Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball team overcame a one-point halftime deficit and used a gritty second-half effort to tie a school record for conference victories in a 66-57 win over Indiana on Tuesday night. The Huskers shot just 31.4 percent from the field in the first half and were held to 25 first-half points, but responded by shooting 51.9 percent in the second half and outscoring Indiana, 41-31, in the second half.
By rallying from a halftime deficit to win for the fourth time this season, Nebraska improved to 21-9 on the season and moved to 12-5 in Big Ten Conference play. The 12 conference victories tie the school record for most conference wins in a season, while Nebraska moved one-half game ahead of No. 17 Michigan for fourth place in the Big Ten standings.
James Palmer Jr., Isaac Copeland and Isaiah Roby all scored in double figures for a balanced Husker offense that saw eight players score at least three points. Palmer led Nebraska with 15 points, while Copeland scored 13 and Roby chipped in 11 points. Roby narrowly missed his fourth consecutive doubles, grabbing nine rebounds.
Defensively, Nebraska forced Indiana into committing a season-high-tying 19 turnovers and converted those turnovers into 26 points. The Huskers also hit the glass hard, outrebounding the Hoosiers by six and scoring 14 second-chance points.
Robert Johnson and Justin Smith led Indiana with 16 points apiece, and Juwan Morgan added 13 points and nine rebounds. The Hoosiers’ 57 points marked their third-lowest scoring output of the season and were just in line to be their fewest in a game this season before Devonte Green hit a basket in the closing seconds.
Nebraska controlled the second half and never trailed over the final 10 minutes. That was not the case early, as the game featured five ties and 12 lead changes over the first 30 minutes. The Huskers led for much of the first half before Indiana scored the final four points of the period to take a 26-25 lead into the locker room.
The Huskers quickly regained the lead on a Glynn Watson Jr. 3-pointer to open the second half before Indiana rallied to build its biggest lead at 41-37 four minutes into the second half.
Watson and Evan Taylor each converted a three-point play during a 10-0 Husker spurt that left Nebraska with a 47-41 lead with 9:25 remaining. Indiana pulled with two on three occasions over the next four minutes but could get no closer.
Nebraska sealed the game with an 8-0 run that that pushed the lead to 64-53 lead with 1:51 remaining. The Huskers held on from their despite missing their final six free throws, aided by a pair of offensive rebounds following their final two trips to the line.
Following the win over Indiana, Nebraska closes outs its regular-season schedule on Sunday when the Huskers host Penn State at 4:15 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.