It might be overstating it to say that this 2018-19 IU basketball season is in crisis mode, but it is starting to feel that way. A once promising 12-2 start now finds the Hoosiers on a three game losing streak as Indiana suffers its first home loss in league play against Nebraska on Monday night.
The Huskers ran out to 26-9 lead, and Indiana could never bridge the gap from there. The Hoosiers got as close as three, cutting the Nebraska lead to 35-32 early in the second half, but Nebraska had all of the answers in this one.
Indiana (12-5, 3-3) will return to action at Purdue on Saturday.
(Note: Al Durham left the game with a leg injury and did not return. He played only six minutes)
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Back to the future — another slow start. If you thought Indiana had cured what ailed them with their strong first half showing at Maryland, you were wrong. Instead, the Hoosiers carried their bad second half against the Terrapins over to Monday night. Whatever preconceived notion you have about Nebraska, they are a very good team, with one of the better starting lineups in the Big Ten. Indiana will simply not be able to recover from poor starts against teams of this caliber.
2. A poor shooting night strikes. The one constant for IU this year had been their high field goal percentage. Coming into the game IU was tops in the Big Ten and in the top ten nationally. Tonight, 36.5% shooting from the field doomed Indiana. Juwan Morgan was 8 for 15 from the field, which is strong but still below his average. Everyone else on the team had a poor night save for Clifton Moore’s 2 for 2 effort. Nebraska’s harassing defense on the perimeter contributed mightily, and a late move by Tim Miles to play zone squashed any momentum that IU might have been building.
3. The usual suspects return. There have been a number of bugaboos that have haunted Indiana on this season, and they were all on display on Monday night. Low assists (7), poor rebounding (-9 margin), poor free throw shooting (57.9%) and poor three point shooting (14.3%) all contributed to what was optically IU’s worst loss of the season.
FINAL BOX SCORE
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