NU Athletic Communications The Nebraska basketball team started fast and finished strong Monday night, never trailing No. 25 Indiana in a 66-51 victory over the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall.
The Huskers scored the first nine points of the game and held Indiana without a basket over the final 5:38 en route to picking up their first road victory over a ranked opponent in more than two years. With the win, Nebraska improved to 13-4 on the season and the Huskers evened their Big Ten Conference record at 3-3. Indiana fell to 12-5 overall and dropped to 3-3 in league play.
Nebraska’s seniors shined in the upset win. Glynn Watson Jr. paced the Huskers with 15 points - including 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the second half - while Isaac Copeland chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds. James Palmer Jr. filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, a career-high-tying nine rebounds and a season-high seven assists. Tanner Borchardt was big off the bench, scoring seven points – one shy of his career high – and grabbing five rebounds. Together, the four seniors combined for 47 points and 27 rebounds, while sophomore Thomas Allen added 10 points for the Big Red and junior Isaiah Roby had nine points and four rebounds.
Defensively, the Huskers held Indiana to a season-low 51 points, 12 points fewer than the Hoosiers managed against No. 2 Michigan. Nebraska also limited Indiana to a season-worst 36.5 percent from the field and held the Hoosiers to a season-low two 3-pointers. Romeo Langord led Indiana with a game-high 18 points, but he was just 5-of-14 from the field. Juwan Morgan added 17 points, but no other Hoosier had more than five points.
Nebraska started the game fast, hitting its first four shots to race out to a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest. The Hoosiers answered with five straight points before Nebraska responded with a 16-2 run to build a 25-7 lead with nine minutes remaining in the half. The Huskers held Indiana scoreless for more than six minutes at one point during the run, outscoring the Hoosiers 11-0 in that stretch, with Copeland scoring six of those 11 points.
Following the 16-2 run, Nebraska went cold from the field, missing 12 straight shots. A nearly nine-minute drought without a field goal allowed Indiana to trim the lead to single digits. The Hoosiers used an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to 26-20 with one minute left in the half. Copeland snapped the drought with a 3-pointer that pushed the lead back to nine, and after a pair of Indiana free throws, Palmer closed the half with a driving, one-handed dunk to send the Huskers into the locker room with a 31-22 lead.
Both teams struggled with their shot in the first half, with Nebraska shooting 39.4 percent from the field and Indiana hitting only 29.6 percent of its shots. The Huskers held the Hoosiers 22 points, their lowest point total in any half this season. Copeland led Nebraska with 10 first-half points, while Palmer had seven points, six rebounds and four assists in the period.
Nebraska stretched its lead back to double digits in the opening two minutes of the second half before Indiana scored seven straight points to pull within three at 35-32. But Watson responded by knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers to fuel an 8-0 run that pushed the Husker lead back to 11 six minutes into the half.
The teams then went back and forth, with Nebraska hitting 6-of-7 shots at one point, culminating with a Allen three that gave Nebraska a 57-44 lead with eight minutes remaining. The Huskers maintained their 13-point advantage over the next four minutes, with Nebraska on top 62-49 with 3:23 remaining. Indiana never got closer than that, as Nebraska held the Hoosiers without a field goal over the final 5:39.
The Huskers hit 14 of their 27 second-half shots and out-scored Indiana 35-29 in the final period.
Nebraska returns to action on Thursday when the Huskers face their second straight ranked opponent in No. 6 Michigan State. Tipoff between the Huskers and Spartans is set for 7 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and the matchup will be televised on FS1, with the Husker Sports Network providing radio coverage.