for this game

Indiana rallies behind Sampson again, topples Purdue

Feb 20, 2008 - 5:10 AM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- Eric Gordon and Indiana continued to thrive with their backs against the wall.

Gordon scored 22 points - including 15 in the second half - as 14th-ranked Indiana cooled down upstart No. 15 Purdue with a 77-68 victory in the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.

D.J. White added 19 points and 15 rebounds despite playing on a sprained knee for the Hoosiers (22-4, 11-2 Big Ten), who captured a second straight win over a ranked opponent.

"I've learned not to underestimate him," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. "A kid like D.J. ... at the end of the day, this is why you coach."

"You play so many college games, if you are able to get out there, I think the adrenaline and emotion (take over)," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "I felt if he was going to get out there and actually play, he was going to be productive. And obviously, he was very productive."

Prior to those consecutive wins over top-25 teams, the big news at Indiana was the accusations made by the NCAA against Sampson of five major rules violations, including providing false and misleading information to investigators.

The violations dealing with illegal phone calls were similar to those that Sampson had at Oklahoma prior to making the move to the Big Ten.

To add to the distractions, Indiana is expected to to complete its own investigation into the allegations by the end of the week.

However, Gordon and White and the rest of the Hoosiers have not let the outside talk condemning Sampson bother them, starting with an 80-61 thrashing of No. 9 Michigan State on Saturday and including the win over Purdue, which had won its previous 11 games to grab the top spot in the league.

Yet, the Boilermakers (21-6, 12-2) had a poor offensive effort in losing their first game since January 8.

Shooting just 35 percent (25-of-72), Purdue dropped into a three-way tie in the loss column with Indiana and Wisconsin (11-2).

"To look at a stat sheet and get 30 more shots than your opponent and not be able to get more baskets than we did, that's very discouraging," Painter said. "But it's also a positive because I thought our guys were ready to play. I thought they competed."

One place where Purdue really competed was on the defensive end, forcing 23 turnovers that it turned into 23 points. Conversely, the Boilermakers turned the ball over just five times.

"Purdue is really good at getting into passing lanes, ball pressure, passing lanes, they try to take you out," Sampson said.

White, who missed the entire second half against the Spartans on Saturday with the knee injury, scored 10 points in the first half to lead Indiana to a 32-29 lead at the break.

"I knew I was going to play," White said. "I just wanted to go out there and be aggressive and play like I've been playing. In the beginning, I was kind of timid because it is always in your head when you take a fall and have an injury like that. But as the game went on, I felt more comfortable."

The Hoosiers continued to pull away in the second half, going ahead 42-33 after a dunk by White capped a 10-4 run.

Indiana grabbed its largest lead at 53-41 on a 3-pointer by Armon Bassett with 9:41 remaining.

Purdue closed within 57-55 on a 3-pointer by Scott Martin three minutes later, but Gordon converted the first two of eight straight free throws for Indiana over the next two minutes for a 65-57 lead with 4:13 remaining.

The Hoosiers went 23-of-27 from the stripe in the second half compared to 7-of-16 for the Boilermakers. Overall, Indiana attempted 34 free throws compared to 21 for Purdue.

"You have to look at four of those (fouls) at the end, you take eight free throws away from that because we fouled on purpose, so it's only 26 free throws," Painter said about the disparity. "And when you are aggressive, you going to go to the line a little bit more. There is a give and take with how you play and we understand that. But we were in position to win this game and we didn't."

Gordon went 13-of-15 from the stripe en route to his third straight game with at least 20 points.

White finished 6-of-11 from the field and grabbed six offensive boards as Indiana ended up with a 46-30 rebounding advantage.

"We are not a good rebounding team," Painter said. "We have to fight, we have to scrap, especially when we go small."

Freshman Robbie Hummel scored 17 points with three 3-pointers for the Boilermakers, who finished 7-of-29 from the arc.

Martin had 12 points, freshman E'Twaun Moore 11 and Keaton Grant 10 for Purdue.