LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -LINCOLN, Neb. -- (University of Indiana Release)
Trayce Jackson-Davis took the pressure, and any perceived self-doubt, and buried them as easily as he did the free throws that clinched so much Saturday night. Welcome to Indiana’s 82-74 victory at Nebraska that might have set up a big run. “I’m excited our guys were able to get one away from home,” coach Archie Miller said on his post-game radio show.
“You have to find a way.”
The Hoosiers (14-4 overall, 4-3 in the Big Ten) did by blasting past their 0-3 road record, and the overall 6-40 mark by conference visiting teams with balanced offense, stifling defense and rebounding dominance. “We cracked the seal (in getting that first road win),” Miller told radio play-by-play man Don Fischer. “You’ve got to find a way to get that first one, so it’s a little easier to get the second.”
Two key questions loomed entering the game -- could IU make perimeter shots; would the 6-9 Jackson-Davis break out of his two-game slump? The answers -- yes and yes. The Hoosiers finished eight three-point baskets. Jackson-Davis needed 11 minutes to take his first shot -- a dunk -- then went on to record his sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds, plus added four assists against no turnovers. His two crunch-time free throws ensured there would be no Nebraska come-back victory. Jackson-Davis feasts on the under-sized Cornhuskers (7-11, 2-5). He had 25 points and 15 in their first meeting in December, an overtime Hoosier victory. “Clearly Trayce was fantastic,” Miller told Fischer. "He probably had his best game of the season in terms of both ends of the floor and what we asked him to do. “Being able to get 18 and 13 on the road, make his free throws, especially at the end, he really rose to the occasion.”
Size ruled for the Hoosiers. They were bigger at nearly every position and the three-point happy Cornhuskers couldn’t shoot their way out of this one – although they did have a late second-half surge that cut 13 points off a 19-point second-half deficit. IU found its move-the-ball offense, totaling 21 assists, its most in a Big Ten game this season. Nine of the 10 Hoosiers who played scored. Forward Joey Brunk had 16 points and five rebounds. Forward Justin Smith scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds.