IU opens B1G with 70-65 win over Huskers

Indiana led by as many as 16 in the first half but then had to rally from four down in the second to post a big conference opening victory over Nebraska in Lincoln on Wednesday. Robert Johnson had 14, Troy Williams had 13 and Hanner Mosquera-Perea had 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers.

James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell combined to score 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener at Nebraska.

Probably not a good sign for the Hoosiers, right?

Wrong.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Robert Johnson and Troy Williams combined to score 27 points as Indiana rallied in the second half for a 70-65 victory over the Cornhuskers in the conference opener in Lincoln, Neb.

Johnson had 14 points and Williams had 13 to lead the Hoosiers.

It was IU’s first win in Lincoln since 1943. Granted, the Hoosiers have only played two other games there since then but it was still a significant road victory.

Indiana (11-3, 1-0 Big Ten) captured the fourth victory of the weekend by a Big Ten road opponent. The Hoosiers also bounced back from a neutral court loss to Georgetown on Saturday and posted the victory.

IU led by as many as 16 in the first half on two occasions but allowed Nebraska to close the half on a 10-2 run. Indiana still led by eight at the break, 40-32. Last season, at Nebraska, IU had a 16 point lead only to watch the Cornhuskers come back and post a 10-point win.

Early in the second half, it appeared as if there might be a repeat of last year’s game.

The Cornhuskers (8-5, 0-1) used the momentum they built at the end of the first half to get off to a red hot start in the second half, too. Nebraska opened the second half on a 14-2 run and took a 46-42 lead with 15:26 to play on a 3-pointer by Walter Pitchford at the end of the shot clock.

The Nebraska lead was still four at 48-44 after a drive by Shavon Shields with 14:45 to play.

But IU quickly scored five points to regain the lead. Nick Zeisloft buried a huge 3-pointer to get IU to within one and then James Blackmon Jr. made two free throws to put IU on top 49-48.

After Nebraska tied the game at 49, Yogi Ferrell hit Mosquera-Perea for an ally-oop jam to make it 51-49 with 11:43. This was especially significant because Indiana would never trail again.

IU built the lead back up to as many as 13 points at 67-54 with 4:45 to play only to watch Nebraska go on a 10-0 run and cut the lead to three.

Indiana was clinging to a 67-64 lead when Johnson missed on a drive but the ball went off the hands of a Nebraska player with 35.2 seconds to play. Zeisloft was fouled on the inbounds pass and calmly hit both ends of the one-and-one to make it 69-64.

Ferrell had another big defensive play with 13.8 seconds remaining when he knocked the ball of the knee of Nebraska’s Terran Petteway as Petteway looked to be controlling a rebound in a four-point game.

Collin Hartman sealed the victory with one of two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play.

Indiana shot 45 percent from the field and had a 44-31 rebounding edge.

The Hoosiers got some big first half play out of both Emmitt Holt and Stanford Robinson. They each scored six points in the first half.

Petteway had 23 and Shields had 20 to lead Nebraska.

The game had a little bit of everything including a verbal exchange between Nebraska coach Tim Miles and IU coach Tom Crean with 9:42 to play in the game. It was actually more verbal on the part of Miles and more of a stare down, almost in disbelief on the part of Crean. Miles had to be restrained though but somehow was not assessed a technical foul.

IU is back in action on Monday when the Hoosiers travel to play Michigan State at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. Michigan State lost its conference opener at home to Maryland in double overtime on Tuesday.

Halftime story

Analysis: 11-7 in Big Ten? Good possibility

Ferrell, Blackmon talk Nebraska


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