3 reasons IU basketball beat Nebraska: Trayce Jackson-Davis' triple-double steals the show

BLOOMINGTON – Trayce Jackson-Davis' historic night and welcome shooting from distance handed Indiana its first Big Ten win of the season Wednesday, an 81-65 defeat of Nebraska. Here are three reasons why:

Trayce Jackson-Davis triple-double

Jackson-Davis was hardly alone in struggling in that loss at Rutgers, but he will have taken understandable exception to the performance and the defeat, as a team captain.

He played like it Wednesday, scoring early, distributing late and rebounding throughout one of the most complete games of his career. Jackson-Davis finished with just 12 points, but he added 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists to that number, handing him just the third triple-double in program history (joining Steve Downing and Juwan Morgan).

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Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) avoids being held by Nebraska's Derrick Walker (13) before starting a fast break during the first half of the Indiana versus Nebraska men's basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) avoids being held by Nebraska's Derrick Walker (13) before starting a fast break during the first half of the Indiana versus Nebraska men's basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.

Nebraska tried some of what Rutgers had, building a 2-3 zone around trapping and doubling No. 11 Indiana’s All-American big man in the paint. He responded by turning into the game’s most influential player, and his defense on Derrick Walker — easily Nebraska’s most important player — was largely very good.

When he got the last assist, on a Trey Galloway back-door cut that also drew a foul, teammates mobbed the senior from Center Grove, as Assembly Hall stood and cheered.

Defense comes home

After a rocky weekend trip to Rutgers, the Hoosiers got back to their basics Wednesday night. From on-ball pressure, to Jackson-Davis making Walker’s catches difficult, to the nightmare Nebraska had most of the evening in ball screens, Indiana defended its way through its first Big Ten win with something approaching its best effort.

The Hoosiers weren’t necessarily poor defensively in New Jersey on Saturday. But the old adage that defense travels underpins the more fundamental idea that good defensive teams can play poorly — even on the road — and win, if they can divorce their toughness and effort defensively from all other aspects of their performance.

Mike Woodson repeatedly raised questions of toughness in his pre-Nebraska news conference with reporters earlier this week. His team responded accordingly Wednesday, smothering the Cornhuskers.

3s come through

Speaking of turnarounds after Rutgers … after a 6-of-25 performance in Jersey Mike’s Arena on Saturday, the Hoosiers enjoyed the comforts of home to their fullest vs. Nebraska.

Between them, Miller Kopp, Trey Galloway and Tamar Bates made 10 of Indiana’s 11 3s on a night when the arc helped the Hoosiers immensely.

Again, Nebraska tried something akin to the Rutgers plan of packing in a zone and forcing IU to shoot over top. The Hoosiers did, as well as they have against a Big Ten opponent in a little while, and it landed them a comfortable win.

Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.

Indiana 81, Nebraska 65

NEBRASKA (6-4): Gary 1-6 2-2 4, Walker 5-7 1-4 11, Bandoumel 5-11 0-0 13, Tominaga 5-11 0-0 11, Wilcher 7-13 6-6 22, Lawrence 0-3 0-0 0, Dawson 0-1 0-0 0, Breidenbach 0-3 0-0 0, Keita 1-1 0-0 2, Hoiberg 0-0 2-2 2, Kojenets 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 11-14 65.

INDIANA (8-1): Jackson-Davis 4-6 4-5 12, Kopp 6-11 0-0 13, Thompson 4-7 0-0 9, Galloway 7-10 2-3 20, Johnson 2-8 0-0 4, Bates 7-12 0-0 19, Reneau 2-2 0-0 4, Geronimo 0-2 0-0 0, Banks 0-1 0-0 0, Gunn 0-1 0-0 0, Shipp 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-60 6-8 81.

Halftime—Indiana 39-26. 3-Point Goals_Nebraska 6-23 (Bandoumel 3-8, Wilcher 2-6, Tominaga 1-3, Dawson 0-1, Lawrence 0-1, Breidenbach 0-2, Gary 0-2), Indiana 11-25 (Bates 5-8, Galloway 4-6, Thompson 1-2, Kopp 1-5, Gunn 0-1, Johnson 0-3). Rebounds_Nebraska 24 (Gary 7), Indiana 31 (Jackson-Davis 11). Assists_Nebraska 10 (Walker 5), Indiana 22 (Jackson-Davis 10). Total Fouls_Nebraska 11, Indiana 15.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IU basketball vs. Nebraska: Trayce Jackson-Davis gets triple-double