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Gordon scores 25 in Big Ten debut as Indiana holds off Iowa

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


AP Sports Writer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Freshman Eric Gordon scored 25 points, D.J. White had 16 points and 15 rebounds and No. 11 Indiana held off a furious late rally by Iowa for a 79-76 victory Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Jamarcus Ellis added 15 points for the Hoosiers (12-1), who won their eighth straight.

The Hawkeyes (7-7) gave Indiana all it could handle despite missing two starters, but the Hoosiers went on an 11-1 run late in the second half then survived a late barrage of 3-pointers by Iowa's Justin Johnson to snap a three-game losing streak at Iowa.

Johnson hit six 3s in the final 1:56, the last a 40-foot bank shot that brought Iowa within 78-76 with 4.8 seconds left.

Lance Stemler then missed the second of two free throws, but Indiana stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the win.

Johnson, who was 8-of-13 from 3-point range, finished with 29 points.

Iowa took a four-point lead early in the second half, but Stemler followed a tip-in by Ellis with a 3 to give Indiana a 47-44 lead with 12:04 left. The Hoosiers never trailed again.

Gordon extended Indiana's lead to 59-51, driving past three Iowa defenders for a layup off the glass. Iowa got back within three, but White broke free for slams on consecutive possessions and Gordon followed with a layup to give Indiana a 67-56 lead with 4:56 left.

Tony Freeman added 12 points for Iowa, which played its first game without promising freshman forward Jarryd Cole. He is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

The Hawkeyes also lost freshman starter Jake Kelly, who left with an apparent ankle injury early in the first half and did not return.

Freeman scored 10 points in the opening 4:25 to give Iowa an early lead. Indiana responded, jumping ahead by as much as 26-17, but Kurt Looby highlighted a 14-4 Iowa run with dunks on two straight possessions to put the Hawkeyes ahead 31-30.

Ellis hit an off-balance jumper as time expired in the first half, tying the game at 34.

A.J Ratliff, who was academically ineligible for Indiana's first 12 games, scored two points in 15 minutes. Jordan Crawford added 12 points for Indiana.

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