BLOOMINGTON – Yogi Ferrell orchestrates pretty much everything in Indiana’s offense.
Coach Tom Crean added another responsibility to Ferrell’s plate Sunday: guarding the opponent’s top scorer.
Ferrell came through on both ends – scoring 27 points and shutting down Nik Stauskas – to lead Indiana to a 63-52 upset of No. 10 Michigan.
Yogi is playing at an extremely high level, Crean said. He’s a true lead guard with everything he does.
Against the Wolverines, that was just about everything.
Ferrell drained seven 3-pointers, two shy of the Assembly Hall record, in eight attempts and limited Stauskas, one of the nation’s best scorers, to just six points, 12 below his average.
This is a great win because Michigan is such a great team, Ferrell said.
The Wolverines (16-5, 8-1 Big Ten) had been the last unbeaten in conference play, off to their best Big Ten start since 1976-77.
Indiana ended their 10-game winning streak by holding them to their lowest point total of the season.
I think it’s really good for us, coach John Beilein said. I didn’t think we were going to go undefeated. We hadn’t lost since Dec. 11, against Arizona. In the long run, we have to get better.
What made Ferrell’s matchup with Stauskas so impressive is that Ferrell is a point guard, giving up 6 inches and nearly 30 pounds to Michigan’s small forward. Stauskas was 1 of 6 from the field and spent many possessions away from the action, rarely touching the ball at times.
They were denying Nik in the corner, said Caris LeVert, who had 12 points and joined Derrick Walton Jr., who scored 13, as the only Wolverines in double figures. Glenn Robinson III was also quiet, contributing nine points.
Indiana (14-8, 4-5) had lost three of four but rode a tight, creative defense and Ferrell’s hot shooting to a win that might shift its season.
Crean decided Ferrell’s awareness, quick hands and intensity were the perfect antidote to Stauskas’ deadly shooting and effective passing.
You’ve got to make his catches hard and his looks even harder, Crean said. You’ve got to be conscious of where he is at all times. I’m proud of our whole team defensively. Yogi was the catalyst.
With Stauskas limited, the Hoosiers led most of the way in improving to 12-2 at Assembly Hall. Noah Vonleh added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who shot 54 percent to the Wolverines’ 40 percent.
Indiana may have reinvigorated its hopes for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament by securing a second victory over a top 10 opponent.
The Wolverines are a common victim and no stranger to coming up short in this series.
Dating to last season’s run to the national title game, the Wolverines are 27-12 in their last 39 games – with three of the losses to the Hoosiers, who are 24-8 against Michigan over the last 18 seasons.
Michigan was outrebounded 31-22 and shot just 3 of 13 from behind the arc.