Northwestern at Indiana, in-game analysis

A fight for a rebound.

INDIANA 40, NORTHWESTERN 37 (HALF)

The half ends with boos from the fans, as Jamarcus Ellis turned the ball over and allowed Northwestern a last-second basket.

Clearly, Indiana is trying to morph into the team Sampson wants it to be. The second half should be interesting.

INDIANA 38, NORTHWESTERN 32 (1:12)

Sampson’s employing a tactic he used plenty last year: make a mistake, get yanked.

Earlier, it was Bassett for letting Thompson get by.

A.J. Ratliff just mishandled a pass. Now, he’s on the bench.

Eric Gordon is 5-of-6 from 3-point.

INDIANA 35, NORTHWESTERN 30 (2:38)

Few people could have predicted this: with five minutes left in the first half of a five-point game, Indiana is using a front court of Kyle Taber and DeAndre Thomas.

But it is true.

Eric Gordon has 14 points. D.J. White has 12. And the Hoosiers have 10 assists.

INDIANA 27, NORTHWESTERN 22 (7:59)

Northwestern has no answer for D.J. White, but who has? The senior forward just shot his little jump hook over three guys.

INDIANA 25, NORTHWESTERN 22 (9:57)

Jordan Crawford injured his ankle and is being looked at by team doctors.

On the court, it’s become a game of 3s. Bassett and Stemler have hit for Indiana, only to be answered each time by a Northwestern player.

Sampson isn’t happy with his team’s aggressiveness on the perimeter, thus this time out. He screaming loudly in the huddle. Might even be swearing.

INDIANA 19, NORTHWESTERN 14 (11:59)

The renewed devotion to passing continues, but so does Northwestern’s smart, controlled play.

Sampson said yesterday that he thought the Wildcats had played well in every game this year and at times had been “out-athleted.”

They are surely in danger of being “out-athleted” today. But one matchup to watch is their freshman point guard, 5-10 Michael Thompson, against whoever Indiana uses to guard him. He’s already beaten Armon Bassett to the hole, causing Sampson to pull him.

Indiana is good defensively when it controls the point of attack.

INDIANA 11, NORTHWESTERN 5 (15:59)

I will go ahead and make this assessment: Eric Gordon’s wrist is not hindering his play. He’s hit three 3-pointers already.

Also, Kelvin Sampson has delivered what he promised during a press conference yesterday. Mainly, a team that tries to play together. The Hoosiers had one possession where every player touched the ball in rapid succession and a few of us on press row said, “That’s more than they’ve passed all season.”

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Kyle Taber gets the start at the four. Props to Sampson for trying something new. He’s joined by the regulars: Bassett, Gordon, Ellis and D.J. White.