National Basketball Association
Indiana 99, Chattanooga 74
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, March 17, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
# Patrick Adams, # Tim Clougherty, # Larry Spaulding
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Consider the picnic portion of the NCAA Tournament a wrap for Yogi Ferrell and fifth-seeded Indiana.
The Hoosiers (26-7) crushed Chattanooga (29-6) in the first-round game at Wells Fargo Center 99-74 on Thursday to advance to the round of 32, and a possible matchup with Kentucky after the Wildcats won in late game Thursday. Win that, and a would-be meeting with No. 1 seed North Carolina might happen in the regional semifinals in Philadelphia.
"Our guys played with tremendous urgency," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "We handled the pressure. It's a great team victory played offensively, defensively and situational basketball."
Ferrell's 20 points and 10 assists might not fairly describe his dominance of the Moccasins' guard-heavy lineup. He was 4 of 7 from 3-point range and 6 of 13 overall. Freshman forward OG Anunoby, who averaged 4.6 points this season, had a season-best 14 points and two Vine-worthy dunks. The Hoosiers had five players in double figures.
"If we were to get (Kentucky), it would be a great matchup, two high-level offense teams," Ferrell said immediately after the Hoosiers' game, before the Kentucky result was final. "We'll just see what happens. It's March. Anything can happen."
Forward Duke Ethridge led Chattanooga with 16 points.
Indiana attacked relentlessly on the offensive end with the floor spread for Ferrell to probe the paint and find cutting teammates, dizzying the Moccasins into catch-up mode with the divide at or above 10 points for most of the second half.
When Chattanooga committed to cut off Ferrell, the All-Big Ten point guard carved up the Moccasins' vulnerable help-side defense.
"It seemed like every time we turned it over, they converted, it's hard to win that way," Chattanooga coach Matt McCall said. "We got it down to 13 and 12 but they always had an answer. That's by far the best team we've played all year and we've seen some talented ones."
The Hoosiers are just getting started in a loaded East Region, and will face No. 4 seed Kentucky on Saturday for a ticket to the Sweet 16 in Philadelphia.
Ferrell and SEC Player of the Year Tyler Ulis, Kentucky's sophomore floor general, would make for a frenetic dual given their like size and skills.
Indiana scored its first 10 points on dunks or layups and with a smoldering 60.7-percent shooting effort, led 46-37 at halftime. Chattanooga managed only 13 field-goal attempts in the first 20 minutes and survived only because of 22 points off the bench. Sixteen players scored in a fast-paced first half in which Indiana junior guard Troy Williams led all scorers with eight.
The highlight reel moment before intermission was a steal and breakaway dunk by Hoosiers Anunoby, whose authoritative 360 slam drew audible gasps.
Anunoby had another monster flush with 6:59 left when he dipped under the left side of the rim with his back to the baseline and crammed in another dunk that put Indiana up 20.
"We see it in practice all the time, so we're not too shocked to see it," Ferrell said.
NOTES: Indiana G Yogi Ferrell is the first player named unanimous first-team All-Big Ten for the Hoosiers since Calbert Chaney (1991, 1992 and 1993). ... Chattanooga set a school record with 29 wins. The Moccasins are 3-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Their last trip was in 2009. ... Indiana set a new school single-season record for 3-pointers Thursday. The record was 319, set last season, and Indiana ended the first half Thursday with 320 total 3-pointers this season. ... The Hoosiers lead the NCAA Tournament field entering Thursday with 9.9 3-point field goals per game. ... Indiana last played Kentucky in a regularly scheduled game in Dec. 10, 2011, a Hoosiers' 73-72 win over No. 1-ranked Kentucky celebrated by the student section storming the Assembly Hall court. They met in the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Atlanta, a 102-90 Wildcats' victory.
Top Game Performances
Duke Ethridge 14
Yogi Ferrell 20
Tre McLean 5
Yogi Ferrell 10
Dee Oldham 5
Troy Williams 8
Dee Oldham 4
||Free Throws Made
Yogi Ferrell 4
K.J. Bates 1
Collin Hartman 3
Justin Tuoyo 2
Juwan Morgan 2
Team Stats Summary