#13/14 Hoosiers Travel To Ohio State
Feb. 8, 2008
#13/14 Indiana (19-3, 8-1 Big Ten) at Ohio State (16-7, 7-3)
The Opening Tip
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 14th by AP and will look to remain among the Big Ten leaders when it visits Ohio State. Indiana is coming of an 83-79 double overtime win at Illinois, while the Buckeyes defeated Michigan, 65-55 in their last contest. The Hoosiers' 8-1 conference mark is the best start for an IU squad since 2001-02, when Indiana also opened league play 7-1. IU, Wisconsin and Purdue entered the weekend as the only one-loss teams in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers boast the top two scorers in the conference in freshman Eric Gordon (21.6) and senior D.J. White (17.5). White also leads the league in and is ninth in the nation in rebounds, averaging 10.6 per game. He shared Big Ten Player of the week honors with Purdue's E'Twaun Moore. It is the fourth time this season that White has earned the honor from the conference. Both White and Gordon are among the top 30 midseason candidates for the Wooden and Naismith Awards. With a win, the Hoosiers, who are 5-1 on opponents' home floors, would clinch their first winning road record since the 2001-02 season. The Hoosiers also got outstanding clutch play at Illinois from soph Armon Bassett (16 points, 11 in 2nd OT) and frosh Jordan Crawford (18 points off the bench). Ohio State is 16-7 overall and 7-3 in league play.
Two-time National Coach of the Year Kelvin Sampson was named the 26th head coach in Indiana University history on March 29, 2006 and is in his second year with the Hoosiers and 25th as a collegiate head coach. He has notched 16 20-plus win seasons and is 495-271 (.646), which ranks 20th in victories among active NCAA Division I coaches. With one more win, Sampson will have posted his 11th straight 20-win season as a coach. He is 40-14 (.740) in two seasons and won his first 27 games at Assembly Hall, surpassing Branch McCracken who previously held the record for most consecutive wins at home to start a career with 25 from 1938-41. Both of Sampson's Hoosier teams have been nationally ranked. This year, the Hoosiers were ranked as high as seventh in the country (AP), while last year, they climbed to #19. He is 0-1 all-time against the Buckeyes. OSU Coach Thad Matta is in his fourth year with the Buckeyes and is 97-29.
Notes From Illinois
Indiana leads the all-time series 83-77 and picked up its first win in Champaign since Feb. 24, 1999, a 70-64 overtime win.
The last time IU swept the season series from the Illini was also during the 1998-99 season when it logged a 62-53 win in Bloomington before that overtime win in Champaign.
The 83-79 final score means that each of the last four meetings between the two teams has been decided by exactly four points, with the Hoosiers posting a 3-1 record in those games.
The Hoosiers are now 19-3 on the year and 8-1 in Big Ten play. The 19-3 start is the best since the 1992-93 Big Ten Championship team opened 24-3. The 8-1 record in conference play is the best since that same season when IU went 17-1 against Big Ten foes.
D.J. White scored the first points for the Hoosiers for the 12th time this season. White scored 16 points and added nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals to match his career high.
Indiana's last overtime game was March 9, 2007 at the Big Ten Tournament, also against Illinois. The Illini came away with a 58-54 win in that game.
The Hoosiers' last overtime win came during the 2004-05 season at home against Michigan State, a 78-74 triumph on Feb. 27, 2005. The last IU overtime win on the road also came that same season, a 75-73 double-overtime win at Purdue on Jan. 15.
Four Indiana players, Armon Bassett (43), D.J. White (48), Jamarcus Ellis (43) and Eric Gordon (45), played over 40 minutes for the first time since that same double overtime win at Purdue. The totals are new career highs for all four Hoosiers.
Bassett set a new career high with seven rebounds in the contest. He scored 16 points and was 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Bassett also improved to 11-for-12 in free throws during the final five minutes and overtimes of games this season after his 6-for-6 performance in overtime. He also knocked down his only field goal attempt of the overtimes, a three-pointer early in the second overtime.
For the first time this season, four different Hoosiers have scored over 15 points in the same game (Gordon - 19, Crawford - 18, White and Bassett - 16).
For the second straight game, five different Hoosiers hit a three-point field goal.
Eric Gordon had just one point in the first half, but came on strong in the second half and overtimes, scoring 18 points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. He had the biggest shot of the night for the Hoosiers, banking in a three-pointer to tie the game at 63-63 with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Gordon finished the night 10-for-12 from the charity stripe while Illinois was 8-for-17 as a team for the game.
Jordan Crawford came off the bench to score 18 points, the most points off the bench by a Hoosier this season and the most since A.J. Ratliff scored 18 against Penn State on March 3, 2007 in Bloomington. Crawford hit a couple of huge three-point field goals in the first overtime to get the Hoosier offense going as well. Kyle Taber was 1-for-1 from the floor against the Ilini for his first field goal since Dec. 29 against Chicago State when he went 2-for-2. The redshirt junior also played over 20 minutes for the second consecutive game. He grabbed three rebounds, two on the offensive end, in 21 minutes on the court.
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