Sampson, Hoosiers Win Debut

Bloomington, Ind. – They won't all be this easy for Coach Kelvin Sampson. Rod Wilmont scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and was one of six Hoosiers in double figures, leading Indiana to a 95-50 win over North Dakota in the Hoosiers' exhibition opener and Sampson's first as Indiana's head coach.

Bloomington, Ind. – They won't all be this easy for Coach Kelvin Sampson.

Rod Wilmont scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and was one of six Hoosiers in double figures, leading Indiana to a 95-50 win over North Dakota in the Hoosiers' exhibition opener and Sampson's first as Indiana's head coach.

Defensively Indiana forced North Dakota into 22 turnovers as the Hoosiers took control of the contest early and cruised to the 45-point win.

"They do such a great job defensively, they took us out of what we like to do," said North Dakota Coach Brian Jones. "We turned it over at such a high clip it was hard for us to stay in the ball game."

While the Hoosier defense forced 22 turnovers and limited the Fighting Sioux to 36.5 percent shooting, Indiana had its way on the offensive end as well. Sampson's team shot 52.2 percent (35-of-67) from the floor, including 11-of-22 from behind the 3-point arc.

Seven of those 3-pointers came from a pair of Hoosier newcomers – freshman Armon Bassett and junior Lance Stemler. Bassett was 4-of-5 from deep and contributed 16 points and a team-high six assists, while Stemler also came off the bench to contribute 12 points and six rebounds and 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range.

"Armon has a very good pace to his game," said Sampson. "He's always in control. Our thing with Armon…I liked his defense in the second half. Earl (Calloway) does a good job of setting the tone for him. Armon isn't a natural tough nosed, hard working kid. He's not natural at that, but I like how he's improving in that."

It was also the first outing for the junior college transfer Stemler, who also had five of IU's 20 offensive rebounds in the win. Indiana ownded a 20-12 edge in offensive rebounds and a 43-28 edge in rebounding overall.

"Lance is a good basketball player," Sampson said. "He might be the last guy picked in a pickup game. A lot confuse basketball with rat ball games. I refuse to watch rat ball games. Lance knows how to play. He's active and shoots with confidence and has a very high IQ. He's not a great athlete, but he's really good between his ears. He's a good piece to what we do."

While the contributions from Stemler and Bassett were big for Sampson's squad, the team figures to be led by the play of Wilmont, D.J. White and Earl Calloway. White contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Calloway had eight points and four assists, but was limited to 19 minutes due to foul trouble.

Despite Calloway's limited playing time, he set the tone on the defensive end, coming up with three steals and constantly harassing whichever North Dakota player tried to bring the ball up the floor.

"I thought Earl at the point of attack was very good defensively," Sampson said.

Sunday's game also marked the return of White, who played just six games last season due to two different broken bones in his foot. While his effort was "rusty" according to Sampson, that's to be expected after the long lay-off.

"I thought D.J. was tentative in the first half, and played harder in the second half," Sampson said. "But I also know it's the first time in two years he's played."

While White wasn't necessarily pleased with his 3-of-8 shooting effort, he was glad to just be back on the floor after the lay-off.

"I'm happy and relieved," White said. "It was kind of awkward at first, because I haven't been out there in a while. It feels good. I have a lot to work on, but I feel good."

Despite the 45-point win, Sampson says there's also plenty that his team needs to work on as well before Friday's second exhibition against Indianapolis and the start of the Preseason NIT Nov. 13.

"We're doing some good things, but we can be a lot better in so many areas," Sampson said.

INDIANA 95
D.J. White 3-8 4-6 10, Allen 1-3 2-2 4, Wilmont 7-13 2-4 18, Ratliff 4-12 3-3 12, Calloway 3-4 2-2 8, Bassett 6-8 0-1 16, Suhr 0-2 0-0 0, Stemler 4-6 1-2 12, M. White 2-3 0-0 4, Shaw 5-8 11, Keeling 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-67 14-20 95.

NORTH DAKOTA 50
Kruse 3-9 1-2 7, Gutter 3-7 4-6 10, Youmans 2-6 0-2 4, Porter 1-1 0-0 2, Hoy 1-6 1-3 4, Koenig 0-2 0-2 0, Doyle 1-4 0-0 2, Bledsoe 0-4 0-0 0, Little 7-11 5-6 19, Dryburgh 1-2 0-0 2, Lenhertz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-52 11-21 50.

3-Pointers: Indiana 11-22 (Bassett 4-5, Stemler 3-4, Wilmont 2-4, Ratliff 1-5, Shaw 1-3, Suhr 0-1), North Dakota 1-9 (Hoy 1-1, Kruse 0-3, Doyle 0-2, Bledsoe 0-1, Little 0-1, Youmans 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 43 (D. White 7), North Dakota 28 (Little 7). Assists: Indiana 20 (Bassett 6), North Dakota 7 (Little 4). Turnovers: Indiana 15 (Calloway 3), North Dakota 22 (Bledsoe 6). Blocks: Indiana 9 (D. White 3, Allen 3), North Dakota 2 (Gutter 2). Steals: Indiana 9 (Calloway 3), North Dakota 5 (Gutter, Youmans, Hoy, Koenig, Little). Attendance: 17,179.

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