A win is a win. That’s been the motto for Indiana on the road thus far in Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers outlasted Minnesota, 70-63, at Williams Arena Saturday to move to 15-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference.
“We’re really proud of this win because we had to earn it,” Tom Crean said in his postgame press conference. “We knew that we would have to here. I don’t get caught up in people’s records as much as you look at what they’re capable of and they’re potential, and they have that.”
Indiana won its 10th straight on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis as the Hoosiers beat Minnesota, 70-63. The victory moved IU to 15-3 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Golden Gophers:
· Yogi Ferrell continues to thrive in league play: Saturday’s performance was the latest example of Ferrell’s brilliance thus far in Big Ten play. No, Ferrell didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. But when Indiana needed him to make a play, he did. The senior point guard made free throws, baskets down the stretch and set up his teammates with a team-high seven assists.
The numbers said Minnesota was no good. They implied Indiana was primed to march up to the Barn and come away with a comfortable victory over a struggling squad.
But that quickly got thrown out the window. Because Minnesota played with desperation. And a desperate team playing like it’s their last game on earth can seize control and flip the script. The Golden Gophers were physical from the onset. They packed the paint, double-teamed Thomas Bryant and held the Hoosiers out of offensive flow. On the other end, Minnesota went right after Indiana’s defense and forced fouls. Nearly a third (11) of their 34 first half points came from the charity stripe.
Minnesota got up by as much as nine in the first half as the Hoosiers missed 3-pointers and turned the ball over at too high a rate (27.4 TO% in first half). But Nick Zeisloft came to save the day. His shot’s been off a bit so far in Big Ten play — including an 0-for-8 mark against OSU — but it recovered in a big way today. Zeisloft hit four straight 3s during an impressive stretch in the first half and it helped the Hoosiers go into halftime tied up at 34.
Quick thoughts on Indiana’s 70-63 win over Minnesota:
How it happened: The Hoosiers moved to 3-0 in conference play away from Assembly Hall, but it wasn’t easy against one of the league’s worst team. Indiana trailed by as many as nine in the first half, but Nick Zeisloft hit four straight 3s and the Hoosiers went into the half knotted at 34. In the second 20 minutes, Yogi Ferrell came up big in the winning effort as he finished with 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes. Ferrell didn’t shoot it great, but moved into second place on the school’s all-time assists list with 544. He passed Quinn Buckner (542) and is just one behind Michael Lewis (545). Also of note: Indiana turned it over on just 18.7 percent of its possessions and was mistake free the final 16:34 of the game.
Indiana will look to keep its nine-game winning streak alive Saturday when it travels to Williams Arena to take on Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers have struggled for the last month and a half and are at the bottom of the Big Ten standings at 0-5. They are 6-11 overall and have lost nine of their last 10 games. Most recently, Minnesota lost 84-59 to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Hoosiers, meanwhile, are trending in the opposite direction. Tied atop the Big Ten standings with Iowa (4-0), IU must avoid a letdown following Sunday’s rout of Ohio State at Assembly Hall.
A road test in the Big Ten, however, is never easy.