Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

No. 14 Hoosiers Top Griesel-Less Huskers Behind Jackson-Davis’ Triple-Double

December 07, 2022

Coach Fred Hoiberg said before the game that his team needed to get off to a good start in order to have a chance against No. 14 Indiana in Assembly Hall. 

They did not do that and the Hoosiers (8-1) never trailed en route to an 81-65 win on Wednesday night, snapping Nebraska’s three-game winning streak.

Trayce Jackson-Davis became the first player to record a triple-double against the Cornhuskers and the third Hoosier in program history to post one as he finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, three blocks and three steals while shooting 4-of-6 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line.

Meanwhile, the Huskers (6-4) had to play without their point guard fresh off his big performance at Creighton as Sam Griesel missed the game with an illness.

“We obviously get a lot smaller when Sam’s not in the lineup and he helps us out in a big way because of his length on the perimeter and his ability to get rebounds,” Hoiberg said during his post-game radio interview. “But listen, it happens everywhere and it’s next-man-up mentality. If we would have played the first five minutes of the game like we did the first five minutes of the second half, I think we would have had a chance.”

The Hoosiers certainly displayed the next-man-up mentality as they had to play without 5-star freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino for the second straight game. Trey Galloway started in his place and led the team with 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting including 4-of-6 from deep. Sophomore guard Tamar Bates added 19 points on 7-of-12 from the field (5-of-8 from 3) off he bench.

Indiana shot 53.3% from the field including 44% (11-of-25) from 3-point range. Nebraska got off to a slow start and finished at 42.9% from the field and 26.1% (6-of-23) from 3 with more turnovers (13) than assists (10).

“We were just way too timid coming out of the gate and allowed them to get comfortable early,” Hoiberg said. “We had some live ball turnovers that gave them some run outs. I didn’t think our physicality was where it needed to be against this team in this building. And that’s what happens when those shots are going in late because I thought they were too comfortable early in the game.”

C.J. Wilcher got going in the second half with 17 of his career-high 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting (2-of-6 from 3) and 6-of-6 free-throw shooting. Emmanuel Bandoumel started at the point and finished with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting (3-of-8 from 3), two assists and three turnovers. Keisei Tominaga started in Griesel’s place and scored 11 points (all in the second half) but it took him 11 shots to get there. Derrick Walker took just seven shots and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and five turnovers.

Nebraska missed 11 of its first 13 shots as Indiana marched out to a 20-5 lead nine minutes in. The Huskers had their first two shots in the paint (both by Walker) blocked and then Jackson-Davis stuffed another, and they seemed to settle for mostly jumpers for a time after that.

“He’s really good, obviously, all over the floor including protecting the rim,” Hoiberg said. “Derrick does such a good job of getting in the body and he still made a couple of really good plays early with blocks on him and he had a block on Emmanuel and that’s what gets them out in transition. We did a great job of avoiding that against Creighton and kept them out of transition. But the length and athleticism, of Trayce Jackson-Davis is a problem.”

Nebraska got back to attacking the paint as Walker adjusted and Bandoumel hit some tough shots to jump start the offense. The Huskers briefly cut the deficit to eight with a 9-2 run including a tough layup and a 3-pointer from Bandoumel, but Indiana immediately answered with a triple from Galloway.

Nebraska held Indiana to just four points in the last four minutes following the Galloway 3, but the Huskers couldn’t take advantage, scoring just two points themselves. Nebraska had the ball with the shot clock off, but a bad pass from Bandoumel led to a breakaway dunk for Race Thompson to put Indiana up 39-26 at halftime.

Nebraska shot 36.7% from the field including 3-of-13 from 3. Bandoumel and Walker combined for 19 points, but the rest of the team shot 3-of-15 from the field. Indiana shot 53.1% from the field and scored 22 points in the paint with four 3-pointers. Jackson-Davis had nine points, eight rebounds and four assists, three steals and two blocks.

The Huskers got off to a much better start in the second half thanks to Wilcher. Nebraska scored the first six points of the period, cutting the deficit down to seven. Indiana responded with a 9-2 run before a personal 7-0 stretch from Wilcher including a tough 3-pointer to make it 48-41 with 13-and-a-half minutes to play.

Indiana delivered the knockout blow from there, however, hitting the Huskers with a 14-0 run including four 3-pointers. Tominaga ended the run with a floater in the lane, but Bates nailed another triple to give Indiana its largest lead of the game at 65-43.

“Our pace was nonexistent in the first half,” Hoiberg said. “Once we got in front of our bench, I thought we had some really good movement the second half and really got it going. But too many big shots by them when we were getting kind of close. We cut it down to seven on two occasions.  … I thought our guys played extremely hard in the second half, but they were just way too comfortable early in this game.”

The Huskers made one more push, pulling within 12 with just over three minutes to play, but the comeback ran out of time and energy and the only drama that remained was whether or not Jackson-Davis would get his 10th assist for the triple-double, which he did on a Galloway three-point play with 1:22 to play.

Redshirt freshman Sam Hoiberg hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to close out the scoring.

Nebraska shot 50% from the field in the second half but only hit three 3-pointers and didn’t get many stops. The Hoosiers went 7-for-14 from deep and shot 53.6% overall.

“We had to find a way to get over the big emotional win, and now the tough loss tonight,” Hoiberg said. “We knew this was going to be a tough one and then when we found out an hour-and-a-half before the game that Sam wouldn’t be available, it became a heck of a challenge. But our guys competed, especially in the second half, and we just have to find a way to play a complete 40 minutes. 

“We’ve got maybe the team that is playing better than anybody in the country coming in on Saturday. I know our fans are going to be there, be jacked up for it. We’ll bounce back, we’ll get a game plan in, have two good days of prep and be ready on Saturday afternoon.”

Nebraska will now return home and hope to get Griesel healthy and back in the lineup for Saturday’s game against No. 4 Purdue.

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