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‘We’ve got to get back to work’: Nebraska holds Indiana to season low 51 points

iubb, nebrasketball

Romeo Langford attempts a shot over the outstretched arm of Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby. (Kurt Spitler/HN)

Nebraska Coach Tim Miles knew holding Indiana in the fifties, especially at Assembly Hall, was a major feat Monday night.

The Cornhuskers made the Hoosiers uncomfortable on their home court en route to a 66-51 win. Indiana started three-of-18 from the floor and never found a rhythm offensively. Indiana Coach Archie Miller said his team was emotionless throughout the game. The defense deployed by the Cornhuskers held the Hoosiers to just 19 made shots and 37 percent shooting.

They also held Indiana to a season-low 51 points. But give Nebraska credit. Its rotation of looks on defense stifled a usually potent Indiana offense.

Miles mentioned playing from the front being important in big road games. It also just so happened to be Nebraska’s first road win against an AP Top 25 team since December 2016, which happened be against the Hoosiers. Holding Indiana to just 22 first half points and building an 18-point lead midway through the first half fit that formula perfectly. Through the first half, Indiana couldn’t get out of its own way. Missed shots, turnovers and missed defensive assignments put Indiana in a hole that was ultimately too big to dig out of.

Miller was imploring his team to get out in transition and speed the game up, but they never could do it for a long enough period of time to be successful. When Nebraska scored one point in about eight minutes coming down the stretch of the first half, Miles still knew the right words for his team.

“At halftime I said, ‘you know, it’s okay to win with defense,’” Miles said.

It’s something that proved to be successful for Nebraska, especially against an Indiana team that shot just 11-of-37 outside of Juwan Morgan.

And that’s also the main crux with Indiana as of late. Who can been the third scorer behind Langford and Morgan? That duo combined for 35 of Indiana’s 51 Monday. One candidate to be that third scorer is Al Durham who played just six minutes when he left the floor in the first half.

Miles thinks there are capable contributors for the Hoosiers, but mentioned youth and guys who haven’t quite proven it yet. Against the 1-3-1 deployed by Nebraska, it made it difficult for the Hoosiers to get into an offensive rhythm.

“When you play against that type of defense there, you’ve got break its shape,” Miller said. “You have to have some guys willing to take that ball and just go right at it, get to the paint and make somebody better, and we were very reluctant against it. Their length is good, and again, it’s something that they do every day, so they’re pretty good at it.”

When asked about the 1-3-1, Langford said the Hoosiers didn’t move the ball well enough.

“Really we were just playing a little bit too conservative on the 1-3-1, wasn’t really attacking,” Langford said. “That’s what you’re supposed to do against the 1-3-1 is attack and get the ball in the middle, and that’s what we need to work on down the road.”

And down the road doesn’t get much easier for the Hoosiers. Indiana plays two straight road games against Purdue and Northwestern before welcoming in Michigan next Friday night to Assembly Hall.

Nebraska came into Monday night’s game 32nd overall in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency. It’s a very strong number, but not like Michigan’s No. 4 ranking in that statistic that they will see next week. But Michigan is next week and Purdue is Saturday. For Indiana to turn the page, Miller said “it’s all about Purdue.” In the end, that’s the next game.

“You can’t get caught up in the schedule because if you get caught up in the schedule, at the end of the day, you’re worrying about the wrong things,” Miller said. “We’ve got to get back to work. We’ve got to put some things together here. Our guys gotta start to regroup.”

Josh Eastern

I am a senior from Seattle, Washington majoring in Media. I am formerly of the Indiana Daily Student where I covered Indiana men’s soccer team and women’s basketball. You still can find me broadcasting for WIUX Student Radio and on BTN Student U outside of The Hoosier Network. Former intern at 710 ESPN Seattle and broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. Email: jeastern@thehoosiernetwork.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JoshEastern.

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