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3 takeaways from a statement win for Nebraska basketball



Nebraska basketball
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska basketball sent a message to the rest of the Big Ten on Wednesday night, racing past Indiana for its 12th win of the season.

You knew it was going to be a special night when it was learned that Keisei Tominaga’s family was going to be in town and when Nebraska basketball took the floor against Indiana on Wednesday night, the Husker superstar delivered, along with his teammates in a 16-point win.

The Hoosiers entered the night 2-0 in Big Ten play. Nebraska was 1-1. The Huskers were also squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble according to ESPN Bracketology. Nebraska basketball is still going to be on the bubble (for now) but they showed what they’re capable of — running away from the Hoosiers in the second half for the 86-70 win.

Here are three takeaways.

Nebraska basketball shot the lights out

It wasn’t just about Keisei Tominaga and his 28-point effort. The Huskers shot 38 percent from 3-point range (12 makes) and improved to 12-0 on the season when they shoot better than 35 percent from beyond the arc. Keisei caught fire in the second half, but CJ Wilcher was a big spark in the first.

Wilcher came off the bench and scored 11 points for the Huskers, all in the first half. He was good three times from deep. Brice Williams also hit three times and Jamarques Lawrence made two treys. Indiana actually made nine, which was twice their season average, but the Huskers still had a 36-27 edge on 3-pointers.

This team can beat just about anyone when they shoot the ball like that.

The defense set the tone

Tominaga might have been the biggest story, but Fred Hoiberg’s team was spectacular on defense. The Huskers didn’t allow any transition points and also forced 19 turnovers.

Nebraska ended up with more fouls than Indiana (20-19), but the Huskers shot and made more free throws than Indiana. IU was expected to have a big advantage there and the defense of Josiah Allick was important on the inside. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t even need to score to impact the game.

Allick scored two points, dished out three assists, and had eight rebounds. That was in addition to a steal and some incredible interior defense, which seemed to spark the Huskers on that end of the floor.

Keisei Tominaga took over

Indiana was trying to hang around in the second half, but Tominaga was having none of it. He scored 18 points with a spectacular second-half performance.

Simply put, it was vintage Keisei and it was an awesome performance, especially with his dad in attendance. More than that though, it was great to see Tominaga take over a game like he did last season. He’s the closer for Nebraska basketball and he closed out the game against the Hoosiers in ruthless fashion.

Tominaga doesn’t have to carry the offense and there have been times this season when he hasn’t. But he’s playing within himself and on Wednesday night, he looked like the best player on an NCAA tournament team.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska