In a game where both teams committed more turnovers than made field goals in the first half, Indiana (9-3) prevailed against Nicholls State (3-6) 79-66 Friday night in Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers shot 54.5 percent (24-for-44) from the field for the game, while limiting the Colonels to 45.9 percent shooting (28-for-61). Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell led the Hoosiers in scoring with 16 points, going 5-for-7 shooting from the floor.
Ferrell also went 3-for-5 from 3-point range and, along with senior wing Will Sheehey, who hit each of his two 3-point shot attempts, were the only two Hoosiers to make a 3-pointer.
After the game, Ferrell said he thought his team did a good job of pushing the ball up-tempo and creating opportunities for themselves.
“I felt like we did a good job of getting the ball out quick when they scored and just pushing the ball and finding a different outlet,” he said. “We just kind of flowed really, didn’t want to run too many sets.”
In the first half, four Hoosiers led the team in scoring in the first half: Senior wing Will Sheehey, freshman forward Noah Vonleh, sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell and Ferrell each had six points.
Both teams struggled to take care of the ball in the first half. Indiana forced Nicholls State in 12 turnovers, but committed 11 turnovers themselves. Both teams had more turnovers than made field goals in the half.
From the field, the Hoosiers went 9-for-20, while hitting one of just six three point attempts. The Colonels, on the other hand, shot 9-for-25 in the first half, and missed all seven of their three point attempts.
IU Coach Tom Crean said going into the game, he felt his team needed to get to the foul line and into the paint.
“We needed to get into the foul line tonight, we needed to get into the paint,” Crean said. “The bottom line is we wanted to bring tempo and pace to the game.”
The biggest difference in the first half came from the free throw line. Indiana went 18-for-24, while Nicholls State shot just 4-for-7 from the free throw line. For the game, Indiana went 26-for-35 from the charity stripe, while Nicholls State went 6-for-10.
Coming into the game, Nicholls State had the highest fouling rate in the country per game.
Senior guard Dantrell Thomas had a game-high 24 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field. Thomas, who leads the Colonels in points per game, was one of two Colonels to score in double figures.
On Sunday, IU will play its final non-conference game of the season against Kennesaw State at Assembly Hall. The game is scheduled to start at 12 p.m.
Ferrell said that with Big Ten play looming, he’s anticipating a good week of practice for himself and his teammates.
“Well, we definitely want to go out pretty strong really this week, and then have
a couple days of practice and see what we need to work on and get ready for a tough
conference to play in,” Ferrell said.