Indiana Hoosiers cruise to win over Nebraska Cornhuskers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It was the expected outcome Wednesday at Assembly Hall. It just took a while to get there.

Indiana Hoosiers forward Cody Zeller shooting free throws against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Assembly Hall.

Second-ranked Indiana shook off some first half challenges offensively then put together a big second half to race to an easy 76-47 victory over Nebraska.

Cody Zeller led the Hoosiers (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten) with 16 points, while Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo had 13 points each. Watford also had 11 rebounds for a double-double.

The win moved IU into a first place tie with Michigan State, both with 10-2 records. Both teams have one more game this week before meeting Tuesday night in East Lansing.

Zeller’s 16 points was one of the more odd statistics of the evening. Zeller missed the final nine minutes of the first half with two fouls and only had three first-half points, all on free throws.

Indiana led 27-18 at halftime despite shooting just 31.6 percent from the field. IU played solid defense, however, and forced 10 turnovers. The Hoosiers scored nine points off of those miscues.

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Zeller’s first field goal of the game came with 9:48 to play. But after that he collected three more in a hurry along with some free throws to finish with 16 points.

It was Indiana’s first Big Ten victory ever over Nebraska. The teams played just once last year with Nebraska winning in Lincoln 70-69. This is the only meeting between the teams this season.

Dylan Talley led Nebraska (12-13, 3-9) with 16 points.

Terry Hutchens writes for The Indianapolis Star, a Gannett property.