has the Eagles offense frustrated. IU is on a 8-2 run over the last three minutes. The Hoosiers inability to make free throws is keeping USI in the game, currently IU is only 5 of 10 from the charity stripe. While USI put the Hoosiers in the bonus early in this game, Indiana hasn’t been able to capitalize with the free point opportunities.

Halftime: A forced shot attempt in the lane by Schuman leads to a fast-break basket by Indiana right before the end of the first half. Indiana leads Southern Indiana 38-29 at halftime, behind 14 points from Ferrell and 7 points from Williams. The Eagles are being led in points by Wischmeier who has nine points in 12 minutes on the floor. Both teams are shooting the ball at a similar pace, with the Eagles at 33% from the field and the Hoosiers at 39%. The big factor in the game continues to be poor free throw shooting by IU, currently shooting 43% from the line. The Eagles have been able to keep up with the speed of IU so far.

Media timeout 16:33 left in the second half: The Eagles have closed their nine-point halftime deficit to two, beginning the second half by going 5-for-5 from the field. It’s been a two-man show for the Eagles so far in the half, Ogunfolu has seven second half points and A. Nelson has added four. The Eagles have forced bad Indiana passes, leading to transition points on the other end of the court.

Media timeout 15:37 left in the second half: Indiana has been unable to pull away from USI, after the Hoosiers jumped out to their first and only double-digit lead of the game at 36-26 with 1:25 left in the first half, the Eagles have outscored their opponent 16-6. Watson and his coaching staff continue to motivate their team, and the few USI fans behind the visiting bench have overshadowed the remaining 17,000 who have been quiet since halftime. Indiana 44-42.

Media timeout 11:57 left in the second half: The whistle to bring the third media timeout of the second half was a tough one for USI, as Ogunfolu picked up his fourth personal foul. He will most likely go to the bench after the timeout, meanwhile the Eagles have already picked up five personal fouls, two away from IU being in the bonus for the remainder of the game. That might be good news for the Eagles, with IU still shooting way under 50% from the free throw line. Aaron Nelson and Wischmeier continue to pace the Eagles offense with 10 and nine points respectively. Indiana 54-44.

Media timeout 7:46 left in the second half: Just when you thought Indiana would pull away after making it a 13-point margin, the Eagles have stormed back to pull to within seven with under eight minutes left in the game. Wischmeier is working on both ends, accumulating a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) with 7:46 left to play. Davis has also provided a spark from the three-point line, going 3-for-5 from long range. If the Eagles can keep the Hoosiers out of the paint, and continue to convert the inside opportunities given to them, they can make it a game late.

Media timeout 2:39 left in the second half: Things are falling apart quickly for the Eagles, as the Hoosiers have their largest lead of the game with the score sitting at 80-63 in favor of Indiana. The Eagles have been sloppy with the ball over the last minutes of game time and the Hoosiers quickness is leading to fast break points off of those turnovers. This game over except for the final score, USI held tough for a majority of the game, but the Hoosiers Big Ten size and physicality has been the difference down the stretch.

Final: Indiana defeats Southern Indiana 83-68 behind 20 points from Ferrell and 10 points apiece from Williams and Sheehey. Aaron Nelson led the Eagles with 14 points, while Wischmeier finished his double-double night with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

This is a developing story, refresh the page for updates throughout the evening.