A return home Thursday proved to be just what Nebraska needed to end its first two-game losing streak of the season. No. 24 Indiana hopes the same proves to be true for itself Monday when the Hoosiers attempt to move to 11-0 at home and post their first victory over the Cornhuskers in nearly three years.
Indiana made all 16 of it free throws and committed only seven turnovers Friday, but the Hoosiers allowed 18 offensive rebounds and surrendered 16 consecutive points early in the second half en route to a 78-75 setback at Maryland. "We just couldn't get it done on the glass tonight. We just gave them 18 second shots and that was the difference in the game," coach Archie Miller said. Nebraska also dropped a heartbreaker at Maryland on Jan. 2 (74-72) and fell to 0-3 on the road in Big Ten play four days later at No. 25 Iowa before ending its short skid with a 70-64 victory against Penn State, setting a school record with its 20th straight win at home. "(Assistant Coach) Jim Molinari said ... 'the hardest thing when you have a good team but you've lost a couple in a row ... is win a game', and it's true. I just thought we were a little uptight, and you can see that," coach Tim Miles said.
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ABOUT NEBRASKA (12-4, 2-3 Big Ten): Miles praised 6-8 junior Isaiah Roby, who finished with a career-high 22 points and set or tied season highs in both rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four) in 38 minutes en route to his first double-double of the season. "I just want to start with Isaiah. You can see why he's such a special kid and a special player. He was the one guy that I thought had great energy, great body language and was aggressive the whole night through," Miles said. Roby moved into a tie for eighth place on the school's all-time list with 113 blocks following Thursday's effort, while Glynn Watson Jr. had 19 points to tie Chuck Jura (1,255) for 16th place in school history.
ABOUT INDIANA (12-4, 3-2): Romeo Langford (team-high 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds), who ranks fourth in the conference in scoring, continued his banner freshman season by scoring 20 of his 28 points in the second half Friday and was responsible for more than half of his team's free throws (nine). Sophomore forward Justin Smith (8.5, 4.1) finished with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting but was limited to 22 minutes due to foul trouble, and Miller cited his absence as a major factor in the loss to Maryland. "What really hurt us was Justin Smith's unfortunate fouls. When he was on the floor, we were plus-22 in the game. His inability to stay in there, those fouls, hurt us," Miller said during a post-game radio interview.
1. Indiana ranks second in the country in field-goal percentage (Big Ten-best 51.8), while the Cornhuskers are second in the conference and 18th in Division I in field-goal percentage defense (38.4).
2. Nebraska had only eight turnovers Thursday and has committed 10 or fewer in nine of its last 11 contests.
3. The Hoosiers have won 12 of 18 all-time meetings, but the Cornhuskers have won the last two.
PREDICTION: Indiana 71, Nebraska 68 Bet Now
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