#14/15 Indiana Prepares For Saturday Night Game at Northwestern
Feb. 21, 2008
#14/15 Indiana (22-4, 11-2 Big Ten) at Northwestern (7-17, 0-13 Big Ten)
The Opening Tip
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 14th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 15th by AP and will look to continue its quest for the Big Ten lead when it visits Northwestern. Indiana is coming off a 77-68 win over #15 Purdue. 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 in rebounds, averaging 10.4 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. Gordon, a candidate for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has set the IU record for freshman scoring with 542 points surpassing the old mark of 500 which was set by Mike Woodson in 1976-77. 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. Northwestern is 7-17 and 0-13 in the league, but pushed the Hoosiers in their first meeting on February 3 before IU pulled away for a 75-63 win in Assembly Hall. Last year in Evanston, Indiana took home a 69-65 victory at Welsh-Ryan Arena. With 22 wins, the Hoosiers also have eclipsed their win total of 21 last season and their 11 conference triumphs also betters the 10 victories in the league a year ago. This will be the third game in the Chicago area for Indiana this year after having faced Illinois State and Xavier in the Chicago Invitational Challenge in November.
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 498-272 (.647), which ranks 20th in victories among active NCAA Division I coaches. He is 43-15 (.741) 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 2-0 all-time against the Wildcats. Coach Bill Carmody is in his eighth season at Northwestern and has a 102-130 record.
The Hoosiers are 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.
The Purdue Win
Kelvin Sampson won his 498th career game as he improved to 498-272 (.647). He is 43-15 (.741) in two seasons in Bloomington.
Indiana is now 84-107 against the Boilermakers all-time. Indiana has won six of the last seven against Purdue and has taken eight in a row in Bloomington. The last time Indiana topped the Boilers when both teams were ranked was on Feb. 29, 2000, when IU posted a 79-65 win.
Indiana improved to 33-1 when scoring 70 points, 32-4 when leading at the half and 30-5 when outrebounding an opponent in Kelvin Sampson's tenure.
With the win over No. 15/14 Purdue on Tuesday and the win over No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday, the Hoosiers have defeated two top 15 teams in back-to-back games for the first time since the 1991-92 season. That season, IU downed No. 11 Michigan State (103-73) on Feb. 19 and No. 6 Ohio State (86-80) on Feb. 23.
The last time Indiana had consecutive wins over ranked opponents was in the 2001-02 season, when the Hoosiers defeated No. 25 Michigan State (83-65) on Jan. 8 and No. 13 Iowa (77-66) on Jan. 13.
Indiana's 30 free throws were the most by a Hoosier squad since hitting 32 on Jan. 5, 2002.
After the lead changed nine times in the first half between the two rivals, Indiana held the lead from the 3:27 mark of the first half on. Every lead change came in a five-minute span between 8:08 and 3:27.
Indiana held a 46-30 edge on the boards and posted a 37-16 advantage on the defensive glass. The 37 defensive rebounds matched a season-high (11/18 vs. Longwood) and the plus-21 advantage on the defensive glass was the most of the season.
D.J. White scored the first points for the Hoosiers for the 16th time this season and in those games, IU is 14-2.
The Hoosiers dominated on the boards all night long, outrebounding Purdue, 46-30. The Hoosiers are now 17-2 when outrebounding an opponent this season.
Armon Bassett, who hails from Terre Haute, Ind., had 6 first half rebounds and 8 for the game, a new career high. He also had 16 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort beyond the arc, and four assists.
Kyle Taber, a native of Evansville, Ind., also had a career night against the Boilermakers, posting a career-best six points, going 3-for-3 from the floor. He also added six rebounds, one off his career mark, and added two assists and a steal.
Jamarcus Ellis scored seven points and had five rebounds for the Hoosiers, while Lance Stemler hit his only three and had a rebound and a block. Jordan Crawford had four points and three boards in 23 minutes.
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