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Indiana Commits 19 Turnovers, Defense FAILS in 86-70 Loss at Nebraska

Except for Kel’el Ware’s 20 points, practically nothing went right for Indiana at Nebraska on Wednesday night.

The Hoosiers were comprehensively outplayed in the final 30 minutes of an 86-70 loss at Pinnacle Bank Arena, turning the ball over 19 times. Indiana is now 10-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers didn’t put much pressure on Nebraska’s outside shooters, as they had done in most of their first 13 games.

The Cornhuskers shot 12-for-32 from 3-point range, with four players hitting at least two threes, paced by Keisei Tominaga’s 28 points. Indiana also shot effectively from beyond the arc, shooting 9-for-18, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the dismal defensive effort.

Ware was a consistent option throughout, but the same couldn’t be true for the rest of the Hoosiers. Senior point guard Xavier Johnson scored zero points on 0-for-3 shooting with four turnovers and three fouls in 15 minutes in his return from injury.

Malik Reneau finished with 14 points on 4-for-9 shooting, but foul trouble kept him out of the game at important times. Trey Galloway and Mackenzie Mgbako were ineffective on the wings, combining for 16 points on 6-for-18 shooting. Their defense against Nebraska’s 3-point shooters was also lacking.

For the first ten minutes of the first half, the Hoosiers and Cornhuskers traded blows. Indiana used Ware inside against Rienk Mast and Josiah Allick, neither of whom are outstanding rim protectors. Ware scored 12 points in the first half on 6-for-8 shooting.

While Indiana had success hammering it inside to Ware, turnovers led to an eight-point halftime disadvantage. Nebraska began doubling Ware and Reneau in the post, forcing the guards of Indiana to beat them. Trey Galloway struggled in the first half, going 2-for-7 from the floor and committing two turnovers.

Nine Indiana mistakes in the first half, four of which came from Johnson, allowed Nebraska to score 14 points. Indiana also had trouble keeping opponents from fouling, which gave Nebraska a seven-point lead in the first half as they shot 20 of 26 from the free throw line.

In the opening 20 minutes, Nebraska went 4 for 15 from three against an Indiana defense more concerned with preventing drives than limiting open 3-pointers. Indiana may have had a bigger first-half deficit, but Nebraska squandered multiple good opportunities to score from beyond the arc.

In the second half, Ware continued to dominate, scoring with put-back dunks, alley-oops, and hook jumpers. A couple times in the second half, Indiana got as close as seven or eight points, but it was the closest they would reach.

There were 7:36 remaining in the game when CJ Gunn fouled Keisei Tominaga during a 3-point attempt, leading to two free throws that increased Nebrasks’ lead to 17 points. On the next possession, Williams drained a three-pointer to give the Cornhuskers a 20-point advantage. Before then, a comeback was improbable, but with 6:59 remaining in the clock, Willia

Next up, on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Indiana will host the Ohio State Buckeyes again at Assembly Hall. Following a 76-72 victory over Rutgers at home on Wednesday night, the Buckeyes are riding high thanks to 22 points from senior wing Jamison Battle and 24 points from junior point guard Bruce Thornton.

Before taking the court on Saturday, the Hoosiers need to focus on improving ball handling techniques and make a few defensive modifications. In addition, they need to expect more from seasoned guards Johnson and Galloway in order to contend with an Ohio State backcourt that is rapidly developing

Yachiga Tavershima
Yachiga Tavershima
Soccer Blogger with a keen eye for detailed reportage. I bring the latest drama in the most dramatic way


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