Indiana finally won on the road, despite losing its star.
The Hoosiers pushed past Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Monday, winning 78-71 thanks to 23 points and 12 rebounds for Trayce Jackson-Davis and strong play down the stretch from point guard Xavier Johnson.
The victory snapped Indiana's eight-game road losing streak, which dated to Feb. 10, and pushed the Hoosiers (13-4, 4-3 Big Ten) back above .500 in the Big Ten ahead of a clash with in-state rival and conference-title-favorite Purdue on Thursday at Assembly Hall.
“It feels good, we finally figured it out on the road,” said Indiana forward Race Thompson, who posted 12 points and seven rebounds. “It's about time, definitely. We found a way to come together; we talked about it all week, we had to figure it out on the road. ...Today we found a way to win.”
However, shortly after Jackson-Davis scored six straight points to put Indiana up 10 – punctuated with a dunk and a roar that earned him a technical foul – he went up for another dunk, was fouled hard, and crashed to the ground, landing on his right hip and hand.
The junior forward, who went 10 for 16 from the field, left the game with 7:36 to go and did not return. He later had an ice pack on the lower right side of his back.
“Probably his tailbone from the way that he landed,” coach Mike Woodson said. “I don't think he really had a chance to break his fall. ... We don't know. We'll get back and assess things and see where he is and go from there.”
Jackson-Davis implied the injury was minor when he tweeted after the game: “Dont even worry ill be back thursday. Great road win!!”
With their star on the sideline, the Hoosiers held on down the stretch with Thompson playing center and sophomore Jordan Geronimo handling the power forward duties.
Geronimo threw down a two-handed putback slam just before Jackson-Davis' injury and finished with 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting and eight rebounds.
Johnson scored seven points after the injury, nailing a 3 to push the lead to 71-61 and adding four free throws in the final minute to seal the win. He had nine points, but also committed five of IU's 14 turnovers.
Still, the Hoosiers improved to 1-4 on the road under Woodson and next return to Bloomington, where they are 11-0.
“This was a big win for us,” Woodson said. “Our ace in the hole goes down ... and our mentality is next man up. They closed it out, which is nice to see.”
Nebraska (6-13) falls to 0-8 in Big Ten play and 5-42 in conference games over the last three seasons. It has dropped 11 straight against Big Ten opponents.