TERRE HAUTE, Ind.— Junior guard Jake Odum hit two of three free throws with just three tenths of a second remaining in regulation to lift the Sycamores to a 59-58 win over Northern Iowa Saturday in front of 6,554 fans, the largest crowd at Hulman Center this season.
With the win, the Sycamores improve to 13-7 on the season and 6-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play while the Panthers fall to 11-10 overall and 4-5 in MVC play.
Odum was fouled with three tenths of a second remaining in regulation while shooting a three-pointer to set up the final free throws. Odum led the team with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Due to the circumstances surrounded the end of the game, a pool reporter was sent into the officials locker room for comment. The following is the statement from lead official Daniel Chrisman:
"There was a foul called in the act of shooting. We were going to the monitor to check two things. First of all, whether it was a three. And whether time had expired or what the time was left. We determined that it was a three and there was :00.3 left on the clock which is how it ended."
It was a slow start offensively for the Sycamores, going nearly four minutes before a RJ Mahurin jumper got the Sycamores on the scoreboard.
Junior Dawon Cummings gave Indiana State its first lead of the game at 9-7 when he rattled home a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 9-7 Sycamores. The Panthers answered with a trey on the other end before sophomore Justin Gant helped ISU take the lead right back with dunk.
Throughout the middle part of the first half, both teams traded baskets with neither team able to gain an advantage. However, late in the half the Panthers began to find their rhythm, going on a 7-0 run to take a 22-16 lead before junior Jake Odum converted a three-point play.
Odum then began to get comfortable offensively for the Sycamores, scoring the last seven points of the half for Indiana State. At halftime, the Sycamores trailed the Panthers 27-23.
The Sycamores wasted no time in erasing the halftime deficit as Gant hit a bucket and junior Manny Arop hit a three to tie the game at 28.
Following a 6-0 Northern Iowa run, the Sycamores forced a tie-up on defense before Odum found sophomore Jake Kitchell in the paint for a reverse layup to end the Panther run.
With just over 10 minutes left to play the Panthers jumped out to their largest lead of the game at 39-32 before Odum coverted his second old fashioned three-point play of the game to cut the UNI lead to 39-35. An RJ Mahurin layup off an Odum assist then brought the Sycamores to within two at 39-37 and forced a Panthers timeout.
An alley-oop dunk from Odum to Gant tied the game up at 44-44 with just over seven minutes remaining but the Panthers had an answer with a quick trey on the other end.
The Panthers used two pairs of free throws to make it a two possession game at 51-46 but Arop hit a three and immediate steal leading to an Odum fast break layup, tying the game at 51-51 with five minute to play and forced Panthers timeout.
Arop then gave the Sycamores their first lead since the 12 minute mark of the first half, at 53-51, off a jumper from the free throw line.
After leading the last four minutes of the game the Panthers recorded a short jumper with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation to take a 58-57 lead over the Sycamores. Following a Sycamore timeout, Odum launched a three-pointer at the buzzer and missed the shot long but was fouled and went to the line for three free throws with 0.3 left on the clock.
Odum missed the first free throw but hit the last two, to give the Sycamores a 59-58 lead with 0.3 seconds remaining in regulation. The Panthers launched a shot up at the buzzer but it was no good and the Sycamores won by a final score of 59-58.
Mahurin and Arop also reached double figures for the Sycamores with Mahurin adding 14 points and four rebound and Arop recorded 10 points and four rebounds.
The Sycamores will return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 29 when they travel to face the nationally ranked Shockers of Wichita State in Wichita, Kansas.