Coming in to Tuesday night’s game against the Illinois Fighting Illini, one of the Indiana Hoosiers’ basketball records was expected to be broken. Yet when the final buzzer sounded and the Hoosiers walked off the court with a 103-69 win, they did it knowing that they had actually broken two school records.
The first one that was expected to be broken was Indiana’s career assist record. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell came into the game one assist behind previous record-holder Michael Lewis’ 545 assists. Ferrell surpassed that with a no-look pass to Max Bielfeldt in the post who converted an easy layup to give the senior point guard the record at the 11:19 mark of the first half. Ferrell didn’t stop there as he finished with nine assists and also added 16 points.
“That’s a great honor,” said Ferrell about becoming the Hoosiers all-time leader in assists. “I played with a lot of great guys coming up: Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, that’s what I like to be. I like to be a facilitator for my team, and I feel like I’ve gotten to have known my teammates very well all four years.”
One of those players took to twitter to express how proud he was of his former teammate.
The other record that fell was made three-pointers by the Hoosiers in a single game. The Illini clogged the paint to begin the game, having all five players circling around the free throw line. The defensive gameplan was to prevent the Hoosiers from getting easy buckets in the paint and instead have them settle for jump shots. Unfortunately for Illinois, the Hoosiers were up to that challenge as they made the Illini pay by making five of their first seven three-point attempts. Even when Illinois starting defending the three-point line, the Hoosiers were still firing as Indiana finished the game with 19 made three-pointers. Not only is that an Indiana record for most in a single game, but it also set a record for most three-pointers made by one team in a Big Ten game.
“(The Illini) were locked into knowing that they were going to come with a lot of edge and energy on the glass,” said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about Illinois’ defensive approach against the Hoosiers. “Once we figured out that we needed to continue to go to the paint to get our three-point shots we were much better.”
Nine different Hoosiers made a three-pointer, with Ferrell leading the way with five. Rob Johnson and Nick Zeisloft had three three-pointers, Bielfeldt and Troy Williams had two three-pointers, and Colin Hartman, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, and Harrison Niego all added one three-pointer.
The lone bright spot for Illinois (9-10, 1-5) was Malcolm Hill, who scored a team-high 20 points and added five rebounds. Indiana (16-3, 6-0) was led in scoring by Williams, who finished with 21 points along with four rebounds and five assists.
The Hoosiers will face another Big Ten school from the state of Illinois as Indiana hosts Northwestern on Saturday at 12pm in Assembly Hall.
From The Boxscore:
- Not only do the Hoosiers have the most threes ever in a Big Ten game, but they also hold the record for the second, third and fourth most in a Big Ten game.
- This was the fourth time this season that the Hoosiers have scored in the triple-digits and the first time they’ve done it without James Blackmon Jr. In fact, JBJ had at least 20 or more points in those other three games this season.
- Everyone on the Hoosiers who attempted a three-pointer made at least one. Collin Hartman, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, and Harrison Niego each attempted just one shot from behind the arc and made that shot.
- Troy Williams had a team-high 21 points and added five assists without committing a single turnover. He also made two three-pointers. “Tornado Troy” was nothing but positive for the Hoosier tonight.
- Just being on the receiving end of Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell’s record-breaking assist would have constituted a great night for Max Bielfeldt but his performance didn’t stop there. Bielfeldt finished with 16 points, 3 assists, and team-highs in rebounds (8), steals (3), and blocks (2).
- Lost in Ferrell’s performance, Rob Johnson again flirted with a triple-double, He finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
- The Hoosiers have now won 11 games in a row, one short of Tom Crean’s best winning streak as the Indiana head coach. His 2011-2012 Hoosiers started the season 12-0, which included the memorable buzzer-beating win over top-ranked Kentucky.
- In addition to taking the top spot on the all-time assist list, Ferrell also passed Brian Evans for 11th on IU’s all-time scoring list.