Gordon's 30 leads IU in another blowout

Indiana stumbled out of the gate Tuesday night against visiting UNC-Wilmington, but proved once again that they have more than enough talent to overcome such mistakes. After falling behind 18-8 early in the game, IU triggered a 24-4 scoring run and built a cozy 20-point halftime lead that was more than enough to secure them a 95-71 victory against the Seahawks.

Indiana stumbled out of the gate Tuesday night against visiting UNC-Wilmington, but proved once again that they have more than enough talent to overcome such mistakes. After falling behind 18-8 early in the game, IU triggered a 24-4 scoring run and built a cozy 20-point halftime lead that was more than enough to secure them a 95-71 victory against the Seahawks.

"I thought there was a 25 minute stretch there, you take away their start and then you look at the next 15 minutes and the first five to eight minutes of the second half and I thought that was the best we played all year," said Sampson.

IU's leading scorer Eric Gordon (28.0 ppg) once again led the charge with a game-high 30 points, despite going scoreless through the game's first nine minutes. The 6-foot-4 freshman may have taken awhile to get going, but once he turned it on there was no stopping him. He scored 16 of his 30 in the final ten minutes of the opening half to give the Hoosiers control of the game. Whether he was pulling up for an arcing three-pointer or simply bulling his way to the basket, Gordon once again clearly outclassed the competition.

"He's better than what I saw on tape," said Seahawk Head Coach Benny Moss on Gordon, "and he's as good as I've ever seen on tape. I don't know of any weaknesses. He can guard on the ball. He can anticipate off the ball. He can really shoot it. He can really attack the rim in transition and finish. He's a very good free throw shooter too as evidenced by 12-13 from the line tonight.

"He's as good as I've played against."

The Hoosiers shot 60 percent from the field and forced a season-high 26 turnovers en route to victory. They also took advantage of the charity stripe knocking down 24-28 from the line, an 86 percent clip. It was that aggressiveness on both ends of the floor that pleased Sampson afterwards.

"We caused 26 turnovers, which is a season-high," said Sampson. "It's good to see the ball pressure and getting out on the wings.

"Getting to the free throw line 28 times is another sign we are attacking. We are getting so much offense off our defense right now and that's something we were not doing earlier in the year. It was another game where I thought we made good progress."

Sampson came into the game concerned with how his team would handle the tallest, most physical team his Hoosiers have faced yet. But it was his own big men that controlled the paint throughout. Senior D.J. White and junior DeAndre Thomas combined to score 23 points on 10-15 shooting. More important to Sampson, they defended well in the post.

"I thought DeAndre did a great job in the post not giving (Todd Hendley) an angle," said Sampson. "We originally prepared to double him, but you know double-teams work a lot better when you catch the ball in the post or a little off the block."

The muscle of White and Thomas kept him out of the paint for the most of the night as most of Hendley and fellow big man Vladimir Kuljanin's combined 34 points came with the game already well in hand. Gordon and Armon Bassett's scoring outburst in the first half, 32 combined points, made sure of that. The duo seemed to feed off each other during a stretch in the first half that saw IU turn a ten point deficit into a 20-point lead.

"Once we decided to start playing we turned the game around," said Bassett.

It was another impressive all-around performance for the Hoosiers who moved their record to 3-0. Currently ranked 8th in the country, the Hoosiers have done nothing but increased their stock. Even Sampson had to smile when asked if he caught himself admiring his team at times tonight.

"Probably," Sampson said with a grin when asked if he smiled at times tonight. "We can be good."

After winning three games by an average of 32.3 points while putting up 98 points per game themselves, Hoosier fans are anxious to see just how much of an understatement that really is.


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