#14 Hoosiers Host #15 Purdue As Title Race Heats Up
Feb. 18, 2008
#15 Purdue (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten) at #14 Indiana (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten)
THE OPENING TIP
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 14th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and will look to pull even in the loss column among the Big Ten leaders when it hosts #15 Purdue. Indiana is coming off an 80-61 win at home over #9 Michigan State. The Hoosiers boast the top two scorers in the conference in freshman Eric Gordon (21.7) and senior D.J. White (17.1). White also leads the league and is ninth in the nation in rebounds, averaging 10.2 per game. A strong candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, White has been named the league's Player of the Week four times, the second most in Big Ten history. Both White and Gordon are among the top 30 midseason candidates for the Wooden and Naismith Awards. With his 28 points against Michigan State, Gordon set the IU record for freshman scoring with 520 points surpassing the old mark of 500 which was set by Mike Woodson in 1976-77. Calbert Cheaney was previously second with 495 in 1989-90. The Hoosiers also have clinched their first winning road season (5-1) in the Big Ten since 1993 and their first overall winning road record since the 2001-02 campaign. The 23rd ranked Boilermakers are 21-5 overall and are in first place in the Big Ten with a 12-1 record. Last year, Indiana defeated Purdue, 85-58 in Bloomington and the Boilermakers got revenge in West Lafayette with an 81-68 triumph. The Hoosiers have won five of the last six meetings and seven straight overall in Assembly Hall. This is the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
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 17 20-plus win seasons and is 497-272 (.646), which ranks 20th in victories among active NCAA Division I coaches. He is 42-15 (.735) 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. With the win at Ohio State, he joined Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (12 years) as the only active coaches in NCAA Division I with 20-win seasons in each of the last 11 years. He is 1-1 all-time against the Boilermakers. Purdue Coach Matt Painter is in his third year with the Boilermakers and is 52-36.
The Hoosiers will hit the road to face Northwestern on February 23 in Evanston. Indiana is back in Assembly Hall on February 26 to face Ohio State and then visits Michigan State on March 2. IU finishes out its home season on March 5 against Minnesota before ending the regular season on March 8 or 9 at Penn State.
MICHIGAN STATE POST GAME NOTES
Indiana improved to 64-42 against Michigan State and won its fourth straight game in Bloomington. The 19-point victory was the largest for the Hoosiers against MSU since March 10, 1993, when IU topped the Spartans 99-68.
Indiana posted its first victory over a top-10 opponent since Jan. 31, 2007, when it knocked off No. 2 Wisconsin, 71-66.
After the Spartans took an 18-8 lead, the Hoosiers went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 18-18. DeAndre Thomas scored six points in the run, which was capped off by a breakaway slam by Eric Gordon. Furthermore, IU added a 19-8 run from there to stretch the lead to 11 at 37-26.
Indiana rallied from eight points down for a victory for the fifth time this season. The Hoosiers improved to 32-1 when scoring 70 points, 31-4 when leading at the half and 29-5 when outrebounding an opponent under Kelvin Sampson
After starting 0-for-3 from the outside, the Hoosiers hit five of their next six from downtown. Four different players buried shots from the outside in the string, as Jamarcus Ellis hit two in a row and Armon Bassett, Eric Gordon and Jordan Crawford had one each.
Indiana's defense forced the Spartans into 19 turnovers, the most by a Hoosier opponent since Iowa had 20 on Jan. 23. With 10 steals, Indiana posted double-digit steals for the sixth time this season and the first time since that game.
The Hoosiers outrebounded the Spartans 28-26 to improve to 16-2 when outrebounding an opponent. Remarkably, though, Indiana was led in rebounding by Jordan Crawford and Eric Gordon, who each had five boards. All five starters had two rebounds or more and nine different players grabbed multiple rebounds.
Indiana outscored Michigan State 40-20 in the paint, its biggest edge in the category since the season-opening win at Iowa. The 40 points in the paint marked the fifth time this year IU has scored 40 or more inside and the first time in Big Ten play.
For the second game in a row, Eric Gordon was dominant when driving the lane for the Hoosiers. He had his 15th 20-point outing of the season with 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting. With 520 points, Gordon is now IU's all-time leading freshman scorer, passing Mike Woodson's 500 in 1976-77.
Jordan Crawford scored 12 points off the bench for Indiana, and added five rebounds and five assists. It was his 13th double-digit game of the season.
Jamarcus Ellis hit a pair of crucial threes for the Hoosiers in the first half en route to a 12-point outing. Ellis added three assists, four rebounds and four steals.
For the 15th time this season, D.J. White scored Indiana's first points. The Hoosiers are 13-2 when he puts IU on the board.
White scored six points and two rebounds before leaving the game. He became the 23rd player in school history to top 1,300 points (1,303) and passed Tom Bolyard for the 23rd slot on IU's all-time list.
Armon Bassett had five assists for the Hoosiers and just one turnover. Over the last eight games he has 25 assists to four turnovers. He added five points, two rebounds and two steals in the win. Lance Stemler hit his only three-point attempt and had five points and two boards for Indiana. Kyle Taber hit a pair of free throws and had two rebounds and a steal in 18 minutes.
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