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Ferrell paces Indiana past James Madison

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Tipoff: Indiana vs. Temple, NCAA tourney, 3 p.m, Sunday
RADIO: 1250-AM
TV: CBS

Online: For more on college athletics, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at pdiprimio.

Hoosiers advance to play Temple on Sunday

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 3:50 am

DAYTON, Ohio -- Yogi Ferrell couldn't miss. Wouldn't miss. Indiana's freshman point guard had found that zone normally reserved for the likes of Kobe Bryant.

Granted, Bryant is a 6-7 NBA shooting forward on the high side of 30 while Ferrell is a 6-foot (maybe!) college point guard, but that misses the point, which is he played far beyond his teen-age years in his NCAA tourney debut.

In less than four minutes Friday against James Madison Ferrell had nine points and four rebounds. Two minutes later, he was at 6-for-6 from the field for 14 points, six rebounds and two assists.

The Dukes had two points and two rebounds.

"I just picked my spots," he said. "The lane opened up for me and I just kept attacking."

And so a tone was set at the University of Dayton Arena. There would be no top-seed Gonzaga cliffhanger against Southern, or No. 3 seed New Mexico upset loss to Harvard.

The Hoosiers were ruthlessly efficient in all areas in their 83-62 opening victory to advance to Sunday's third-round game against Temple, which edged North Carolina State 76-72 Friday.

"The speed that they play is unbelievable," James Madison guard Devon Moore said. "It was hard facing that kind of speed because we've never faced anything like it."

Added Dukes guard Andre Nation: "They threw the first punch, then threw another. They kept throwing them and we weren't throwing any back."

Ferrell only scored two points after that initial burst, but it didn't matter. He led IU in scoring (16), rebounding (eight) and assists (six). He flirted with just the second triple-double in school history. Steve Downing did it in 1971.

"When he plays like that, it makes everything a lot easier," teammate Victor Oladipo said. "It opens up everything."

Added forward Cody Zeller: "He's had that ability to do that all the way from AAU ball. We're a tough team to scout and I'm sure they were focused on me and Vick. If you give Yogi a lane like that he'll take advantage of it. He's quick and talented."

Ferrell has scored more points (19 against Iowa) and had more assists (10 against Jacksonville), but he's never had so complete a game at so big a moment.

"Yogi is a very mature young man who has an extremely short memory," coach Tom Crean said. "He plays and he moves on.

"The eight rebounds were big because we need more guard rebounds. When he rebounds, we're much better because that break starts so fast.

"He's worked so hard to get extra reps in his shooting. He got us going in a great direction with the way he moved the ball."

Will Sheehey came off the bench to total 15 points. Zeller and Oladipo had 11 each. Jordan Hulls had 10.

James Madison (21-15) was led by Nation's 24 points.

IU wasn't flawless. A first-half sequence in which it allowed James Madison to grab three offensive rebounds before the Dukes hit a three-pointer, and then another, provided some brief underdog momentum.

Repeat: brief momentum.

For all the talk about IU's size advantage (James Madison started four guards and 6-6 forward Rayshawn Goins), it was the Hoosiers' smallest player who had the biggest early impact.

Ferrell opened with a veteran's poise. He shredded a Dukes defense focused on Zeller, Christian Watford, Hulls and Oladipo. Ferrell hit his first four shots, including a three-pointer, as IU bolted to a 9-0 lead in less than four minutes. Ferrell also added three rebounds in that stretch.

The lead swelled to 20 points with five minutes left in the half. By halftime, IU led 43-22

James Madison was finished.

So IU takes aim at Temple (24-9) on Sunday. That winner advances to Washington, D.C., next week.

The Owls were led against North Carolina State by guard Khalif Wyatt's 31 points and five assists. Forward Jake O'Brien added 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting.

Temple won even though it was out-rebounded 34-24 and was out-shot 55.8 percent to 48.0 percent. It made 11 more free throws than North Carolina State and had 13 assists against five turnovers.

IU coaches began breaking down film of the Owls last Monday.