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Banged-up Gordon leads Indiana past Northwestern

Feb 3, 2008 - 9:20 PM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- If Eric Gordon was working at less than full efficiency, the Big Ten Conference probably doesn't want to see him at full health.

Wearing a protective wrap on his left wrist and still recovering the flu, Gordon scored 29 points for No. 11 Indiana en route to a 75-63 victory over Northwestern on Sunday.

Despite the win, the Hoosiers (18-3, 7-1 Big Ten) had to work to improve their all-time home record against the Wildcats to 33-0. While Indiana led wire-to-wire, it was unable to establish anything more than an eight-point lead until late in the contest.

After Gordon hit 3-pointers to stake Indiana to eight-point leads on two separate occasions in the first half, Northwestern (7-12, 0-8) was able to cut its halftime lead to three points at 40-37 when the Wildcats' Jeremy Nash converted a layup with two seconds left in the half.

"I was just getting used to it (the wrap)," Gordon said. "Before I wasn't playing that much on it and now I am getting used to it, shooting and dribbling off it. I can go left. It was just hard the first game...the first game back playing on it. I feel like I am getting used to it."

Gordon finished 8-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-10 from the arc. It was fourth time in 20 college games that the standout freshman has hit at least five 3-pointers in a contest.

"I was just hitting a lot of threes today," Gordon said. "I was just on."

While the Wildcats were able to narrow the deficit to two points on several occassions in the second half - including at 52-50 with 11:44 remaining - the Hoosiers held Northwestern without a field goal over the next 9:21 as Indiana went on a 16-4 run to put the game out of reach at 68-54 with just over two minutes remaining.

D.J. White added 26 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season for the Hoosiers.

"I don't take him for granted," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. "I've never had a kid that consistently rebounds at the level he rebounds at every game. He had 17 rebounds at Wisconsin, as physical and as tough as they are. I think he is special. D.J. is just having a sensational senior year."

"I know coach Sampson doesn't think this is a two-man team - and it's not - but those two guys (Eric Gordon and D.J. White) really killed us today," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said.

Reserve guard Craig Moore scored 17 points to pace the Wildcats, who have lost 11 straight games against ranked opponents.