Bloomington, Ind. – In its final tune-up for Big Ten play, the Hoosiers blew away their Windy City foe.
Indiana made a good case for the adoption of the mercy rule in college basketball, jumping to an 11-0 lead two minutes into its match-up against Chicago State before opening a 30-point cushion with five minutes remaining in the first half. Indiana eventually let its foot off the gas enough in the second half to turn an embarrassing score into only a humbling one while cruising to a 97-59 win at Assembly Hall.
D.J. White finished with 21 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Hoosiers who won their seventh straight and improved to 11-1. Eric Gordon, meanwhile, was just 3-of-12 from the floor but was perfect on 14 free-throw attempts and finished with a team-high 22. Jordan Crawford (15) and Armon Bassett (13) rounded out IU's double-digit scorers.
Any doubt about the game's outcome was erased early. D.J. White scored on a conventional three-point play 28 seconds in, and Eric Gordon and Armon Bassett followed to 3-pointers to push the lead to nine. Indiana knocked down six 3-pointers in the first 9:16 of the contest to open a 28-6 lead, and the rout was on.
Chicago State did its part to help the Hoosiers' cause early on, turning it over 10 times and missing 26 of its 33 free-throws while IU was opening a 48-19 halftime lead. Chicago State's leading scorer David Holton entered the contest averaging better than 23 points, but had more first-half fouls (three) than field goals (two). To make matters worse, Holton also picked up a technical foul less than four minutes in for arguing a foul call with referee Rick Hartzell to further aid the Hoosiers' cause.
Holton finished with a game-high 25 points, but all but six of those points came in the second half after the game was long since decided.
According to IU Coach Kelvin Sampson, Indiana's first-half effort was one of the team's on the year.
"It was the hardest (we've played)," said Sampson. "That's always the goal for us."
The game marked the return of Bassett from his three-game suspension for violation of unspecified team rules. Bassett started and finished with 13 points, five assists and three steals in 28 minutes while also doing a solid job in shutting down Holston in the first half.
"Armon's first game, he played 28 (minutes)," Sampson said. "I thought he was good tonight. Anytime you have five assists, one turnover and three steals, you're playing pretty good."
If the game wasn't anticlimactic enough, A.J. Ratliff's expected return to the line-up also didn't come to fruition. After saying Ratliff would be ready to go on Thursday, IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said Ratliff's ability to cut wasn't there during the pre-game shoot-around and the staff opted to hold him out once again.
"He could have played tonight," Sampson said. "He could run on it, but the main thing was the cutting. He didn't look good on it in the shoot-around…there's really no reason to risk it."
Sampson also said there's nothing to rumors about Ratliff's absence being for something other than his ankle injury.
"I was hoping he could play tonight," Sampson said. "If he can play Wednesday night, I'll play him. If he can't, I won't play him."
Indiana certainly didn't need Ratliff against Chicago State, an independent D-I team that dropped its fourth straight and slipped to 4-12. The Hoosiers dominated in every way imaginable, piling up a staggering 56-26 edge on the boards while also blocking 11 shots.
Chicago State marked the third straight sub-.500 foe Indiana has played as it prepares for the start of the Big 10 season on Wednesday in Iowa City. While the recent run of opponents hasn't included any big names, Sampson believes a non-conference schedule that has included the likes of Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois and Xavier should have the Hoosiers prepared for their quest to win a Big Ten title for the first time since 2002.
"When we set the schedule up, we looked and said we're playing Kentucky at home, Georgia Tech, at Southern Illinois, Xavier and Illinois State," Sampson said. "Maybe we should get some credit."
D. White 8-11 5-7 21, M. White 2-6 0-0 4, Bassett 5-8 0-0 13, Ellis 2-7 0-0 4, Gordon 3-12 14-14 22, Thomas 1-3 0-0 2, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Crawford 6-13 2-2 15, Stemler 3-8 0-0 7, McGee 2-2 0-0 5, Ahlfeld 0-0 0-0 0, Taber 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 34-72 21-23 97.
CHICAGO STATE 59
Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Chukwumah 3-4 0-0 6, Wilson 2-5 0-0 4, Holston 9-20 0-0 25, Cantrell 5-18 0-3 11, S. Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Renelique 2-4 0-0 5, Stankovic 0-3 0-0 0, Wall 1-2 0-0 3, Montgomery 0-1 0-2 0, Walton 0-2 0-0 0, Kielbasa 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 2-6 0-0 5. Totals 24-67 0-5 59.
3-Pointers: Indiana 8-18 (Bassett 3-5, Gordon 2-7, Crawford 1-2, Stemler 1-2, McGee 1-1, Ellis 0-1), Chicago State 11-29 (Holston 7-14, Cantrell 1-4, Renelique 1-3, Jones 1-2, Wall 1-2, Wilson 0-2, Walton 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 56 (D. White 15), Chicago State 26 (Wilson 4, Jones 4). Assists: Indiana 17 (Bassett 5), Chicago State 10 (Holston 3). Blocks: Indiana 11( D. White 4, Ellis 4), Chicago State 4 (H. Martin 2, Chukwumah 2). Steals: Indiana 11 (Crawford 5), Chicago State 7 (Wilson 2, Cantrell 2). Officials: Rick Hartzell, Kyle Ingram, Mike Conlin. Attendance: 16,016.
Final Tune-Up is No Contest
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