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IU bench manages to hold off Nebraska for first road win despite Jackson-Davis injury

The Hoosiers finally managed to break their losing streak on the road.

After four losses all away from home this season and eight straight dating back to the 2020-21 campaign, Indiana held off the Nebraska Cornhuskers 78-71 in Lincoln on Monday night.

They did so without their preseason All-American for the final seven minutes of the game.

The IU bench, after being called out by head coach Mike Woodson for their poor performance against Iowa, scored 21 combined points. With multiple starters in foul trouble, they provided crucial minutes and secured the victory.

“Our bench is just as important as the guys who start. And, our bench has been struggling a little bit. I thought tonight they came in with the right mindset and we got some good production,” Woodson said. “I’ll play the bench as long as they’re playing well.”

Despite four turnovers, Trey Galloway was yet again an important piece off the bench. The Culver Ind. native scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from the line. When the Hoosiers were struggling for offense they looked towards him to create.

Up just four points midway through the first half, Galloway got the ball at the top of the key and did not hesitate to attack the rim. He drove with an aggressiveness that led to him finishing through contact with his left hand, using the wrist he broke in November. He also managed to hit a few more of his patented floaters.

Tamar Bates also showed signs of life by hitting a corner jumper that was his only shot attempt of the night and dished out an assist. He played for 12 minutes and provided solid defense.

“I thought Tamar (Bates) gave us some positive minutes. Trey (Galloway) was great,” Woodson told Don Fischer on the radio after the game. “(Jordan) Geronimo was fantastic. And you know we’re gonna need that you know, as we navigate through the Big Ten.”

The biggest factor, however, was Geronimo. The Newark, N.J. native provided crucial minutes in place of Trayce Jackson-Davis, who suffered an undisclosed injury to his hip area after a hard fall. Geronimo converted on all of his four shots from the field and both of his free throws for 10 points, his second career double-digit effort. He also added eight rebounds and a block in 21 minutes.

The sophomore showcased his growing offensive arsenal by unleashing his midrange jumper. He was able to find his spot and use his athleticism to rise above the defender and nail multiple shots. The forward displayed his elite hops by swooping in for a put-back dunk. The dunk extended the lead to nine.

“He was solid, man,” the first-year head coach said of Geronimo. “I mean, he had a big shot coming down the stretch that really stopped a little of their momentum and then we were just able to stretch out a little bit from there and secure the win.”

The Hoosiers played the final seven-and-a-half minutes without Jackson-Davis. He was walking around with a limp and in clear discomfort. He was also dealing with foul trouble with four total.

In 31 minutes, Jackson-Davis still managed to score 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting and he had a team-high 12 rebounds. It was his fourth straight double-double and the seventh of the season and the 30th of his career.

Woodson was uncertain about the status of Jackson-Davis heading into the next game. But, Jackson-Davis did not seem worried. He even attempted to calm down the fan base by tweeting that he will play when IU hosts Purdue on Thursday.

“Don’t worry I’ll be back Thursday. Great road win!!” Jackson-Davis tweeted.

With or without Jackson-Davis, the Hoosiers are set to return to their safe haven, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. They’ll battle their bitter rivals the No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers.

IU is currently on a nine-game losing streaks against the Boilermakers.  The Hoosiers’ last win came in February of 2016 in Bloomington. They defeated Purdue 77-73, thanks to 19 points from Troy Williams and 18 points from Yogi Ferrell.

“Don’t remind me of that,” Woodson said jokingly of the Hoosiers losing streak to their rivals. “We got them next on our schedule, and we can’t lose at home. That’s my message.”

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