83 - 79 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Gordon, Indiana escape Illinois with win behind Bassett

Feb 8, 2008 - 7:41 AM CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Armon Bassett made sure all the abuse that Eric Gordon took was worth it.

Bassett scored 11 of his 16 points in the second overtime as No. 13 Indiana squeaked out an 83-79 victory over Illinois in the Big Ten Conference on Thursday.

After the Illini's Shaun Pruitt was unable to snap a 69-69 tie in the closing seconds of the first overtime by badly missing two free throws, Bassett took over in the second extra session.

The sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer to snap a 71-71 tie with 3:35 remaining and converted all eight of his free throws inside the final 1:52 as the Hoosiers (19-3, 8-1 Big Ten) captured their second straight win following a two-game losing streak.

The triumph proved almost more important for Gordon, the freshman sensation for Indiana who was playing at Illinois (10-14, 2-9) for the first time since spurning the school despite making a verbal commitment.

"I wasn't really worried about it," Gordon told the Chicago Tribune. "All I was worried about was trying to get a win. It was a big road win for us, and now we go on to the next game."

Hearing it from the fans nearly every time he touched the ball, Gordon also took his shots on the court. After getting shoved by Chester Frazier during the player introductions, the Illini did their best to harass the star guard all they could.

"Yes, well, that's what he did, but I can't worry about that," Gordon told the Tribune. "I'm just glad with what happened at the end of the game."

"I thought it was more of a hyped, friendly bump," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson told the newspaper. "Chester's a tough kid."

It resulted in a subpar shooting effort by Gordon, who went 3-of-13 from the field. He did, however, convert 10-of-12 free throws en route to 19 points.

Gordon managed to come up with a big shot in the closing moments of regulation, banking a 3-pointer that tied the game at 63-63 with 23 seconds to go.

Pruitt missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with three seconds left, and Indiana could not get off a great final shot off an inbounds pass.

Overall, Pruitt went 1-of-7 on foul shots, overshadowing a 13-point, seven-rebound effort.

"I feel bad for Shaun," Illinois coach Bruce Weber told the Tribune. "He gave us a pretty good effort. He battled 'em inside. It's a shame for him he couldn't get one of the free throws down."

Freshman Jordan Crawford connected on two 3-pointers in the first overtime, but Illini first-year player Demetri McCamey hit a shot from the arc with 59 seconds left to knot the game at 69-69.

McCamey finished with seven 3-pointers on 13 attempts and a season-high 31 points.

Having posted his previous high of 18 points in a loss against Penn State on January 6, McCamey shot 11-of-20 from the field and also grabbed six rebounds.

Despite the timely scoring from Bassett in the second overtime, Illinois did not go away quietly, as Calvin Brock's jumper made it a 79-76 game with 36 seconds left.

Gordon then made a freshman mistake as he nonchalantly walked the ball up the court, leading to a 10-second violation for not passing halfcourt in time.

It was one of seven turnovers by Gordon, who handed out four assists.

Despite the gaffe, the Illini could not take advantage, turning over the ball when Trent Meacham and McCamey botched a handoff near the left sideline.

Bassett then was fouled before making it 81-76 with 15 seconds to play. Although McCamey came back with a basket from the arc, Bassett added two more from the stripe with five seconds left to seal the win.

Crawford finished with 18 points off the bench and D.J. White added 16 and nine rebounds for Indiana, which mustered just 25 points in the first half and found itself trailing, 42-30, with 16:33 remaining in regulation.

Although they closed that deficit to 47-42 behind a 3-pointer by Gordon with 12:36 to play, the Hoosiers mainly trailed by at least seven points until a 9-2 run brought them within 56-54 with 5:50 remaining.

Although McCamey answered with a 3-pointer, the Illini went behind for the first time since midway through the first half after Gordon converted two foul shots with 2:03 left.

McCamey came back with a jumper as part of his big effort.

While a combined 12 points were scored in the first overtime, the two most significant occurred when Jeff Jordan - the son of basketball superstar Michael Jordan - connected on a jumper to snap a 63-63 tie.

They were the first points in three games for the walk-on freshman, who is averaging 1.1 on the season but was forced into the lineup due to fouls.