Indiana Daily Student

Gordon leads team to win with 26 points

Point guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell drives around a defender Tuesday at Assembly Hall. Ferrell scored 11 points in Indiana's 81-54 victory against Oakland.
Point guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell drives around a defender Tuesday at Assembly Hall. Ferrell scored 11 points in Indiana's 81-54 victory against Oakland.

Last Saturday, graduate student guard Evan Gordon set a new season-high mark of 15 points.

Tuesday at Assembly Hall in IU’s 81-54 victory against Oakland, IU’s first man off the bench had eclipsed this mark by the end of the first half.

With another night of just two missed shots, shooting 10-for-12 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line, Gordon scored 26 to lead the Hoosiers to an 81-54 victory against the Golden Grizzlies.

Over the past two games, Gordon has shot 17-for-21 and has scored 41 points. He scored just 45 points combined in his first eight contests as a Hoosier.

After the game, Gordon said he hadn’t checked his phone yet to see if his brother, former Hoosier Eric Gordon, had texted him and given him a hard time for coming up short of his career-mark of 33 points he scored in his first game in the cream and crimson against Chattanooga.

Gordon laughed, nodded and said he hadn’t heard from him yet. For the last two nights, he’s just been the open guy.

“We’ve just been moving the ball as a team. I’ve stayed aggressive,” Gordon said.

But he said during his low-scoring output his first several games, starting point guard Kevin “Yogi’ Ferrell kept telling him to stay confident. Gordon worked more in the gym with IU Associate Head Coach Tim Buckley, and he’s risen to the occasion when his teammates have needed him the last two times on the court.

“Yogi stayed on me to make sure I stayed confident in my shot, and our coaches stayed on me, and I’ve been doing extra work, so it’s all coming out,” Gordon said.
“When your team has confidence in you to make your shot, it gives you confidence.”

Gordon entered the game with 15 minutes and 45 seconds left in the first half and almost immediately got on the stat line. After freshman forward Noah Vonleh blocked a shot on defense, Gordon drove the court and evaded a charge call to lay in a left-handed layup off the glass just 22 seconds into his game.

Gordon caught fire minutes later. After a layup the possession before, he hit his first of four 3-pointers. Just 46 seconds later, his second one fell.

IU’s backup point guard came in again in the first shift of the second half and made his first bucket, a floater off the glass from near the baseline with 12 minutes and eight seconds left in the half. He followed with another 3-pointer to give him eight-straight shots made to start the night, passing his mark from the last game by one shot and just one short of tying senior forward Will Sheehey’s mark of a perfect 9-for-9 in a game last season against Purdue.

Three minutes later, he suffered his first miss, a blocked layup.

Although he didn’t quite set records Tuesday night, Crean said he hopes to continue to see this success from his backup point guard.

Crean said he hasn’t given any thought to penciling Gordon into the starting lineup yet, but with the fluidity of his lineups, anything is possible before the Hoosiers’ next game against Notre Dame Saturday.

“Hopefully that confidence continues, and it will if he continues to spend that extra time in the gym,” Crean said. “I have no doubt.”

Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.

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