BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell closed his Assembly Hall career out perfectly.
He reveled in the trophy presentation and the net-cutting ceremony. He savored the reverberating chants of his name during the game’s final minutes. Most importantly, he got to celebrate by going unbeaten at home.
The senior guard scored 17 points, had four rebounds and added four more assists to his school record, while Troy Williams matched his career high with 23 points to lead No. 12 Indiana past No. 14 Maryland 80-62.
“I feel like this has been the most fun year for me,” Ferrell told the crowd after Indiana wrapped up its first perfect season at home since 2006-07. “I just want to thank my team for making this last year as special as it can be. Hopefully, we’re not done.”
Hoosiers fans are hoping Ferrell’s not finished yet, either.
The sellout crowd hooted and hollered Sunday as Ferrell dribbled past and around Maryland defenders and oohed and ahed when Ferrell dazzled them those magical ball skills one more time.
But, unlike three years ago when the Hoosiers also celebrated an outright Big Ten crown despite a Senior Day loss, there were no regrets this time.
Indiana (25-6, 15-3) took the only lead it needed during a 14-3 first-half run, seized control by scoring the last nine points of the first half to make it 41-28 and never allowed the Terrapins (24-7, 12-6) to get closer than nine in the second half.
Maryland was led by Melo Trimble, who had 17 points, and Robert Carter, who had four points and seven rebounds. They just didn’t have enough to hang with the Hoosiers after watching an early eight-point lead wiped out.
Yes, Ferrell, Williams and their teammates made it look awfully easy against the conference’s preseason favorite.
“They were good, we kept battling,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We just didn’t finish the first half right, didn’t finish the second half right.”
Ferrell made them pay for it and walked out of Assembly Hall with a piece of net and a memory nobody can take away — two Big Ten regular-season titles in four seasons.
“I feel like this is a special place in my heart man,” Ferrell said. “I’m never going to forget it.”
THE ASSEMBLY LINE
The Hoosiers tied the second-highest home victory total in one season (17) in school history. It’s the most wins in any unbeaten season at Assembly Hall and marked the first time since 1992-93 that Indiana won a Big Ten title by going unbeaten at home.
For most of the season, Maryland was viewed as a contender. Now, the Terrapins are trying to pull themselves out of a slump. After losing four of their last six, Maryland’s reward is another trip to Indiana for the Big Ten tournament.
SENIOR NIGHT II
Last year, forward Max Bielfeldt said goodbye to the Michigan fans. This time, he said farewell again, this time to Indiana fans. “This is No. 2 for me,” Bielfeldt joked before the game. Afterward, he told the crowd how tough it was to play in Assembly Hall, where he never won as an opponent, and never lost as Hoosier.
Maryland: The Terrapins entered the game with the Big Ten’s second-best defensive field goal percentage in league play but allowed Indiana to shoot 51.0 percent from the field. … Diamond Stone was the only other player to reach double figures. He had 12 points and seven rebounds. … The conference’s best shot-blocking team had only one.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have won two outright titles in four seasons, the first time they have done that since taking three league titles from 1980-83. School officials added this year’s team to the banner at the south end of the arena. … Bielfeldt scored six points and senior Nick Zeisloft had nine points. … Freshman Juwan Morgan left the game and went straight to the locker room with 1:20 to play after re-injuring his left shoulder. … Guard Robert Johnson missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle.
Maryland: Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
Indiana: Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.