The Hoosiers have been faced with questions about their impressive start to conference play, with critics asserting their strength of schedule hasn’t been much to get excited about.
Well, a Tuesday-night obliteration of Michigan ought to make some of those critics think twice.
Indiana closed the first half on a 25-0 run, an eye-popping display that turned what was once an 11-point first-half deficit into a 21-point halftime lead, the key stretch in a 80-67 win in Ann Arbor. The final score didn't exactly tell the story, as Indiana had a 20-plus-point advantage throughout almost the entirety of the second half, the lead reaching as high as 27.
The Hoosiers actually started sluggish, making just two of their first 10 shots and falling into a double-digit hole early on. But suddenly a switch flipped on both ends of the floor, with the Indiana offense catching fire and the Michigan offense falling off a cliff. The Wolverines had a 17-6 lead with just under 14 minutes till halftime, but they got just two more baskets the rest of the period and scored just seven more points, going scoreless over the final nine minutes of the half. And meanwhile, the Hoosiers got red hot, making 17 of 20 shots following that 2-for-10 start.
Indiana ended the first half on that sensational 25-0 blitz, shooting 61.3 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes. Michigan shot just 28.1 percent before the break. The Hoosiers beat the Wolverines up on the boards, 24-13, and held a 24-8 advantage in points in the paint.
[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Hoosiers gear right here]
Despite Michigan's offense getting back on track in the second half, shooting 60 percent and outscoring Indiana by eight over the final 20 minutes, the damage was already well done. The Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the floor on the night, hitting 10 3s. They also out-rebounded the Wolverines by 14.
Yogi Ferrell led the way with 17 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers and handing out nine assists. Robert Johnson scored 16 points, and OG Anunoby had 11 points. Five other Hoosiers had at least five points.
Zak Irvin scored 16 for the Wolverines, with Duncan Robinson adding 14.
Indiana improved to 19-4 overall and 9-1 in conference play with the win. After a Saturday game against Penn State, two big tests await with back-to-back games against Iowa and Michigan State.
Michigan dropped to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in Big Ten play with the defeat, which put an end to a four-game winning streak. Next up is a big game this weekend against Michigan State.