Indiana needs a road win. If it's not now, it might be never.
The Hoosiers are 0-4 on the road this season, compared with 12-0 in home and neutral contests, and have lost eight straight true road games dating back to last season.
“I gotta get them to believe, I gotta get them over the hump,” coach Mike Woodson said of his players. “We're playing well enough (to win). ... I gotta get help them get over the hump.”
If Indiana does not win on the road tonight, when it takes on last-place Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, that hump might start to look more like a mountain.
The Cornhuskers (6-12, 0-7 Big Ten) have dropped five games in a row overall and 10 straight against Big Ten opponents. In three seasons under coach Fred Hoiberg, the Huskers are 5-41 in Big Ten play.
Still, it's unlikely Nebraska will roll over for the Hoosiers (12-4, 3-3). The Cornhuskers have taken conference-title contenders Ohio State and Illinois down to the wire at Pinnacle Bank in recent weeks, pushing the Buckeyes to overtime before finally falling.
“It's a great atmosphere anywhere you go,” Indiana guard Trey Galloway said of playing on the road in the Big Ten. “You gotta be locked in because if it gets loud, you have to do all the little things to help your team win. When you go on the road, it's not going to be easy, we know that, but we have to put ourselves in position to be right there at the end of the game to be able to win, ... those big games on the road.”
Indiana has had no problem getting leads when it plays on the road. In fact, it has held the lead in the second half of all four of its road losses this season.
But the Hoosiers have struggled to put games away, letting double-digit margins slip through their fingers twice, including Thursday against Iowa. Leading 43-32 late in the first half, Indiana let the Hawkeyes back in the game in a flurry of turnovers, missed free throws and poor rebounding.
“Obviously, I'm disappointed. I think everyone in our locker room is disappointed,” forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said after the loss to Iowa. “We can't break up, we have to stay together. ... We're going to break this (road losing streak), we just have to stay together.
“When you're on the road, in a hostile environment, you have to make plays to make the crowd shush up. We didn't do that (against Iowa).”
Turnovers were maybe the biggest concern for Indiana against the Cornhuskers. The Hoosiers committed 23 miscues against Iowa, which used full-court press and zone defenses to flummox Indiana.
Nebraska is among the top 70 in the country in turnovers forced at 15.3 per contest and, like Iowa, wants to run off live-ball takeaways. If Indiana isn't careful with the ball, the Cornhuskers could win the game in transition.
“Eight of those (turnovers against Iowa) came from our (point guards), Rob (Phinisee) and X (Xavier Johnson),” Woodson said. “That can't happen. I gotta get more leadership there in terms of them being able to calm the storm, get the ball up and execute something.”
See a video
To see a video about the Indiana-Nebraska game, click on this URL -- https://vimeo.com/666644581
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
Records: Indiana (12-4, 3-3 Big Ten), Nebraska (6-12, 0-7)
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 92.3 FM