BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Savannah State Tigers came to Assembly Hall, many fouls were called, the student section was half-empty and the homestanding Indiana Hoosiers picked up an easy win, 94-65.
Wait, these things have to be 400 words, right? Damn.
In all seriousness, what I watched from the nosebleed seats last night was probably the least interesting basketball game I've ever seen. Not only were the visiting Tigers (newly admitted members of the MEAC) thoroughly outmatched on the floor virtually from the opening tip, but the referees seemed bound and determined to get just as much TV time on the Big Ten Network as the players did - and that made for a spectacularly ugly game without the slightest bit of flow to be found.
How ugly? How about this U'useless Stat of the Day: There were more fouls called than field goals made, by a 53-50 margin.
Yeah, that ugly.
Unlike the Chattanooga game, from the start there was the sense that Savannah State had no chance. The door was never even opened for a Red Line Upset, as Indiana jumped out to an early lead and was only briefly threatened with so much as a tie. When junior guard Deric Rudolph drilled a #superhoop to knot the game at 14 midway through the opening half, the Tigers' bench went crazy.
That would be the high point of the match for Savannah State. On the next possession, IU forward Christian Watford responded from deep, sparking a 13-0 Indiana run over the next two minutes that "featured" back-to-back-to-back Tigers turnovers and a technical foul. From that point forward, Savannah State was simply playing out the string, waiting to get on the bus to Indianapolis, where they'll face Butler in the next stop on their season-opening guarantee-game tour. The checks they'll cash this month will fuel their program through their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference season.
The first half "featured" 21 whistles, already a pretty substantial tally. But it was the second half that was so disrupted by fouls that even calls in favor of the home team - ordinarily cause for celebration - were followed by hoots and jeers from the crowd. Thirteen fouls were called in just the first six minutes of the closing stanza - I counted.
With Thanksgiving break just a few days away, many students had already packed and left town - so the lower bowl student section looked decidedly thin. In their infinite wisdom, IU's marketing department had declared this to be Superhero Day - but with the holiday, not many took advantage of the opportunity to show up to a college basketball game dressed as Captain America, Spiderman or "The Crean Lantern."
That said, there was one student who totally deserves a shoutout here, because he came in a Quailman costume. Doug forever.
at INDIANA 94, SAVANNAH STATE 65 11/19/2011
SAVANNAH STATE 1-3 (0-0) -- D. Rudolph 1-6 0-0 3; P. Blackmon 5-9 1-1 11; J. Montgomery 4-10 2-3 12; C. Smith 4-6 1-4 9; R. Hassan 3-6 4-5 10; C. Spears 0-1 0-0 0; A. Louis 2-5 3-4 7; K. Richards 0-1 6-7 6; J. Smith 0-1 0-0 0; P. Hendley 2-4 0-0 5; R. Conner 0-0 0-0 0; S. Wilson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-50 17-24 65. INDIANA 4-0 (0-0) -- J. Hulls 2-3 2-2 6; V. Jones III 2-7 7-10 11; C. Zeller 6-7 11-13 23; C. Watford 6-7 5-5 19; W. Sheehey 3-7 9-12 15; V. Oladipo 3-5 0-1 6; T. Pritchard 1-2 1-2 3; D. Elston 4-6 0-2 9; D. Moore 0-0 0-0 0; R. Abell 1-2 0-0 2; A. Etherington 0-1 0-0 0; M. Roth 0-1 0-0 0; K. Barnett 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-49 35-47 94.
Three-point goals: SVST 4-12 (J. Montgomery 2-5; D. Rudolph 1-6; P. Hendley 1-1), IND 3-6 (K. Barnett 0-1; M. Roth 0-1; D. Elston 1-1; C. Watford 2-2; A. Etherington 0-1); Rebounds: SVST 25 (R. Hassan 5), IND 27 (V. Oladipo 6); Assists: SVST 5 (P. Blackmon 2), IND 16 (V. Jones III 3); Total Fouls -- SVST 28, IND 25; Fouled Out: SVST-R. Hassan; IND-None.