Indiana senior guard Yogi Ferrell led the Hoosiers to an 85-78 win over No. 4 Iowa on Thursday night, finishing with a team-high 14 points in front of a packed house at Assembly Hall.
Ferrell, who was battered throughout the game, shot just 2-of-12 from the floor but hit all eight of his free throws, calling the win over Iowa “one of the more physical games” he’s ever played in.
“That’s what the Big Ten is all about,” Ferrell said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “But I feel like I’m never going to shy away from a fight. My teammates aren’t going to shy way from a fight. I thought we came out here and we fought for each other, which is the main thing. I felt like when we do that, we can do great things.”
Ferrell, who became Indiana’s all-time leader in assists this year, was one of five Hoosiers to finish in double figures. Troy Williams and Robert Johnson both scored 13, and Thomas Bryant and Max Bielfeldt both scored 10. Nick Zeisloft and Colin Hartman added nine and seven, respectively, as Indiana shot 46.0 percent from the floor and 36.0 percent from three-point range.
“We’re just playing with a great team,” Ferrell said. “I played with some great teammates all four years. This is probably one of the more special teams (I’ve played on). I feel like we’re definitely connected on the court. It’s just fun playing with these guys.”
Ferrell, who has played on some elite Hoosiers teams, can’t believe how quickly his four years have flown by.
“I can still remember my freshman year playing at Michigan when we won the Big Ten title outright,” he said. “These four years have gone by fast. I’m just trying to live these last few days and just have a good time.”
The Hoosiers (20-5, 10-2) have been in virtually every game this season. They’ve won 15 of 17 with the only two losses coming on the road – one at Wisconsin in overtime and one at Penn State. Four of Indiana’s five losses this year have been by five points or fewer.
Add it all up, and Tom Crean has his fourth 20-win season with the Hoosiers.
“Coach Crean has done a great job with us, especially this game,” Ferrell said. “He’s in the huddle, he’s saying, ‘We’re going to win this game. We’re going to win this game.’ Looking in my teammates’ eyes, I felt like we believed that and we carried that onto the court. Coach Crean has never went away from us. He definitely stayed with us basically the entire season. We had a rough start to begin the year out in Hawaii, but ever since then I feel like he’s believed in us and our capabilities. We just carried it out onto the court.”
Indiana plays four ranked teams in its final six games, including a road matinee at No. 8 Michigan State (20-5, 7-5) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.