The Indiana Hoosiers seemed to still be reeling from the second half beatdown Michigan State gave them on Sunday when IU fell behind six early against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. But the Hoosiers found their rhythm late in the first half and took control the rest of the way as Indiana won 80-64 to return to first place in the Big Ten.
From the 1:34 mark of the first half to the 15:39 mark of the second half, Indiana (21-6, 11-3) went on 20-2 run to break a 34-34 tie and put itself ahead the rest of the way thanks in large part to Troy Williams. Williams scored six of his game-high 18 points during the run and also added a rebound, a steal, and a block during that six minute stretch.
“I had more of an attacking mindset,” said Williams about his approach to this game. “After the Michigan State game, I didn’t come out aggressive and I watched (the tape) and me and Coach (Tom) Crean talked and decided it’s time to put on an aggressive mindset.”
Nebraska (14-13, 6-8) didn’t go away quietly as the Cornhuskers responded with a 11-3 run and later cut the Hoosiers lead to single-digits.
However, Nebraska’s threat didn’t last long as Juwan Morgan stepped up late by scoring nine of his career-high 12 points and grabbed all five of his rebounds during the final nine minutes of the game as the Hoosiers extended an eight-point lead to a 20-point lead.
“My teammates set me up by putting me in position to get easy buckets,” said Morgan about his career scoring day. “I remember the most recent one, Troy (Williams) drove to the lane hard with an attacking mindset, and all I did was move out of the way and he found me. Just them making plays like that just opened up everything for me, and I just can’t thank them enough for that.”
Indiana looks to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since the beginning of February (which were wins over Minnesota and Michigan) as the Hoosiers face in-state rival Purdue on Saturday night at Assembly Hall. Game will start at 8:30pm and will be on ESPN.
From The Boxscore:
- The Hoosiers have yet to lose two games in a row this season as Indiana is now 6-0 following a loss.
- Troy Williams is now just 11 points away from becoming the 49th Indiana Hoosier to score 1,000 career points.
- IU shot 7 of 17 over the first 14 minutes of the first half but finished the half making 5 of 6.
- Williams led the Hoosiers in scoring (18 points), OG Anunoby led them in rebounds (6) and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell led them in assists (4).
- Ferrell’s shooting slump extended to a fourth game as he only hit 2 of 8 from the floor. Over the last four games, Ferrell has shot a terrible 25.0% (10 of 40) on field goal attempts.
- Jack McVeigh led Nebraska with 17 points while Andrew White III added 15 points.
- The Hoosiers remain undefeated in Assembly Hall, improving to 15-0.
- Indiana is tied atop the Big Ten standings because Iowa lost at Penn State just before Indiana played its game. Penn State has now beaten Indiana and Iowa in its last two home games.
- Juwan Morgan set career-highs in both points (12) and rebounds (5).
- Thomas Bryant only scored 4 points and grabbed 2 rebounds, but he did set a career-high with 3 assists.
- Rob Johnson added 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.