BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Had Forrest Gump grown up wearing candy stripes, his famous line would have gone, “Life is like an Indiana basketball game. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
For just the third time in Indiana men’s basketball history, a Hoosier recorded a triple-double. Preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis tallied 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, pacing IU (8-1, 1-1 B1G) to an 81-65 victory over Nebraska (6-4, 0-1 B1G).
The Indiana Hoosiers hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Hoosiers’ first home Big Ten matchup of the season. The Hoosiers were looking to redeem themselves after their last contest ended in a 15-point loss to Rutgers. The Cornhuskers upset No. 21 Creighton on the road on Sunday, dropping the Blue Jays from No. 7. Nebraska was looking for their fourth straight win.
The Hoosiers were without star freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and instead called on junior Trey Galloway for his second start.
IU’s offense caught fire early with threes from Galloway and Race Thompson, something the Hoosiers struggled to do in last week’s loss to Rutgers. Thompson also found TJD for an electric alley-oop that woke up Assembly Hall.
Nebraska’s defense was very focused on shutting down Jackson-Davis in the paint, double-teaming him whenever he motioned for the ball. Jackson-Davis powered through and scored nine points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks in the first 20 minutes.
It was clear no one in a Husker uniform could stop Jackson-Davis.
IU was up 15 points midway through the first half with a healthy distribution of the ball. Tamar Bates stepped up to knock down a three, followed by two consecutive paint buckets. Miller Kopp continued to play with newfound confidence by sinking three floaters and tallying eight points in the first half.
The Hoosiers started to lose steam at the end of the first half, struggling to score in the last few minutes. Though, Indiana kept their lead and went into the second half up 39-26.
Indiana came out of the break slow and allowed the Cornhuskers within seven points of their lead. Xavier Johnson was having trouble getting into the lane and instead turned the ball over in back-to-back possessions. He had two offensive fouls as well. Johnson finished the game with four points on 2-of-8 shooting, with a game-high seven turnovers.
The Hoosiers began to find their footing again with a triple from Bates (his second) and a step-back three from Galloway (his fourth) which gave the Hoosiers their largest lead of the night at 18 points.
Galloway’s previous career-high was 13 points, which he did multiple times. The Culver grad easily eclipsed that mark tonight.
Indiana refused to allow the Cornhuskers access to the paint and continued their offensive pursuit. An energized Bates, who tallied five three-pointers, received “shoot it” chants every time the ball he got the ball. His 19 points represent the second-highest mark he’s totaled as a Hoosier, after the 22 vs. Jackson State on Nov. 25.
Indiana went on a hot streak hitting five straight shots, expanding their lead to 20. They backed away which allowed Nebraska to cut the lead to 12. That allowed Mike Woodson to re-insert TJD into the game.
Then, history took place. Jackson-Davis found Bates for his final three to raise the assist total to nine, then TJD found Galloway for the milestone.
IU’s next regular season game is Saturday evening vs. No. 10 Arizona at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. It will tip at 7:30et on FOX. Arizona has a full week of rest prior to playing IU. It will be the first matchup ever between the two teams. KenPom has IU winning 80-79.
Featured Image: Rutgers Basketball