Eastern Washington Stuns IndianaBy Jackie Stare
The historic venue of the Indiana Hoosiers, a program that has known much success through their history, can be an intimidating place. Indiana had won 43 games straight against non-conference opponents at home.
That was until Eastern Washington came to Bloomington, Indiana to play the Hoosiers. Eastern Washington is a Big Sky Conference team that was predicted to finish third in their conference, until they beat Indiana.
Eastern Washington defeated Indiana 88-86 Monday night and snapped a 13-game losing streak against Big Ten opponents. Drew Brandon had a career-high 27 points during the game, helping the Eagles overcome a 12 point deficit going into the second half. After a 9-0 run, the Eagles had all the momentum that they needed to take on the Hoosiers.
Indiana was sitting just outside of the top 25 before they suffered the loss against Eastern Washington. After an off the field incident injured Devin Davis, the Hoosiers were able to move forward and defeat a ranked SMU team, a win that was definitely needed as a confidence boost.
That confidence boost was quickly deflated when the Hoosiers were unable to hold onto their three point lead with almost two minutes left in the game. Not being able to put away a team that they should’ve have definitely been able to beat, especially with the game being at home, has sent some red flags to the Hoosier faithful.
This loss could come back and haunt the Hoosiers when it comes time for March Madness and playoff selections. This loss could be the difference between making it in and watching from home. When the selection committee looks at a team that has a similar record to Indiana but more impressive wins and losses, a harder schedule or any of the other factors that get weighed into the decision, how could someone pick an Indiana team that fails to put down an easy win over a team that pulled off a big upset or two.
There is still time in the season for the Hoosiers to rebound and restore their legacy. They could show up big the rest of the season and eliminate any doubt that might occur. The Hoosiers must have a short-term memory and realize they control that destiny and bounce back quickly.