BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- John Shulman instructed the Mocs to hold for the last shot of the first half.
Ricky Taylor heard the order.
He ignored it by launching a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing that missed the rim and backboard.
It's just one of many mistakes the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga made in a 78-53 loss at Indiana on Sunday night.
"The last play of the half typifies the whole deal," Shulman said. "We have a chance to clock it and Ricky jacks one. That's a senior. You don't do that. Whether it goes in or not, it's a bad shot.
"We did not hold our composure very good."
The loss of composure came quickly. UTC led 21-18 with 7:42 to go in the half. Then the Mocs had seven turnovers in the final seven minutes and trailed 36-24 at the break after IU closed on an 18-3 run.
"We started calm and composed then we kind of lost it and reverted back to old habits," said point guard Keegan Bell, who had seven assists and five turnovers. "We reverted back to old habits and we can't do that. We're better than that.
"This might be a good wake-up call."
Omar Wattad led UTC with 24 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the 3-point line. But nobody else scored more than seven as UTC shot a woeful 27 percent from the floor with an unacceptable 25 turnovers. And those turnovers led directly to 30 points for the Hoosiers.
Early in the second half, IU sophomore Victor Oladipo flushed an alley-oop and then dunked again two trips later to give the Hoosiers a 21-point lead with more than 16 minutes to play.
He electrified the 16,149 inside Assembly Hall with all but a few boosters, athletics director Rick Hart and four UTC students with their chests painted blue and gold pulling for the Hoosiers.
"It can be demoralizing," Wattad said. "There were times when everybody wasn't on the same page. There wasn't enough fluidity."
Oladipo led IU with 21 points. Junior guard Jordan Hulls became the beneficiary of UTC's "Fire" defense on center Cody Zeller by scoring 18 points all from the 3-point line. Verdell Jones added 16 for the Hoosiers.
The Mocs (0-1) were trailing 58-33 when Wattad forced a 3-pointer. Then Chris Early followed with another ill-advised shot. Ronrico White grabbed the rebound, Shulman called timeout and told the two seniors, "I don't want that."
"In my mind, I'm thinking, 'I want to win, I want to win,' so I try to get a shot up," Wattad said. "That one was a bad shot."
Even most of the good ones UTC attempted failed to go through the rim. The Mocs were out-scored 60-32 after its early three-point lead and shot just 7-of-37 in the second half.
Shulman took a moment during almost every substitution in the second half to talk with the out-going player, even when Drazen Zlovaric fouled out with 3:16 to go.
"People in our league are not going to block seven shots against us," Shulman said. "Chris Early, in our league, shouldn't go 0-for-6. We didn't play very good, and we still had chances."
The Mocs get another chance to play Tuesday when it faces Butler -- runner-up in the last two NCAA national championship games -- in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
"As we leave Bloomington, as Tom Crean told me, 'I wouldn't want to play you in three weeks,' I wouldn't want to play us in three weeks either," Shulman said. "We have a chance to be a good basketball team, a team that we want to be."
But it's a team that made too many mistakes to pull off an upset at IU.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...