No. 8 Hoosiers mirror Gordon's struggles in Xavier's upset victory

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- Eric Gordon's soaring act never got off the ground, and Indiana stayed down with him.

For that, Xavier can thank Stanley Burrell. And C.J. Anderson and B.J. Raymond.

Burrell contained Gordon, Anderson and Raymond scored 19 points apiece, and Xavier handed the eighth-ranked Hoosiers their first loss, beating them 80-65 in the final of the Chicago Invitational Challenge on Saturday night.

"Teams have opportunities to get better through losses," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said.

And he thinks this could be one of them.

Gordon had a rough night, and the Hoosiers could not get going without him.

Indiana's super freshman scored 20 points, just his second game with fewer than 30, while hitting 4 of 12 shots. Credit or blame Burrell for that.

"I just wanted to take on the challenge and do whatever I can to help the team win," Burrell said. "I know you can't stop him. But I was going to try to slow him down."

In the process, he delivered an effort that earned glowing praise from Xavier coach Sean Miller.

"I don't know if I've ever been more proud of a player than I am of Stan tonight," he said. "In terms of Stan's growth, there would have been a time earlier in his career when he would have been more one-sided on offense. To see the transformation in him, in his last year, to be able to do that defensively means the world to our team."

D.J. White did his best to pick up the slack for Indiana with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but he had little help.

Xavier (4-1) outscored Indiana (4-1) 13-3 over the final 3:54 of the first half to turn a one-point advantage into a 40-29 lead, and the Musketeers maintained control the rest of the way. Anderson shot 7-of-14, while Raymond hit 7 of 12. And both did a good job on the boards, with Raymond grabbing 10 rebounds and Anderson eight.

Drew Lavender added 13 points and six assists in his first game against his former coach, Sampson. They spent two years together at Oklahoma, and Lavender helped the Sooners go 25-8 and reach the second round of the 2005 NCAA tournament before transferring.

Xavier is no stranger to big victories, with at least 20 wins in 20 of the past 25 seasons. The Musketeers went 25-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, and expectations are high again.

Now, they're meeting them.

They rebounded from a two-point loss at Miami of Ohio on Nov. 13 by beating Coppin State by 49 on Tuesday and Kent State 78-65 on Friday. Those were mere warmups for the Hoosiers, who had won their first four for the first time since the 2002-03 team went 8-0.

The loss to Miami still grates on Miller, who said with a sheepish grin: "It really does. I wish it didn't."

What happened Saturday night had to ease his pain at least a little bit.

"It was amazing," Burrell said. "I grew up watching them, and even for a time I wanted to go there. It was a great feeling."

Xavier's Derrick Brown sent a message three minutes into the game with a one-handed jam over Jamarcus Ellis, ripping the net and getting fouled in the process. And the Musketeers ended the half with a flourish.

They were leading 27-26 when they scored eight straight. Indiana's Armon Bassett hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds remaining, but Burrell then rattled in one from the wing, the ball hitting the rim before falling through the net. The Musketeers ended the half with another wild shot.

This one came after White got called for a charge on the right block with two seconds left. Raymond caught a long inbounds pass from Anderson, turned and buried a 15-footer, giving his team an 11-point lead.

It was a rough half for Indiana, which hit just 12 of 32 shots and was 1-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Gordon was 1-of-6 with four points and spent the final 7:09 on the sideline after picking up his third foul.

Are the Hoosiers depending too much on Gordon?

"It's too early to tell," Sampson said.

He was sure of one thing.

"They have a better team than we do right now," Sampson said.