#17/18 Indiana Ends Regular Season At Penn State
March 7, 2008
#17/18 Indiana (25-5, 14-3 Big Ten) at Penn State (14-15, 6-11 Big Ten)
The Opening Tip
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 18th by AP and will look to continue its quest for a share of the Big Ten championship in its season finale at Penn State. The Hoosiers boast two All-Americans and the top two scorers in the conference in freshman Eric Gordon (21.3) and senior D.J. White (17.0). White also leads the league in rebounds, averaging 10.2 per game. Both were named first team All-District by the NABC and second team All-America by Sports Illustrated. The leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year, 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 favorite for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has set the IU record for freshman scoring with 619 points. Sophomore Armon Bassett has stepped up his play as of late, reaching double figures in five straight games for the first time in his career. Bassett is the top three-point shooter in the league (47.7%) and is third on the team scoring (11.4). Junior Jamarcus Ellis had his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 boards against Minnesota. IU defeated Penn State, 81-65, in the first meeting of the season between the two teams in Bloomington on January 20. The Hoosiers are 27-3 all-time against the Nittany Lions and hold a 10-3 advantage in Happy Valley.
Former Indiana player and assistant coach Dan Dakich was named interim head coach on February 22. He is 3-1 with Indiana and 159-141 overall as a head coach. He steps in for Kelvin Sampson who resigned after guiding Indiana to a 43-15 record in less than two years and notched a 498-272 mark in 25 years as a head coach. Dakich returned to IU this year after serving as the head coach for 10 seasons at Bowling Green. He was the third winningest coach in Falcon history with a 156-140 mark. Dakich helped the Indiana program win 73.7 percent (305-105) of its games over the 12+ years he served as an assistant coach, while the Hoosiers were winning over 70 percent of their Big Ten contests. He was a graduate assistant from 1985-87 before being named full-time prior to the 1987-88 campaign. He left after the 1996-97 season to go to BG.
Coach Ed DeChellis is in his fifth season at Penn State and his 12th season overall. DeChellis in 56-91 with the Nittany Lions and 161-184 overall. He holds a 1-6 mark against the Hoosiers, including a 1-2 home mark.
Indiana has clinched an opening day bye and will be either the #2 or #3 seed at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. The #2 seed will play at 6:40 p.m. and the #3 seed at 9:10 p.m. on March 14 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Minnesota Post Game Notes
Indiana's 25 wins this year are the most since the Final Four season of 2001-02. The 25 regular-season wins are the most since the 1992-93 squad went 28-3.
Indiana improved to 88-63 against Minnesota all-time and swept the season series with the Golden Gophers for the first time since 1993.
Minnesota came strong out of the gate, posting a 7-4 lead, but the Hoosiers went on an 11-0 run to post a 15-7 lead at the 11:51 mark of the first half. With 7:58 to play, the game was tied at 48-48, and then the Hoosiers went on a 16-2 run to blow the game wide open at 64-50 with 2:19 to play.
Indiana improved to 34-4 when leading at the half and 33-5 when outrebounding its opponent over the last two seasons.
With his layup at the 12:04 mark of the first half, D.J. White moved over the 500-point mark for the season, becoming the 48th player in school history to top the milestone with his 510 points in 2007-08. With Eric Gordon's 619, the duo is the ninth in school history to both top 500 points. Their 1,129 combined points is the fifth highest for a tandem in school history.
White hit his first career 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to give Indiana a 31-27 lead at the break. The senior scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, had three steals and made two blocks in the game.
Eric Gordon scored 20 points for the Hoosiers, including a 12-for-14 performance at the line. It is the 14th time this season that Gordon has had 10 or more free throw attempts. His 215 free throws made this year are fourth on the single-season list.
Armon Bassett had his fifth straight game in double figures with 11 points in the contest. It is also his fifth straight game with three or more 3-pointers, as he has scored 18 baskets from downtown over the last five games.
Jamarcus Ellis had his seventh game this season with 10 or more rebounds, as he matched a career-high 13 boards in the contest. He added 10 points for his third double-double of the season.
Stemler started for the Hoosiers, scoring three points, grabbing three rebounds, making two steals and dishing out one assist.
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