For almost three minutes in the second half, Nebraska led Indiana at Pinnacle Bank Arena, where a win would have stopped their conference losing streak at 21 games. Alas, the Hoosiers (8-5 overall, 3-3 B1G) battled to regain the lead and an 84-76 win, handing the Huskers their 22nd consecutive Big Ten loss.
All five starters for Nebraska (4-8, 0-5) scored ten or more points, and each of them had a hand in overcoming an 18-point deficit. Teddy Allen led the way with 21 points, his second straight 20-point performance. Lat Mayen had his best shooting night of the season, knocking down five of his first six from beyond the arc for a career-best 15 points. Dalano Banton and Trey McGowens each added 10.
Perhaps the most significant contribution came from junior forward Derrick Walker. The 6-8, 232-pounder from Kansas City sat the first 11 games of this season due to suspension, in addition to all of last season after transferring from Tennessee. Walker started, matched his career-high with 10 points on 5-7 shooting, and offered a glimpse of the future for Fred Hoiberg’s offense.
Rob Phinisee scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half, helping IU build their largest lead at 31-13 on back-to-back three-pointers at the ten-minute mark. By halftime, the Big Red had chipped away with Shamiel Stevenson scoring five of his seven points of the bench over a 14-7 NU run.
Indiana grabbed the momentum back right before the break with a bang-bang tip-in at the horn, resulting in a 46-34 halftime score. Officials reviewed the play for several minutes before deeming the shot good. Trey Galloway earned the put-back on an offensive rebound, one of 12 on the evening for the Hoosiers.
Trey McGowens keyed the second half surge that put the Huskers back on top. After missing all five of his first half shots and his first after halftime, the junior guard aggressively drove into the lane on seemingly every possession for the next ten minutes.
First, a three-point play to cut the lead to ten at 49-39. Fellow guard Dalano Banton assisted a couple buckets, then McGowens took over. Over the next five minutes, he grabbed two rebounds, drew two fouls, and dropped three assists.
McGowens’ threat at the rim led to the lead changing hands with 9:40 left. He drove inside, defense collapsed around him, and Kobe Webster was open in the corner for a 3-pointer. Nebraska was back in front 63-62. It was their first lead since 2-0.
Alas, it was not meant to be Nebrasketball’s night. Again. Trayce Jackson-Davis, a top-five B1G scorer at over 20 ppg, contributed ten of his 15 points after IU lost the lead. His driving layup with 3:52 remaining gave the Hoosiers the lead for good at 73-71.
Teddy Allen, who shot 3-8 from long range, hit his last one with 2:10 left to make it 77-75, but that’s as close at Nebraska would get.
Banton and McGowens led the squad in assists with seven and six, respectively. It was McGowens’ season-best, and the most without a turnover for Banton all season.
Next up for NU: 12th-ranked Illinois on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CST.