January 22, 2016

Yogi Ferrell played a leading role in Indiana's historic victory, further cementing his lasting mark with the Hoosiers.

Such efforts, however, have been elusive when he's faced Northwestern.

The star point guard will try to lift No. 25 Indiana to its 12th straight win and best Big Ten start in 23 years Saturday in Bloomington.

Ferrell had nine assists to break Michael Lewis' school record with 553 and also hit five of the Hoosiers' league-record 19 3-pointers in Tuesday's 103-69 home win over Illinois.

The senior ranks second in the Big Ten with 19.2 points per game in conference play. He needs 13 more to pass Eric Anderson for 10th on the school's career scoring list.

"What I love about him is he's incredibly happy for (his teammates') success, and his maturity is well on its way," coach Tom Crean said. "If he stays on this path of continuing to improve the way that he is and keeps that work ethic that way, he'll leave here with a really strong legacy."

Troy Williams scored a team-high 21 points as the Hoosiers (16-3, 6-0) shot 56.9 percent and 52.8 from 3-point range. They lead the Big Ten with 85.9 points per game, a 52.3 field-goal percentage and a 44.3 mark on 3s.

Indiana, tied with Iowa atop the Big Ten, looks to open 7-0 in conference play for the first time since Bob Knight guided them to a 13-0 start in 1992-93.

The Hoosiers can also win their initial 12 home games for the first time since 2007-08, and their 11-game overall winning streak is the second-longest of Crean's tenure following a 12-0 start in '11-12.

Ferrell, though, hasn't been nearly as dominant against the Wildcats (15-5, 3-4). He's averaged 10.6 points and 37.7 percent shooting with 14 assists and eight turnovers in five career meetings.

Northwestern, winner of three of its past five at Assembly Hall, ranks in the top five of the Big Ten with 64.4 points allowed per game, a 39.5 defensive field-goal percentage and a 32.2 mark in defending the 3-pointer.

Following a promising Big Ten start, the Wildcats have taken a step back by falling 71-62 to visiting Penn State on Saturday and 62-56 in overtime at No. 7 Maryland on Tuesday. They've been particularly ineffective from 3-point range, making eight of 47 (17 percent) in the losses.

Leading scorers Bryant McIntosh (15.7 points per game) and Tre Demps (14.0) totaled 18 while going 1 of 12 from beyond the arc against the Terrapins.

''I'm not big on moral victories,'' said coach Chris Collins, whose squad opened a stretch of four straight against ranked opponents. ''(But) we play a lot of young guys and these are great experiences for them.''

Northwestern held Indiana to 25 percent shooting in a 54-47 win Jan. 18, 2014 in the most recent meeting in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have won two of three matchups since, including 71-56 in last year's Big Ten tournament.

Alex Olah has averaged 15.3 points and 9.7 boards in his last three meetings for the Wildcats, who are seeking the best 21-game start in their history. Northwestern, though, has dropped 10 straight to ranked opponents.

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