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Hoosiers hold off challenge by Illini

Sunday, January 13, 2008

By STEVE HERMAN

AP Sports Writer

BLOOMINGTON -- Eric Gordon and No. 10 Indiana stuck it to Illinois again.

The high scoring freshman, who reneged on an oral commitment with the Illini and signed instead with the Hoosiers, had 17 points and Indiana rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second half to beat Illinois 62-58 Sunday.

It was Indiana's 10th straight victory and 27th in a row at home.

Big Ten rebounding leader D.J. White, coming off 21 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in a win at Michigan on Tuesday, added 15 points and 10 boards, and Armon Bassett had all 11 of his points in the second half for the Hoosiers (14-1, 3-0). Shaun Pruitt led Illinois (8-9, 0-4) with 14 points.

Gordon, who was the state's high school Mr. Basketball at Indianapolis North Central last year, entered the week as the Big Ten scoring leader and second in the nation among freshmen at 23.5 points a game. He had only six points in the first half, in which Illinois led by as many as nine.

The Illini still led 44-37 before two free throws by Gordon started a 12-2 run that put the Hoosiers in front for good.

Illinois came within 60-58 with just over a minute to go on a 3-pointer by Trent Meacham. The Illini got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead, but Brian Randle missed a shot and Bassett hit two clinching free throws with 2.5 seconds to go.

Gordon was only 4-of-10 from the field but hit 8-of-10 free throws for the game.

He missed his first three shots, and Illinois took a 13-4 lead before two baskets by Jordan Crawford started an 11-0 run by the Hoosiers.

Gordon had two free throws during that streak, then after the Illini went back in front, Gordon's only first-half field goal tied the game at 17. There were four more lead changes and another tie at 25 on two more free throws by Gordon before a basket by freshman center Mike Tisdale put Illinois ahead again.

A 3-pointer with 12 seconds left by Demetri McCamey, his second of the game, gave Illinois a 34-30 lead at halftime.

No. 10 INDIANA 62, ILLINOIS 58

ILLINOIS (8-9)

Randle 3-7 3-6 9, Pruitt 5-8 4-6 14, Meacham 2-8 2-2 8, Brock 3-6 2-2 8, McCamey 2-10 0-0 6, Jordan 0-0 1-2 1, Holdren 1-3 0-1 3, Alexander 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 2-2 1-2 5, Tisdale 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 20-48 13-21 58.

INDIANA (14-1)

D.White 5-9 5-6 15, M.White 2-3 0-3 4, Crawford 2-8 0-0 4, Ellis 1-6 2-2 4, Gordon 4-10 8-10 17, Bassett 3-5 2-2 11, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Ratliff 2-7 1-2 7, Stemler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-49 18-25 62.

Halftime--Illinois 34-30. 3-Point Goals--Illinois 5-18 (McCamey 2-6, Meacham 2-6, Holdren 1-3, Tisdale 0-1, Randle 0-1, Brock 0-1), Indiana 6-21 (Bassett 3-4, Ratliff 2-6, Gordon 1-6, Ellis 0-1, Stemler 0-1, Crawford 0-3). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Illinois 33 (Randle 10), Indiana 33 (D.White 10). Assists--Illinois 13 (McCamey 5), Indiana 6 (Gordon 2). Total Fouls--Illinois 19, Indiana 21. Technicals--Pruitt, Thomas. A--17,359. nkee Chuck



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