BLOOMINGTON – It was Evan Gordon’s night again.
The Indiana graduate transfer scored a season-high 26 points and went 10 of 12 from the floor and hit four of five 3-pointers in the Hoosiers’ 81-54 win over Oakland on Tuesday at Assembly Hall.
The showing astonished Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe.
I didn’t even know who he was, and he comes in and scores 20,000 points, Kampe said. I couldn’t tell you who he was (before) tonight.
He can now.
It was the second-straight career day for Gordon in an IU uniform. The Arizona State transfer had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting against North Florida on Saturday.
Gordon made his first seven shots for IU (8-2) on Tuesday, just as he did in the rout over the weekend. His first miss, after an 8-of-8 start, was a blocked layup – and it didn’t deter him much.
After an IU timeout with 8:22 left in the game, the Hoosiers inbounded, Gordon backed out beyond the 3-point line and drilled another.
Then, Assembly Hall began to chant.
Clap! Clap! Clap clap clap!
Our coaches stayed on me and I’ve been doing extra work, Gordon said. It’s all coming out. When your team has confidence in you to make your shot, I think that gives you confidence.
Several other Hoosiers stood out along with Gordon.
Freshman forward Troy Williams finished with 13 points, after scoring 11 in the first half. Sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell had six points and 10 rebounds while helping defend Travis Bader, who averaged 21.1 points for Oakland (2-8) entering Tuesday.
Our guys really wanted to do a great job defensively, and I thought they did, IU coach Tom Crean said. We’ve got to continue to learn how important those things are, and you have to have that commitment level to getting things done inside the game.
Bader had 11 points on 2-of-15 shooting and missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts. It was the first time in the last 62 games that Bader had not made a 3-pointer.
The Golden Grizzlies shot 32.2 percent, while IU made half of its shots takes.
IU was aggressive on screens, forced contested shots and frustrated Oakland on the perimeter.
It was fantastic, freshman center Luke Fischer said of the defense. That was our whole game plan going into it, and we executed it perfectly.
The Hoosiers led 50-30 at halftime despite losing sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell with 15:45 to go thanks to early foul trouble.
Much of that had to do with Gordon’s play.
The younger brother of former IU All-American and current New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon had 16 first-half points and finished just seven points shy of Eric Gordon’s career high of 33 as a freshman in his lone season at IU.
Evan Gordon also added five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block while just missing his college career high of 29.
He was on fire tonight, Fischer said. We knew that we had to keep giving him the ball.