Bryce McGowens had a team-high 20 points, but Indiana was able to hold off Nebraska and post a 78-71 victory over Nebraska Monday evening at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers (6-13, 0-8 Big Ten) trailed by as many as 10 in the second half, but rallied and was within 73-67 with 2:56 remaining.
NU got three consecutive stops on the defensive end, including a pair of steals from Alonzo Verge Jr., but were unable to cut into the Indiana lead. NU was forced to foul down the stretch and hit 5-of-6 from the foul line to put the game away.
Alonzo Verge finished with 19 points, four assists and four steals in the loss, as Nebraska shot 47 percent from the floor against a Hoosier team which was second nationally in field goal percentage defense entering the game.
Trayce Jackson-Davis had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead three Indiana (13-4, 4-3 Big Ten) players in double figures. Race Thompson had 12 points and seven boards while Jordan Geronimo added 10 points off the bench.
Nebraska was a perfect 3-of-3 from deep in the first four minutes of play before going over three minutes without a field goal while the Hoosiers jumped out to a 17-11 lead. Trey McGowens, making his first appearance since Nov. 16, hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 12:41 remaining in the half.
Indiana used a 6-1 run to eventually push the margin to 10, at 31-21, with 6:51 left in the half and led 41-31 before a Verge 3-point play and a Bryce McGowens 3-pointer cut the lead to four with 1:15 left in the half. Indiana, which shot 62 percent from the floor in the first half, took a 45-39 lead at the break.
To start the second half, Indiana stretched its lead back to 10 before the Huskers used a 6-0 spurt to make it 53-49. The Hoosiers responded again, but Nebraska continued to keep it close as C.J. Wilcher drained a three-point shot to pull NU within 59-55 with 10:31 remaining.
Jackson-Davis took over, scoring six straight points, the last of which was a putback dunk to make it 65-55 with 8:55 remaining.
Nebraska would hang around and cut the Hoosiers’ lead to 71-65 after a McGowens dunk with 4:19 left and was within six at the under-4 media timeout before Indiana held on.
Nebraska travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State this Saturday, Jan. 22.