Hoosiers hold off Huskers, 70-65

LINCOLN, Neb. — Indiana opened its conference schedule flirting with a familiar narrative.

One year after squandering a 16-point lead to Nebraska in Lincoln, the Hoosiers nearly let another one disappear. But a late push helped Indiana hold off the Cornhuskers, 70-65, on Wednesday evening at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Robert Johnson added a team-high 14 points for IU. Troy Williams scored 13 points for the Hoosiers (11-3, 1-0), who travel to Michigan State on Monday night.

Indiana opened a 16-point first-half lead that dwindled to 40-32 at halftime and disappeared early in the second. After going up 36-20 with 5:32 to play, Nebraska outscored IU 26-6 over the next 11 minutes.

But the Hoosiers regained a lead at 51-49 off an alley-oop dunk from Yogi Ferrell to Mosquera-Perea at the 11:44 mark. From there, the Hoosiers never trailed and built its lead to 13 points with less than five minutes to play.

There were shades of Saturday’s overtime loss to Georgetown, too, when the Hoosiers posted a 10-point halftime lead on the Hoyas. But Indiana held tough down the stretch to preserve its first conference win.

The Hoosiers shot 45 percent against a tough and long Nebraska defense. The Huskers, on the other end, shot 40 percent, while missing handfuls of layups. Indiana hit seven of its 24 3-point attempts.

Nebraska’s Terran Petteway led all scorers with 23 points, while Shavon Shields added 20.

Indiana authored one of its best first-half performances of the young season, shooting 47 percent from the field through the first 20 minutes and moving the ball to open shooters rather than settling exclusively for deep balls. Indiana had 22 points in the pain through the first 20 minutes.

The Hoosiers used a 15-1 run to take a 17-8 lead midway through the first half, doing so while crashing the boards in the absence of Mosquera-Perea, who picked up his second foul in the first four minutes of the game.

Indiana worked in shifts to build its lead to as many as 16 points with 5:32 remaining before halftime. First, Johnson opened the game with seven quick points, including back-to-back 3-pointers. Then Emmitt Holt replaced Mosquera-Perea at the 16:06 mark and added six points, three boards and a block. Troy Williams was next, using advanced moves to elude the length of Nebraska’s defense and score nine first-half points.

But once Indiana took a 36-20 lead with 5:32 remaining in the first half, those shots stopped falling, partly due to poor selection. The Hoosiers came out of the looker room flat and watched the Huskers open the period on a 14-2 run.

Around the 10-minute mark of the second half, after Mosquera-Perea took a hard foul, IU coach Tom Crean and Nebraska coach Tim Miles exchanged words. Miles was restrained by his assistants at one point, while Crean walked away.

“We just talked about the weather, tulips and flowers. I have no comment,” Miles said after the game.

This story will be updated.

3 comments

  1. This was a solid win, no matter how we got there like blowing another big lead. On the flip side of that, this is a team that can turn the tables when down by 16 too. We are a scary opponent from that perspective with a slew of gunners.

    The team looked very motivated and played hard all night. We are 1 Big Ten win ahead of where I thought we’d be at this point. Yogi + Blackmon = 13 pts. & we get a road win…..I’ll take it every night!

    It should be very interesting to see what happens @ MSU after they just lost at home. If we can steal that one we’re in really good shape. I figured 4-4 at best after our first 8 in the Big Ten & then things get favorable from there in my opinion.

    As far as Crean and Miles locking horns….I love the way Crean handled it. Now if he can take that same moxie into the halftime locker room we’d be better for it too.

  2. The box score is about 99% accurate in describing a game. In this one…

    We had 10 more possessions. 13 more rebounds (44 vs. 31) minus 3 more turnovers (11 vs. 8).
    We only had 1 more shot, but hit 4 more than they did. We both hit 7 3s. They had 3 more FTs made in 17 attempts by both teams.
    Yogi 8 assists & 1 TO. Blackmon had 8 rebounds. Stan had 8 key pts & Holt had 6.

    The summary of this one was rebounding, limited TOs, and our bench getting assists to the paint.

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