Gordon, Defense Carry Hoosiers To Road Win

The 15th-ranked Hoosiers passed their one and only true road test of the non-conference season. Eric Gordon (pictured) scored 22 points and both D.J. White and Jamarcus Ellis recorded double-doubles as the Hoosiers upended No. 22 Southern Illinois, 64-51.

The 15th-ranked Hoosiers passed their one and only true road test of the non-conference season.

Eric Gordon scored 22 points and both D.J. White and Jamarcus Ellis recorded double-doubles as the Hoosiers upended No. 22 Southern Illinois, 64-51.

Indiana improved to 6-1 with the win, while Southern Illinois dropped its second straight and fell to 3-2.

With the win Indiana not only ended SIU's 15-game homecourt winning streak, but became just the fourth visitor since the start of the 2001-02 season to beat the Salukis in Carbondale. SIU entered the game sporting an NCAA-best 80-3 homecourt record in the last five-plus seasons.

But Indiana did what others have been unable to do thanks to a tenacious IU zone defense that limited Southern Illinois to 37.5 percent shooting. On the glass, D.J. White had his fourth-straight double-digit rebounding effort with 12 while Ellis added 10 more to give IU a decisive 38-29 edge.

"Any time you go on the road and hold a team to 37 percent shooting and out-rebound them by nine, that shows your kids are starting to get it," IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said.

It was once again the Hoosiers' freshman, Gordon who led the way. Gordon hit 4-of-7 3s – including a couple from 25-plus feet out – to go along with four rebounds and two steals. He also played all 40 minutes for the second straight game, as Indiana continues to play short-handed due to the suspension of Jordan Crawford and the illness of Brandon McGee.

While Gordon did finish more than five points below his season average of 27.3, Sampson was impressed with the newcomer's efficiency (he attempted only 14 shots, making seven) and his ability to hit a series of big shots that kept SIU at bay the entire second half.

"I thought that was the best game (Gordon's) played," Sampson said.

The Hoosiers also got 10 points and 11 rebounds from White, while Ellis added 11 points and 10 rebounds despite picking up three first-half fouls. Armon Bassett chipped in 12 points and a team-high four assists.

While Gordon hit four of IU's eight 3-pointers, Southern Illinois missed its first 13 attempts from 3-point range. Matt Shaw finally ended the drought with a 3 with 1:02 left in the game to cut the IU lead to 58-49, but it was too little and too late for SIU.

Shaw finished just 1-of-5 from 3-point range while reserve Josh Bone was 0-of-6 and Southern Illinois was never able to force Indiana out of its zone.

"We've been working on (the zone) every day for about 15 minutes," Sampson said. "With no depth, only three guards, we knew it would be important."

After falling behind in the game's opening minutes, Indiana took command of the game with a 12-3 run late in the first-half that turned a 22-22 tie into a 34-25 lead. Saluki point guard Bryan Mullins converted a conventional 3-point play in the half's final seconds to send IU into the locker room leading by six, 34-28.

Indiana's lead would remain in single digits until Gordon and Bassett hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the half to give IU a 46-34 cushion. SIU, meanwhile, missed 13 of its first 16 shots of the second half and never again threatened to wrestle control of the game away from the Hoosiers.

The game stood in stark contrast to Indiana's most recent game against another veteran-laden mid-major program, Xavier. A week ago, Indiana floundered against the Musketeers in Hoffman Estates, Ill., dropping a 15-point decision that dropped the Hoosiers out of the nation's top 10.

But Sampson believes that setback paid dividends this time around against the Salukis.

"We really worked hard since the Xavier game to learn how to play with each other," Sampson said. "I don'think we win this game without the loss to Xaiver and how we lost and how we played."

INDIANA 64
D. White 5-10 0-0 10, Stemler 1-4 0-0 3, Bassett 3-7 4-4 12, Ellis 3-8 4-4 11, Gordon 7-14 4-6 22, M. White 2-2 0-0 4, Thomas 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-46 2-14 64.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 51
Shaw 3-7 2-2 9, Boyle 3-6 1-3 7, Falker 5-11 2-7 12, Mullins 4-9 1-1 9, Green 0-2 0-0 0, Bone 1-9 2-2 4, Clemmons 4-9 0-0 8, Fay 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 21-56 8-15 51.

3-Pointers: Indiana 8-21 (Gordon 4-7, Bassett 2-5, Stemler 1-4, Ellis 1-5), Southern Illinois . Rebounds: Indiana 38 (D. White 12), Southern Illinois 29 (Falker 7). Assists: Indiana 9 (Bassett 4), Southern Illinois 9 (Mullins 3). Blocks: Indiana 9 (D. White 3, Ellis 3, Gordon 3), Southern Illinois 1 (Falker). Turnovers: Indiana 16, Southern Illinois 11. Steals: Indiana 4, Southern Illinois 7.

Peegs.com Top Stories