Hoosiers top 100 for first time since last year’s opener
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana lost track of The Streak on Monday night.
It was easy to do.
On a night five players scored in double figures, the 14th-ranked Hoosiers took control by making 15 consecutive baskets in the second half and ran away from Austin Peay, 102-76.
"I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of 15 straight," coach Tom Crean said, recounting the time Marquette made 10 straight in a 2003 NCAA Tournament game. "Different environment, different time of year, but 15 straight is pretty impressive. I think it came because of really good movement of the ball and our spacing was much better tonight."
Whatever the explanation, the Hoosiers must prove they can continue playing as well as they did in the second half.
Indiana (2-0) made 8 of 10 from 3-point range and shot 80 percent from the field (21 of 26), the best percentage of any half Crean’s had in eight seasons in Bloomington.
And it wasn’t just a good half — or one dominant performance, either.
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell had 22 points, six rebounds and nine assists. James Blackmon Jr. scored 20 points, and one of the Big Ten’s best offensive teams finished the game shooting 66.7 percent from the field, including 16 of 27 on threes — just two short of the single-game record against Minnesota last season.
"That was the key, they made 15 shots in a row," coach Dave Loos said. "It seemed like more than that, to be honest; they were really on a roll."
Austin Peay (0-2) was led by Chris Horton, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Khalil Davis, who scored 16, as the Governors managed to stay close for the first 25 minutes. They trimmed a 51-39 halftime deficit to seven by scoring the first five points in the second half and trailed just 57-46 after John Murry’s dunk with 16:06 to go.
But after Max Bielfeldt poked the ball away on Austin Peay’s next possession and drove in for a layup with 15:30 left, Indiana didn’t miss another shot until Blackmon’s errant layup with 3:16 left. By then the lead had expanded to 95-68.
Ferrell has started 104 games since coming to Indiana and his stats reflect it. He passed Jimmy Rayl (1,401 points) and Kirk Haston (14,006) to crack the top 20 on the school’s scoring list. Ferrell now has 1,414 points and needs two threes to Tom Coverdale (200) for No. 3 in school history.
Hoosiers fans grimaced when they saw Hoosiers guard Nick Zeisloft hold up an awkwardly bent pinky on his shooting hand with 9:38 left in the first half. Six minutes later, Zeisloft re-entered the game with two fingers on his shooting hand taped together. He wound up making four more 3s and finishing with 15 points. "It’s fine, it’s fine," he said. "It’s just like what he said (a little boo-boo)."
Austin Peay shot 48.3 percent from the field, was 7 of 14 on threes, matched Indiana’s scoring in the paint (40-40) and played nearly even off the bench (26-23). It still wasn’t enough because Indiana had a 33-19 edge on points off turnovers.
Austin Peay: Murry, G Terrell Thompson and F Kenny Jones returned to their home state Monday. … The Governors are 3-13 all-time against Big Ten teams. The last win was against Michigan State on Dec. 19, 1987. … Austin Peay had four players in double figures.
Indiana: The Hoosiers lit up the outside of Assembly Hall in the colors of the French flag Monday. The Hoosiers also asked for a moment of silence before the game to honor the victims of the Paris attacks. … Indiana forced 23 turnovers, its highest total since December 2011; had 14 steals, its second-highest total under Crean; and topped 100 points for the first time since last season’s opener.
Austin Peay hosts IPFW on Wednesday.
Indiana hosts Creighton on Thursday.