The twelve-five matchup has already seen two upsets in Thursday's first round action, but the Indiana Hoosiers weren't going to let themselves be the third five-seed to fall as they took care of the Chattanooga Mocs.
The Hoosiers recieved the lowest seed of a Big Ten champion since 2004, but they let their play do the talking at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines as they controlled this ballgame for most of the evening.
It Starts With The Starters
The starting five is always supposed to set the tone, and on Thursday evening, the starting five for the Hoosiers did just that. When you have playmakers like Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, and Thomas Bryant who are capable of scoring in double figures, it can make it hard for opponents to defen all game.
Those three all scored in double figures as Ferrell recorded his first ever double-double with 20 points and 10 assists. Bryant and Williams also combined for 25 points and paced the Hoosiers.
The starters sure paced the team, but it was two players off of the bench that helped the Hoosies get to that 25-point difference when the final buzzer sounded. The senior, Max Bielfeldt, had 10 points and seven rebounds, while the freshman OG Anunoby scored a career high 14 points. Everything was clicking for the Hoosiers from all facets.
Indiana Controls Throughout
In the first half, the Hoosiers had some trouble shaking the Mocs and it looked like they were in for a close one. Justin Tuoyo with 12 points and Duke Ethridge with 16 points, paced the Mocs, but it was never enough to quite get over the top and get back in front of the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers were clicking in every area of the game as their ball movement was setting up easy baskets. Indiana finished with 23 assists on 37 made shots as they finished the night shooting 64.9 percent and 58.8 percent from behind the arc. Chattanooga just couldn't keep up with that shooting performance as they could only hit 47.5 percent of their shots while shooting under 20 percent from the arc.
Indiana briefly had the lead into double figures right before the half, but a three-pointer from Tre' McLean, but the Hoosiers still were in the drivers seat and led 46-37 at halftime.
Hoosiers Run Away
As the second half wore on, the Hoosiers slowly but surely extended their lead and once it got into double figures, it never got back down. Everything Indiana was doing just seemed so easy while the Mocs were working for everything they were getting, which wasn't much.
The Hoosiers were flying around Wells Fargo Arena slamming the ball through the cylinder on what seemed like every possession. The steady hand of Yogi Ferrell kept doing what he did all season long as he played arguably one of his better games of the season.
You couldn't talk about the second half and not talk about OG Anunoby. Anunoby was 6-for-7 from the field including 2-for-2 from behind the arc for a career high 14 points. He also added in two steals and just seemed to ignite a fire under the Hoosiers in teh second half and was a key component in what Tom Crean and Indiana wanted to do.
Chattanooga's season is complete, but for Indiana, they move on to face either Kentucky or Stony Brook on Saturday.