While Indiana got a couple to go down in transition, the Hoosiers got the majority of their triples — including some seriously wide open looks — inside their halfcourt offense by exploiting a Northwestern defense which appeared to be playing more of a matchup zone.
We’ll take a look at one 3-pointer in transition and four in the halfcourt in the latest edition of Film Session:
Robert Johnson inbounds to Troy Williams and he passes to Yogi Ferrell on the left wing:
For the third straight game, Indiana held a lead of 30 points or more against an opponent in Assembly Hall. For the 12th straight game, the Hoosiers walked off the court victorious, after they beat down Northwestern 89-57 to improve to 17-3 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten.
It was a well balanced attack for IU, led by senior Yogi Ferrell who had 17 points, six assists and three rebounds. Max Bielfeldt and Collin Hartman both also reached double figures with 13 and 11 respectively. Troy Williams and Robert Johnson each had nine points. 11 different players scored for the Hoosiers, as opposed to six for Northwestern.
At this point, the Hoosiers are playing so well so often we’re running out of ways to heap praise on this group. It’s another blowout win at home where the opponent stood no chance from the opening tip. Ohio State came and Indiana embarrassed the Buckeyes by 25. Illinois traveled to Bloomington and lost by 34. The Wildcats, try as they might, were just no match for the Hoosiers this afternoon in a 32-point blowout for the home team.
Forget the level of competition so far, there’s no denying Indiana is playing at an incredibly high level on both ends of the floor. The Hoosiers are not just winning. They’re dominating. This is the team’s first seven-game winning streak in Big Ten play in 23 years (1993) and its 12th straight victory overall.
Quick thoughts on Indiana’s 89-57 win over Northwestern:
How it happened: Another home game, another result that was never really in doubt for the Hoosiers. Indiana opened the game on a 10-0 run and the Wildcats never got closer than five the rest of the afternoon. As I wrote on Twitter about midway through the second half, you can say what you’d like about IU’s strength of schedule so far in league play, but the fact is the Hoosiers are dismantling teams on this winning streak. Indiana is now 7-0 in Big Ten play, the longest in-conference winning streak for the Hoosiers since 1993. Overall, IU is now 17-3 and has won 12 straight games. This was another offensive clinic (1.36 points per possession) and another conference opponent held under a point per possession (.87).
Indiana will look to move its winning streak to 12 games today when Northwestern comes to Assembly Hall to take on the first place Hoosiers.
At 16-3 overall and 6-0 in conference, IU has put itself in a position where it could go undefeated in the month of January. The Wildcats, though, are no pushover. Northwestern is 15-5, 3-4 and on a mission to finally get that NCAA Tournament berth they’ve been seeking under Chris Collins.
“They’re a confident group,” Tom Crean said. “They’re coming off a game the other night that are one or two bounces the other way they’d beat Maryland at Maryland.”
Indiana is back at it on Saturday afternoon as Northwestern comes to town for a matinee in Assembly Hall. The Wildcats are 15-5 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten, but have dropped four of their last six contests.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 12 p.m. ET:
At 6-0, Indiana remains atop the Big Ten standings with Iowa, which beat Rutgers on Thursday night. Favorable schedule or not, the Hoosiers keep posting wins and gaining confidence. IU has won its last two games at Assembly Hall by a combined 59 points. That doesn’t happen unless your level of play is extremely high.
But the road should get a little tougher on Saturday with Northwestern in Bloomington. The Wildcats have struggled lately, but just took Maryland to overtime in College Park. And the last time Northwestern came to Assembly Hall during the 2013-2014 season, Chris Collins and company left with a 54-47 win.