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Indiana 75, Northwestern 63.

Here's the box score. Kelvin Sampson's pregame comments indicated that the coaching staff has noticed what the fans have noticed about IU's play despite the gaudy record. Those of us who were hoping for a 40 point beatdown of Northwestern were disappointed, but the Hoosiers never trailed and pulled away modestly at the end. IU didn't shoot particularly well, especially from three point range (10-30). IU attempted only 22 shots from inside the arc. Northwestern stayed in the game with its three point shooting (10-20). IU dominated the offensive boards, grabbing an astounding 18 of their 30 misses (60 percent). The Hoosiers were similarly dominant on the defensive boards, taking 21 of NU's 26 misses. IU overcame lackluster shooting from the field by shooting 17-21 from the line.
This was a very slow game, about 56 possessions, so IU's total of 11 turnovers is the equivalent of about 13.5 in a normal game. And while it wasn't the therapeutic beatdown it could have been, IU looked better moving the ball than they had in any other recent game and had 16 assists on 24 made baskets.
As for the individuals:
  • Eric Gordon's wrist isn't bothering him. Gordon scored 29 points on 14 shots, including 6-10 from three point range.
  • DJ White was even better, with 26 points on 11 shots and 13 rebounds. White rebounded more of NU's misses than the Wildcats did.
  • Other than White and Gordon, no Hoosier shot well. Armon Bassett was 3-11 from the field, AJ Ratliff was 1-6, Lance Stemler was 1-4.
  • Kyle Taber got the start at the 4. In 24 minutes, Taber didn't score, but pulled down four rebounds, blocked a shot, and had one turnover. As best I can recall, these were the first-ever non-garbage time minutes for Taber, a junior walk-on who played at Evansville Central. Taber had played only 40 minutes all season before today and only one minute during the Big Ten season.

The next two road games will determine whether IU will contend for the Big Ten title. Illinois isn't good, but they have been competitive with IU during nearly every game of the Weber era, and the orange clad masses will be whipped into a frenzy by that self-pitying goofball that they call a coach. Ohio State is decent, but a true championship-caliber team should be able to win there. After that, the Hoosiers play three home games in a row against the only other remaining contenders: Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Purdue. This will be the most interesting stretch of the regular season.