No. 8 Indiana Holds Off Illinois State 70-57
Nov. 23, 2007
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- Freshman star Eric Gordon scored 31 points, the third time in four games he's hit for at least 30, and No. 8 Indiana held off a second-half charge to beat Illinois State 70-57 on Friday night in the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
The Hoosiers (4-0) have won their first four games for the first time since the 2002-03 team went 8-0. They will play Xavier in the final on Saturday night. The Musketeers (3-1) defeated Kent State 78-65 on Friday.
Gordon showed off the dazzling skills that allowed him to average 28 points in the first three games of his freshman career.
He scored 20 in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting. He had 11 straight Indiana points during one stretch to help the Hoosiers build a 38-28 halftime lead.
Illinois State (3-1), seeking its first victory over a Top 10 opponent since the 1983-84 season, gave Indiana its first real test in its first road game.
Gordon made his first basket of the second half an emphatic one, driving down the lane for a thunderous dunk with 13:05 left, bringing a large contingent of Hoosiers fans at the Sears Center to their feet as Indiana went up by 11.
But Levi Dyer, who had 18 points, hit a pair of 3-pointers as the scrappy Redbirds ran off nine straight points to cut the lead to 50-48 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
But another freshman, Jordan Crawford, scored six points to spark a late 10-2 run for Indiana that put the Hoosiers up by 11 with about three minutes to go.
Crawford finished with 13 points, 10 in the second half. Anthony Slack chipped in 13 for the Redbirds.
Gordon helped the Hoosiers built a 13-point lead in the first half by scoring 11 straight Indiana points. He lost a dribble on a fastbreak but quickly retrieved it and hit a lauyup. And then moments after hitting two free throws, he sneaked free on an inbounds pass for a layup to make it 25-16.
After Illinois State missed a jumper, Gordon went high for the rebound and then took off from one end of the floor to the other, sailing high above the defense for a layup and the Hoosiers had a 10-point cushion. But the freshman sensation wasn't finished, canning a 3-pointer as Indiana went up 30-17.
But the Redbirds regrouped and a 3-pointer by Dyer sparked an 8-0 run -- Gordon was resting during most of the brief spurt -- to make it a five-point game.
After a timeout, Gordon re-entered the game and fed D.J. White for a dunk and then after an offensive rebound came out long, he picked up the ball and sank another 3-pointer.
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