News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 5, 2014

Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana

Hoosiers ensured of losing record in Big Ten Conference

Andy Proffet
Tribune-Star Correspondent

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament.

Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win.

The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.

Senior Will Sheehey gave the Hoosiers and Assembly Hall some hope when his 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run which tied the game at 52-52 with 10:08 to play. But the Hoosiers couldn’t take advantage of the momentum shift and their offense stalled the rest of the way, and Nebraska (18-11, 10-7) hit its free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.

Walter Pitchford — who scored Nebraska's first nine points — and Shavon Shields each scored 17 to lead the Huskers, who have won 10 conference games in a season for the first time since 1999, when they were in the Big 12. Terran Petteway added 13 points.

Freshman Troy Williams led IU with 18 points. Sheehey scored 13 and Yogi Ferrell had 10 points as the Hoosiers shot just 36.7 percent (22-of-60).

For the second straight season, IU’s annual Senior Night came after a loss. The Hoosiers lost to Ohio State in last season’s home finale, but they rebounded to win at Michigan in the season finale to win the outright Big Ten regular-season title.

The Hoosiers will close the regular season at Michigan again, but there won’t be a title on the line Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Sheehey was the last of Indiana's four seniors to speak after the game. Indiana coach Tom Crean praised Sheehey and Victor Oladipo for changing the climate around the program as freshmen four years ago.

“Will and Victor that first year started to establish a culture,” said Crean, who noted how much Sheehey hates to lose.

"I do hate to lose, and I hate tonight," Sheehey said.

Still, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world, because i have the best teammates in the world, the best coaches in the world, the best family in the world, and played at the best university in the world," Sheehey said.

The Hoosiers also honored walk-ons Jeff Howard and Taylor Wayer, and transfer Evan Gordon.

"I always knew I wanted to play here, even in high school," said Gordon, whose brother, Eric, also played at IU.

Gordon couldn't resist getting a dig in on Howard, noting this his younger brother, Eron, couldn't make it to the game Wednesday night because his North Central team was beating Howard's alma mater, Westfield, in the Class 4A Noblesville Sectional.