Bloomington, Indiana – Sophomore Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 20 points including six three-pointers to lead #24 Indiana to an 83-68 win over Southern Indiana, a Division II power, in the first exhibition game for both teams. USI is ranked #23 in the NCAA Division II preseason poll and will next play at Tennessee, November 7, while the Hoosiers will take on Hillsdale, November 4 in their final exhibition tuneup.
“This past week of practice was his (Yogi) best overall week he’s had probably since he’s been here, so I think that really gives us something to build on,” said IU Coach Tom Crean. “I think the whole key is you take what the game is giving you, and Yogi is good enough where that’s got to be the key.”
Indiana led for the majority of the game and used contributions from several players to hold off the Screaming Eagles each time it looked like they could make a run. All totaled six players scored nine points or more for the Hoosiers.
Sophomore Jeremy Hollowell scored 13 points and had two assists, freshman Troy Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds, senior Will Sheehey had 10 points and four boards, freshman Noah Vonleh had nine points and 12 boards and sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea chipped in nine points and five rebounds.
With the game tied at 22-22 with 6:18 to go in the first half, the Hoosiers closed out the half on a 16-9 run when Williams hit a fast break slam dunk at the buzzer to see IU lead 38-29 at half.
USI came out the aggressor to start the second half and made it’s first six shots and cut the lead to 44-42 at the first media timeout with 15:37 left in the game. Williams got a kind bounce on a three-pointer and senior Evan Gordon added a free throw to cap an 11-2 IU run to make it 55-44 with 11:57 left in the game.
The Screaming Eagles would continue to claw back but when Hollowell buried a triple on the left wing, the Hoosiers would lead 67-57 and ended up leading by as much as 18 points.
“I thought the first game under the lights, the first game in front of the fans, I thought our guys played with tremendous energy, said IU Coach Tom Crean. “I thought we got better as the game went on. I think these guys understood that at some point in time if you just stick with it, stick with your energy, you keep pushing the ball, keep attacking, good things are going to happen.”
Several other IU players provided solid nights. Gordon would finish with six points, five rebounds and three assists, sophomore Austin Etherington hit four of four free throws and added two steals, and freshman Luke Fischer would contribute two points, five boards, two assists and a blocked shot in 11 minutes after just returning to practice three days earlier.
Statistically, the Hoosiers grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and outboarded USI, 54-36. The Hoosiers aggressiveness also figured at the free throw line with IU making 18 of 31 to USI’s two of seven attempts. In addition, the Hoosiers outscored the visitors on the break, 23-2.
“I think the fans are really going to enjoy the team, but I think they are going to be like me, they’ll pull their hair out once in a while, said Crean. Hopefully they’ll understand that these guys are trying to do everything they can do to continue to hold Indiana to the standard they’re at. They want it and that’s well over half the battle.”
The men’s team will be at Assembly Hall tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 to host their annual Haunted Hall of Hoops. Admission is free.