No. 13 Hoosiers Roll Over No. 10 Spartans, 80-61
Feb. 16, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - On a night when No. 12/13 Indiana played most of the game without senior captain D.J. White, the Hoosiers used a record-setting night from Eric Gordon and strong performances off the bench from DeAndre Thomas and Jordan Crawford for an 80-61 victory over No. 9/10 Michigan State Saturday night at Assembly Hall.
Gordon led the way with 28 points, giving him 520 for the season which is a new IU freshman record. He also had five rebounds, finishing tied for the team lead with Jordan Crawford. Crawford and Jamarcus Ellis contributed 12 points, while Thomas added 10 on 5 of 9 shooting.
After a D.J. White jumper put the Hoosiers (21-4, 10-2) on the board, the Spartans (20-5, 8-4) countered with a 10-0 run to gain an eight-point lead. But a slam by White stopped the run at the 14:55 mark. After MSU stretched the lead to 15-4, the Hoosiers went on a 14-3 run to knot the game at 18-18, keyed by six points from Thomas inside and capped off with a breakaway dunk from Gordon that created an eruption from the crowd of 17,400.
The two teams traded baskets on the next two possessions, but then IU caught fire from outside, nailing 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, two by Jamarcus Ellis, to take a 29-24 lead. After a Travis Walton layup, the Hoosiers saw White go up for a layup and land awkwardly, knocking the senior co-captain out of the game.
His teammates came out strong in White's absence, as Taber came up with a crucial steal and Gordon drained a 3-ball from the right wing to stretch the home squad's lead to 32-26. A three by Crawford and a pair of Gordon free throws stretched the lead to 11, but MSU was able to trim the lead to eight at 41-33 heading into the break.
The Hoosiers scored the first four points of the second half on layups by Gordon and Thomas, but Michigan State bounced back with four points of its own to trim the lead to eight once again. Then the Hoosiers got a three-point play and a fastbreak layup from Gordon and an inside layup by Thomas to stretch the lead to 52-39 and force the Spartans to take a timeout with 16:02 to play.
The teams traded baskets for the next several possessions, with the Hoosiers stretching their lead to 60-45. On the next Hoosier possession, Crawford grabbed three offensive rebounds - more than he had in the previous eight games combined - and a wild scramble for a loose ball kept the ball in IU's hands on a brilliant play by Lance Stemler. Following a Hoosier timeout, Crawford finished off his finest possession of the season in style, as he drove to the basket and hit a reverse layup to put the crowd in a frenzy and make the lead a game-high 17 points.
Indiana maintained its lead at 69-52, but MSU came right back with a 7-2 run to trim the deficit to 71-59. With a chance to cut the lead to single digits, Bassett grabbed a key offensive rebound and fed a long pass to Ellis down the left side that the junior transfer slammed home on the fast break to re-establish a 14-point lead. Indiana's defense tightened, and Gordon scored the next three points on free throws to make the score 76-59. From there, the Hoosiers continued to clean up on the defensive glass
Indiana will finish its three-game homestand on Tuesday, when it hosts arch-rival Purdue for a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
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