BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Sporting Alert – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 14 points and Indiana rallied to take down No. 4 Iowa 85-78 in a key college basketball Big Ten game on Thursday night.
Ferrell had an off night shooting from the field after going just 2-of-12, but made all eight of his free throws, which turned out to be very critical down the stretch after the hosts blew a big lead.
Troy Williams added 13 points and seven rebounds, Robert Johnson ended with 13 points and four boards, while Thomas Bryant finished with 10 points and seven rebounds and Max Bielfeldt had 10 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Hoosiers (20-5, 10-2 Big Ten).
The victory on Thursday night saw Indiana joining Iowa and Maryland in a three-way tie for the conference lead.
Jarrod Uthoff scored 24 points and had five rebounds to lead the way for the Hawkeyes (19-5, 10-2), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Mike Gesell added 17 points, six assists and three rebounds and Adam Woodbury collected his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while shooting 6-of-10 from the floor for Iowa.
Anthony Clemmons and Peter Jok each scored 12 points for the Hawkeyes, who shot 46 percent from the field in the defeat.
The Hoosiers also shot 46 percent, while going 18 for 21 from the free throw line.
Indiana started the game strongly, knocking down a number of three-pointers to build a 16 point lead midway through the first half before Iowa closed the gap to seven at halftime.
The home side had to overcome a deficit in the second half, but managed to build another double-digit lead when Ferrell drained a 3-pointer to give the Hoosiers a 70-62 advantage with just over six minutes remaining and that proved to be enough.
“We knew we were going to have to play a very hard, competitive, efficient game,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean. “At times we weren’t efficient but we found a way and we were very competitive.
“We played with really strong grit which these guys are learning what that’s all about.
Indiana will next play at No. 8 Michigan State in a Valentine’s Day battle on Sunday.
“We’re looking forward to our next challenge on Sunday,” added Crean, who was securing his fourth 20-win season with the Indiana Hoosiers.
Iowa will take on Minnesota on Sunday.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after the defeat: This a terrific team we just played. I thought they really moved the ball tonight, I thought they ran, I thought they got on the class early.
“We responded like I hope we would. I thought we executed on that stretch much better than we did the rest of the game. I don’t think our execution was what it’s been and you can’t beat a team of this caliber unless you are executing better.”