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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Indiana men’s basketball dominated by Nebraska 93-66, sent home from Big Ten Tournament

Iu vs Nebe -Big10-half-3.jpg

In Indiana men’s basketball’s two matchups with Nebraska in the regular season, the Cornhuskers made at least 12 3-pointers and senior guard Keisei Tominaga scored at least 20 points. 

Both of those trends continued Friday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis as the Hoosiers fell 93-66 and were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska drained 12 triples in the first half alone and finished with 14, and Tominaga scored a game-high 23 points. 

While the Hoosiers absorbed Nebraska’s punches and kept the game close early on, it was only a matter of time until Tominaga and the rest of the Cornhuskers’ shots started to fall. Indiana freshman forward Mackenzie Mgbako scored 14 in the first period, and the Hoosiers led 17-16 near the midway point of the half. 

Nebraska sprinted to an 11-0 run capped by a Tominaga 3-pointer, but the Hoosiers weathered the storm and only trailed 33-27 with 3:29 left in the period. Then, Tominaga splashed back-to-back shots from deep and the Cornhuskers suddenly scored 14 unanswered points to gain a 47-27 lead. 

On the final possession of the half, guarded tightly by Indiana sophomore guard CJ Gunn, Tominaga launched a triple well beyond the arc to complete a 17-0 run and put Nebraska up 50-27 at the break. 

The Cornhuskers emphasized doubling Indiana sophomore forwards Malik Reneau and Kel’el Ware in the post, and the Hoosiers’ bigs frequently seemed flustered by the added attention. Ware was held scoreless in the first half, and he and Reneau turned the ball over two times apiece in the first 20 minutes. 

Nebraska cooled off to start the second half, and its first triple came at the 12:36 mark. Still, Indiana could hardly capitalize. The Hoosiers were highly inefficient trying to claw back into the game, finishing a combined 35% from the floor and 25% from deep. 

Indiana’s comeback efforts were hindered further by Reneau’s foul trouble. Reneau fouled out of the game with a little over nine minutes remaining, the seventh time he’s done so this season. Roughly four minutes later, head coach Mike Woodson was ejected after his second technical foul. 

The Hoosiers never cut the second-half lead below 18 points, and Nebraska coasted to punch its ticket to the semifinals. Mgbako and Gunn scored 16 and 17 points, respectively, and no other Hoosier recorded double figures. 

Despite rattling off five straight wins, Indiana’s magic ran out against the explosive Cornhuskers, and its NCAA Tournament hopes are all but squashed with the defeat. 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Press (@MattPress23) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball season. 

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