It took a little while for the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers to get going, but a 23-6 run propelled them to a 13-point halftime lead and an eventual 80-62 victory over the visiting Maryland Terrapins on Sunday at Bloomington Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers capped off a successful season at home, per Indiana Basketball:
The victory was the fifth in a row to end the season for Indiana, while the No. 14 Terrapins have now dropped four of their past six games.
Indiana was led by forward Troy Williams, who finished with 23 points and five rebounds. The junior scored 10 of his team's first 12 points in the second half, helping to keep Maryland from cutting into the lead, despite the fact the Terrapins hit their first four shots from the field.
Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall noticed Williams' hot play over the first four minutes of the half:
Not sure what happened to Troy Williams at halftime, but he's out here eating. #iubb— Alex Bozich (@insidethehall) March 6, 2016
Williams was pumped following a made basket and a foul, via Indiana Basketball:
While Williams was the star of the night, point guard Yogi Ferrell scored 17 points and had four assists in his final home game for the Hoosiers. Ferrell helped get his team back in the game early with a pull-up three-pointer to tie the contest at 18 with 11:39 left in the first half.
Justin Albers of AllHoosiers.com expressed the sentiment of all Indiana fans watching the senior hit his trademark shot:
Yogi Ferrell is, unofficially, shooting 119% on pull-up 3s in his Indiana career. #iubb— Justin Albers (@Justin_Albers) March 6, 2016
However, it was a play that won't show up in the box score that defined Ferrell's career. As Maryland was casually inbounding the ball in its backcourt, Ferrell dashed across midcourt and dove for the ball as it was rolling on the floor. There was a scrum that led to a jump ball, and the Terrapins retained possession. But as Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star tweeted, it was signature Ferrell:
Yogi Ferrell just dove 15 feet for a jump ball when Maryland tried to roll it in to save time. They're going to love him forever now. #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) March 6, 2016
Ferrell wasn't the only Hoosier with a highlight reel. Thomas Bryant, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds, showed early on that he can hit from behind the arc as well, via Indiana Basketball:
The Hoosiers were sharing the ball well in the first half, as shown by this dish-and-dunk from Collin Hartman to Bryant, via Indiana Basketball:
Maryland got zero points from its bench in the first half, but sophomore Melo Trimble, who was averaging 15.4 points for his career coming in, led the team with 10 and broke 1,000 points for his career, per Maryland Basketball:
Maryland did lead by as many as eight until the Hoosiers' big run, capped by a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Williams. The first 20 minutes were telling for both teams, according to Jeremy Price of the Bloomington Herald-Times:
Troy 3 at the buzzer, and that first half was the difference between these two teams this season in a nutshell. Hoosiers by 13. #iubb— Jeremy Price (@JPPrice) March 6, 2016
Here's a visual of how most of the first half went for Maryland, via CBS Sports CBB:
This sums up the first half for Maryland. https://t.co/dFJAv7J5hK— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 6, 2016
If there was one for the second half, it was this play from Max Bielfeldt to Juwan Morgan, via CBS Sports CBB:
Now that's court vision...https://t.co/OC3U6LD4u9— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 6, 2016
Maryland did play better overall in the second half, but it could never get closer than nine as it allowed Indiana to go without a turnover for an 18-minute stretch covering both halves.
Considering Indiana never trailed after halfway through the first half, it didn't dominate Maryland in most facets of the game. The Hoosiers shot 38.1 percent from the field compared to 33.3 for Maryland, and both teams hit eight three-pointers. Free-throw shooting was the biggest difference, as Indiana connected on 20 of 25 attempts, while Maryland was just 6-of-8.
The Terrapins were ranked as high as No. 2 at one point in the season, but their recent swoon has dropped them in the polls.
Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation's Testudo Times thinks Maryland has become one-dimensional, focusing too much on its freshman Diamond Stone, who had 12 points and seven rebounds:
Maryland's entire offense involves giving the ball to Diamond Stone and then standing around and watching him lose the ball.— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) March 6, 2016
But it was Trimble who led the way with 17 points. Forward Robert Carter Jr. was the only other Terrapin in double-figure points with 14.
Maryland has the talent to win the Big Ten tournament, but the Hoosiers and Michigan State Spartans are the clear favorites.
Indiana had the No. 1 Big Ten seed wrapped up before the game began, but it cemented the season with the convincing victory. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Hoosiers as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament prior to the game, and if they can make it to the Big Ten Championship Game, a No. 2 seed is likely.
Lunardi had Maryland as a No. 4 seed, but an early exit in the conference tournament could drop it to the dreaded upset-prone No. 5 seed.
After the victory, it was time to celebrate the regular-season Big Ten championship, via Indiana Basketball:
CHAMPS!!! pic.twitter.com/3gGU7HNLaF— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) March 6, 2016
Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star shared just how great of a career Ferrell has had, immediately following the game:
Yogi Ferrell passes 1,900 career points, becomes only player in B10 history with 1,900 points, 600 assists, 400 rebounds. Column coming.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) March 6, 2016
Ferrell addressed the fans after the game with a senior speech, per Jeff Rabjohns of Rivals.com.
“I wanted to be a winner, a four-year guy that gave his all to Hoosier Nation. I came back because of you guys,” he said.
The amazing Hoosiers’ season seemed far away in December when they got off to a 5-3 start following a 94-74 loss to the Duke Blue Devils. Now, at 25-6, they are conference champions. Indiana president Michael McRobbie was obviously happy with the season, per Rabjohns.
“It started as a difficult season but turned into one of the best seasons in the history of Indiana University basketball," McRobbie said.
Hoosiers’ head coach Tom Crean said his players never gave up on each other, per Rabjohns:
Tom Crean: When you have faith in yourself…each other…what you’re doing “It doesn’t matter what’s said on the outside.”— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) March 6, 2016
Bielfeldt, a senior, was short and to the point when describing what it’s like to play in Bloomington, per Indiana Basketball:
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was not happy following the loss, saying his team’s poor offense in the latter part of the first half affected its defense, per InsidetheHall.com:
Ferrell’s career will go down as one of the most memorable with the Hoosiers, and Crean thinks his star point guard has a lot of basketball left in his future, per Rabjohns.
“Maybe he’s unappreciated in some areas, but there’s an NBA team that’s going to take him, and they’re going to appreciate him."