Ferrell had a big second half with 10 points, seven assists and no turnovers.
"He's a heck of a player," Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said. "He's quick and puts so much pressure on you. I love the way he manages the game. He's a smart, smart kid."
Will Sheehey added 14 points for IU. Jeremy Hollowell also had 14.
Nicholls State (3-6) was led by Dantrell Thomas' 24 points.