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Gordon, Indiana defense, keys victory over Southern Illinois

Dec 2, 2007 - 6:36 AM CARBONDALE, Illinois (Ticker) -- The Southern Illinois defense could not slow down Eric Gordon. And it was Indiana's defense that shined in the second half.

Gordon scored 22 points and the 15th-ranked Hoosiers shut down the No. 22 Salukis en route to a 64-51 victory on Saturday.

The sensational freshman Gordon, who came into the game leading the nation in scoring at 27.3 points per game, made 7-of-14 shots from the field - including 4-of-7 from the arc - for his seventh straight game of scoring at least 20 points.

The Salukis came into the game allowing 57.0 points per game, but could not slow down Gordon, who had five points during a key 8-0 run that gave Indiana a 48-34 lead with 8:53 remaining.

D.J. White added 10 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double and Jamarcus Ellis had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers.

Indiana (6-1) led by six points at the break and by as many as 16 in the second half as the Salukis shot just 8-of-25 (32 percent) from the field over the final 20 minutes.

Southern Illinois went nearly 6 1/2 minutes without a field goal midway through the second half and made only 1-of-14 shots from the arc for the contest. The Salukis also made only 8-of-15 from the free-throw line.

It was the second straight poor shooting game for the Salukis (3-2), who made 33 percent of its field goals in a 70-45 loss to Southern California on Sunday.

Indiana held a 38-29 advantage in rebounds and blocked nine Southern Illinois shots as the Hoosiers are off to their best start since beginning the 2002-03 season 8-0.

Gordon scored his first five points midway through the first half, sparking a 7-0 spurt that gave Indiana an 18-14 lead with 8:21 left.

The Hoosiers went on a 12-3 run to take their biggest lead at 34-25 before Bryan Mullins converted a three-point play with one second left in the half to cut the Salukis deficit to six.

Randal Falker had 12 points and seven rebounds to lead Southern Illinois, which only scored nine points during the first 15:50 of the second half.

The loss snapped a 15-game home winning streak for Southern Illinois and was just the fourth in the last 84 games at home since the start of the 2001-02 season.

    --- --- -----
    INDIANA (15) 34 30 64
    SOUTHN ILLINOIS (22) 28 23 51 FINAL

    Dec 1 11:32 PM

    (15) INDIANA 34

    Dec 1 10:24 PM