The Indiana Hoosiers are a free-wheeling three point shooting squad. They are not shy and they make a lot of them. They made seven vs. the Huskers, a season low. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have had a propensity to turn the ball over this season. They turned it over eight times, also, a season low. That mean's NU won, right? Well, not exactly.
For the first time in three seasons, the Huskers opened their conference schedule in the friendly confines of their home arena. A nice change of pace over the trips to Ohio State and Iowa they've made the past couple of years. They could not take advantage, however as they fell in the conference lid lifter, 70-65.
Nebraska has some well documented deficiencies this season. They were put on full display vs. the Hoosiers. They lack post depth, especially with Moses Abraham and Leslee Smith still on the mend. As one would expect in such a situation, NU struggles to rebound. They did on this night. Indiana won the battle on the boards 44-31, including 12 offensive rebounds.
The Huskers also lack depth, especially scoring depth. The Huskers had seven players scratch the scorecard. Terran Petteway led the way with 23. Shavon Shields added 20 and Walter Pitchford had 11 as well. Other than that, nobody scored more than four. Indiana at times chose not to defend Benny Parker, Tarin Smith or Tai Webster. None were able to make the Hoosiers regret leaving them unmanned. In fact, oftentimes, that trio appeared hesitant to even attempt a shot when they stood wide open.
To make matters worse, the Huskers were only 2-6 on layups and missed several others within a couple feet of the rim. In a tight game, those missed opportunities proved costly. The Hoosiers do not lack for scoring options. Everyone they put on the floor is willing to take a shot at anytime. That puts a lot of strain on an defense, and on this night, to highlight the Huskers lack of post defense, found ample opportunity to puncture the NU attempts to slow down IU, recording 38 of their 70 points in the paint and 13 on second chance opportunities.
The result of this game will be forgotten, however, once this season is over. It will just be another game when skimming through the historical rundown of the season. There is one moment in this game will not disappear that easily. After Webster was called for a rather innocuous foul midway through the second half, Indiana head coach Tom Crean and NU head man Tim Miles entered into a shouting match. Video seemed to indicate Crean shouted "shut up" at Miles, which prompted him to lash out at the Hoosier boss. The two were eventually separated and neither was reticent to lend much insight afterwards. Neither was assessed any technical fouls so it yielded little impact on the outcome, but the histrionics provided some early New Years fireworks.
The final outcome for the Huskers was a loss and for the fourth straight year, the Huskers begin conference play on the losing end of the contest. NU will look to not dig another big hole for themselves when they next hit the hardwood on Monday night when the take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City.