Hoosiers Cruise Past Longwood, 100-49

It was just another day at the gym for the Indiana Hoosiers as they easily dispatched an overwhelmed Longwood squad 100-49. Eric Gordon once again led all scorers with 21 points, but nearly everyone wearing cream and crimson contributed in the victory.

Not much news came out Indiana's 100-49 opening round win in the Chicago Invitational Challenge Sunday at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers? …they're pretty good. The Longwood Lancers? …not so much.

Indiana (2-0) gave the Lancers (2-2), who are in the first year of Division-I status in the NCAA, a rough welcome to top flight college basketball. After a slow start that saw the Hoosiers lead just 27-17 after 12 minutes of play, Indiana finally showed why they're ranked No. 8 and the Lancers are a relative unknown in college basketball circles. The Hoosiers used a 27-13 run to close out the first half and then busted the game wide open shortly after the break to cruise to a 51-point victory. The Lancers scored just 19 points in the second half and shot a mere 26% from the field for the game.

It was a game that lacked any type of drama, but that didn't seem to bother Hoosier Coach Kelvin Sampson afterwards.

"We got a lot out of this game," said Sampson. "This is an important game for this team. We have a brand new team.

"We improved our help side defense, our ball pressure defense, our rebounding. There wasn't one thing that we emphasized that we didn't get better at.

"To beat them this bad we had to play good; we had to play good at both ends."

It was just another day at the gym for Indiana as super frosh Eric Gordon was once again spectacular (21 points, 5-8 3 point field goals), D.J. White outclassed everyone in the paint (12 Points, 4-5 field goal shooting), and the role players showed what makes them so valuable. Junior college transfer JaMarcus Ellis was once again Mr. Everything for the Hoosiers as he stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Sampson was most impressed with the junior's relentless work on the glass.

"He just has a nose for the ball," said Sampson. "He's been like that his entire career. I don't know there's anything I have done that has helped him. He was like in that high school, he was like that in college. He's a team player."

The man he has been playing with since high school, DeAndre Thomas, was also impressive in his first collegiate start. Replacing senior Lance Stemler in the starting five, Thomas used his 15 minutes to score ten points, grab four rebounds, and dish three assists. He shined under the basket and displayed the second-nature chemistry he has with Ellis.

"It's been easier for me, because I know him," said Thomas. "He's a player that I have grown up with for a long time. I know how he plays and he knows how I play so it was easy."

Sampson substituted liberally throughout most of the game as all the scholarship players saw at least 14 minutes of game action. Some, of course, made more of their time than others. Gordon, who played just 26 minutes, still displayed the same killer scoring instinct even against lesser competition. His 8-14 shooting performance brought his scoring average to 27 points per game. But it was the lesser known Hoosiers who really enjoyed Sunday's contest. Freshmen Eli Holman and Brandon McGee saw their most extensive action of the young season playing 20 and 14 minutes respectively. Their performances were flawed with errors and mental mistakes, but Sampson knows that comes with being a freshman and was pleased with their progress.

"They both had their best practices this week," said Sampson. "Their intensity level from the beginning to the end was really good."

IU senior Lance Stemler is no newcomer, but he used his minutes on Sunday effectively as well. The Illinois native collected his first buckets of the season and ended with 12 points on 5-9 shooting. It might not seem like much, but for a player that has been struggling to find his stroke and his comfort zone for the last eight months it meant a lot.

"He was just relaxed and played," said Sampson. "One of things we're talking to Lance about is that at the end of the day this is a basketball game, nothing more, nothing less, just a basketball game."

The Hoosiers now move their attention to a match-up with UNC-Wilmington Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on their home court. It's a game that should provide more of a challenge, but more importantly will just provide additional experience for a new team.

"You can work on a lot of things this time of year," said Sampson. "It's good that we have these games coming up. Starting Tuesday we have three games in five days."

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