In a contest featuring a pair of teams on the brink of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska improved its résumé with a 70-60 victory on the road Wednesday night in Indiana. The triumph gives NU its first 10-win conference season since 1999 and clinches its first winning season in the league since 1999-2000.
The Huskers (18-11, 10-7), who led wire-to-wire throughout, took control of the contest early, making shots and continuing their strong play on the defensive end, holding Indiana (17-13, 7-10) to only 37 percent shooting. This marks the eighth consecutive game in which NU has held its opponents to under 40 percent shooting.
The Scarlet and Cream went on a 5:11 field goal drought midway through the second half as Indiana quickened the tempo and used an 8-0 run to knot the contest at 52 with 10 minutes remaining. NU responded by holding Indiana to a 4:16 field goal drought of their to spoil Indiana’s Senior Night.
Sophomore Walter Pitchford, who tallied the second-best point total of his career (17) along with nine rebounds, recorded the first nine Husker points on four-of-six shooting from the field to give NU the early momentum. Senior Ray Gallegos finished the night with nine points on three clutch 3-pointers, including a triple that gave the Huskers momentum headed into halftime with a 34-26 advantage, which staved off a late Hoosier run at the end of the first half.
Shavon Shields came up big in the second half for the Big Red to finish 17 points and eight rebounds. Leading scorer Terran Petteway, who played limited minutes due to foul trouble, amassed 13 points while Benny Parker added eight.
Huskers shot 51 percent in the first half and ended the contest firing over 45 percent on 25-of-55 from the floor, including 6-for-17 from beyond the arc. NU also went 14-for-19 from the line on the evening, connecting on its last eight attempts from the stripe.
Coach Tim Miles and his NU squad led by as many as 11 points, tied for its largest lead on the road in the Big Ten Conference this season.