Williams and Ferrell willed the Hoosiers to a 82-73 win over No. 23 Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
Williams led the Hoosiers (9-2) with 22 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting. Ferrell, who was scoreless in the first half and sat out extended time with two fouls, had 20 points and three 3-pointers in the second half. When Butler made a run to jump ahead, Ferrell continually answered with big shots of his own.
During one stretch, Ferrell scored 10 straight points for Indiana and 12 of 14. In the process, Ferrell became the 48th player in Indiana history to score 1,000 points for his career. It was also the 300th win of Tom Crean's career.
"This was a hard fought win for us," Crean said afterward. "We never let down in the second half, we never gave in to it. There's not question that will help us in a great way, and probably pretty soon."
Perhaps the most critical stretch came with just over five minutes remaining and Indiana ahead 66-65. Williams, who played the best game of his short Indiana career, made a great pass to Nick Zeisloft in the right corner with 5:25 left. Zeisloft buried it, and Williams scored in transition on IU's next possession.
After a Butler timeout, Williams scored another layup, and Ferrell buried Butler for good with a 3-pointer to put IU up by 11 points.
Butler (8-3) momentarily cut IU's to five at 76-71 with just over a minute remaining, but would never get any closer.
"They made just a few more plays there in the second half," said Butler interim coach Chris Holtmann. "They make you guard a lot of the floor in the halfcourt and not every team makes you guard a lot of the floor. You can have your defense set, you still have to guard a lot of the floor. They certainly put a lot of pressure on you on that end."
Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 23 points, but he had only five in the second half. Dunham scored the final seven points of the first half to even the score at halftime, but the Hoosiers did a good job on the Bulldogs' leading scorer in the final 20 minutes.
"I thought they did a great job defensively the whole game," Dunham said. "They changed defenses and made it difficult in the second half."
Kameron Woods added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Butler, and Andrew Chrabascz had 14 points and five rebounds. Roosevelt Jones had 11 points and eight boards, but was just 5-of-15 from the field with three turnovers.
The Hoosiers won the battle on the boards, 46-39, against a very good rebounding team. IU held the edge in offensive rebounds as well, 15-11. The Bulldogs had 29 offensive rebounds against then-No. 5 North Carolina. The rebounding battle was a huge key to the game.
"We had to win the rebounding battle to win the game," Crean said. "Our guys stayed committed to that."
Added Woods: "It's something we're going to have to shore up because that's the word out on us right now. If you're physical in there, apparently you can get them."
Hanner Mosquera-Perea had another solid game for the Hoosiers, finishing with eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Blackmon had only five points on 2-of-12 shooting, but pulled down eight rebounds.
IU shot 42 percent from the field (30-of-71) and held Butler to just 39 percent shooting. The Hoosiers made 8-of-17 from beyond the arc.COLUMN: Ferrell wills Indiana to key win
With Williams leading the way, IU wins rebounding battle
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