Hoosiers Beat Southern Illinois 64-51
Dec. 1, 2007
But the Indiana coach saw the flashy guard do all the little things Saturday night, vexing a cold-shooting Southern Illinois team that couldn't.
Gordon overcame a slow start and scored 22 points, helping No. 15 Indiana to a 64-51 victory that snapped the Salukis' 15-game home winning streak.
Gordon's performance, including three blocks and two steals, impressed Sampson, who said breakdown of game film in recent days left him believe Gordon should slow down and not force things. To Sampson, he "was a lot more composed."
"Basketball is a simple game. You have to learn how to play, the speeds you have to play at. I thought he played extremely unselfish tonight," Sampson said. "Not all of his passes led to assists, but it was kind of like a hockey assist -- his pass led to the next pass.
"He didn't play like a freshman is trying to score. He played like a basketball player that has some experience."
D.J. White added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Hoosiers (6-1) in their only road nonconference game of the season.
Randal Falker had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Salukis (3-2), who missed all 13 of their 3-point shots before Matt Shaw hit one with 1:03 to play. The Salukis shot 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the field overall, with many of the looks wide open.
"We made them take tough shots, but we couldn't make easy shots. That was the difference of the game," Salukis coach Chris Lowery said. "That was the difference of the game. "Right now we're not making the easiest plays you can make. We're wide open, and when you don't make wide-open shots, especially at home, you're not going to win."
Gordon became the first to score at least 20 points against Southern this season and just the third since the start of last season, when only Western Kentucky's Courtney Lee (23) and Evansville's Matt Webster (21) accomplished the feat.
Gordon needed time to find his groove. He missed his first two shots before finally knocking down a 3-pointer that tied it at 14 about midway through the first half against a Salukis defense among the nation's stingiest, holding opponents this season to just 57 points a game.
Gordon took over after the break, scoring 12 points in a 17-7 Indiana run that turned a 34-30 Hoosier lead to a 51-37 bulge with 5:30 left. Gordon had two 3-pointers during that stretch.
Shaw and Bryan Mullins had nine points apiece for Southern, whose failure to do what Lowery called "the little things" left him frustrated.
"We have to do a much better job in practice paying attention to detail, the small things, the little things that are taken for granted," Lowery said. "The small things you don't get credit for in the paper -- blocking out, diving on the floor, taking charges. We're not doing enough of."
"That's what we're known for -- out-toughing people, getting every loose ball," he said. "We just got to get back to getting our identity back really and being the toughest team around."
Wesley Clemons had eight points, going 4-of-9 from the field in his first action for the Salukis this season after missing four games with an ankle sprain.
The home loss was just the Salukis' fourth in 84 games since the 2001-02 season.
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