December 8, 2013 / 12:22 am

Gordon Steps Up as Hoosiers Roll North Florida

Evan Gordon’s lone season at Indiana was off to a slow start.  Averaging just 5.6 points in 20.3 minutes per game, the Arizona State transfer was failing to have the impact that many Hoosier fans had hoped for.

On Saturday, that all changed. Gordon scored a season-high 15 points and played terrific defensively, leading the Hoosiers to an 89-68 win over North Florida.

The graduate student said that his teammates made it easy for him to get good shots.

“Our team shared the ball, I was open,” he said. “It’s not going to be someone’s night every night, but tonight it was mine and I had to make sure I knocked down the open shots.”

Head coach Tom Crean was pleased with the scoring Gordon provided, but said it all starts with defense.

“It was great to see Evan get results offensively, and it all came because of the way he locked in defensively,” he said.

While Gordon was terrific, he wasn’t the only Hoosier to contribute to the win. Noah Vonleh recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds, Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points and dished out seven assists, and Jeremy Hollowell added 12 points for Indiana.

The play of the bench was another big factor in the win. The reserves scored 41 points on Saturday after having scored just nine in the loss at Syracuse on Tuesday. In addition to Gordon’s team-leading 15 points, Hanner Mosquera-Perea dropped in eight, while Austin Etherington, Stanford Robinson, and Luke Fischer added six points each off of the bench.

Robinson, a freshman, said it’s important for the reserves to play well for the team to be successful.

“A lot of teams don’t have a bench that they can go to, so you see a lot of teams playing seven players or six players a game,” Robinson said. “It’s just important for our bench to not drop off with what our starters are doing. If we come in with a strong bench, then that’s just like having five more starters back on the floor.”

Crean will certainly be looking for more nights like Saturday from Gordon and the rest of the bench as the season goes on. The Hoosiers will seek a repeat performance on Tuesday when Oakland visits Assembly Hall.

-Max Gabovitch, @maxgabo