Indiana Hoosiers: Missed Layups, Unforced Turnovers Cost Team Upset Over Michigan State

By Eric Smith
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

For the first 30 minutes of tonight’s Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan State Spartans game in the Breslin Center, the Hoosiers looked like the superior team. Indiana led 46-41 with 11:51 left in the game after a Troy Williams fast-break layup.

The Hoosiers could really do no wrong despite not shooting very well by making Michigan State turn the ball over on the other end. It was a good enough combination to pull their second-straight big Tuesday upset over a third ranked team.

Unfortunately, Indiana faltered in the end and missed way too many easy layups. They also committed entirely too many unforced turnovers which proved to be the difference in the game as the Hoosiers fell 71-66 tonight in East Lansing.

Indiana missed 11, count them, 11 layups in the second half alone. How does a Division-1 college basketball team miss 11 layups?

Those 11 misses turn into 22 points left off the scoreboard in the end. Add those points to the score and Indiana wins 87-71.

This is becoming a real issue for the Hoosiers. They’re so good at getting to the rim, but don’t convert when they are there. I honestly can’t explain it. That’s not on the coaches, the other team, the refs, the crowd, their parents, the goal or the rim. It’s entirely on the individual.

They did the hard part — getting to the basket. So how can’t they convert when they’re at the goal?

That is one of the prime reasons why Indiana is likely NIT bound at the end of the season. A win tonight would have made up for the disappointing loss at home to Northwestern on Saturday. Now, the Hoosiers need to really go on a winning streak or they’re going to miss their layups in the NIT.

Another issue was unforced turnovers. Michigan State didn’t do a good job at all on the defensive end and Indiana kept bailing them out.

The Hoosiers made two unforced errors on outlet passes, then made another bad mistake late in the game when a Michigan State trailer knocked the ball out of Yogi Ferrell‘s hands right as he was starting to dribble.

Take those three and many of the 18 turnovers tonight away and Indiana wins.

That’s what makes this team so frustrating. They have the talent, but keep messing up on their own. The Hoosiers let Michigan State off the hook tonight. Yes, the better team won, as Michigan State is the better team overall. However, the Hoosiers were the better team tonight.

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