3 reasons IU basketball beat Nebraska: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jordan Geronimo lead the way

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Indiana finally claimed a road victory after losing on each of its four previous opportunities, holding on to beat Nebraska 78-71 at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Monday evening. The Hoosiers improve to 13-4 overall, 4-3 in the Big Ten. Nebraska fell to 6-13, 0-8 in the Big Ten and sits alone at the bottom of the conference.

Here are three reasons why it happened.

'He deserves to be out on the court': Jordan Geronimo making a case for more playing time.

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Nebraska had no answer for Trayce Jackson-Davis

Nebraska frequently tried to defend Trayce Jackson-Davis with one body and Jackson-Davis predictably took advantage. The Hoosiers hit him with lobs and high-low passes when Nebraska tried to front him, and when he got opportunities to run he beat Nebraska's bigs down the floor.

Jackson-Davis finished with 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting. He posted his fourth straight double-double, also grabbing 12 rebounds. He has been held to single-figure scoring just once all season, the Hoosiers' road loss at Wisconsin.

Jackson-Davis fell hard after being fouled on a shot attempt and after he picked up his fourth foul with 7:36 to go, he left and didn't return.

After the game, the junior forward tweeted, "Don't even worry ill be back Thursday. Great road win!!"

Thursday, is a date with No. 4 Purdue.

Jordan Geronimo's production off the bench

Mike Woodson has had no complaints whatsoever about the play of sophomore forward Jordan Geronimo so far. He entered Monday's game shooting 50% from the floor and rebounding at the highest rate of any Indiana player on both ends of the floor. He'd been limited to 11 minutes per game and less than that in Big Ten play, however, because of who he plays behind. Fifth-year senior Race Thompson is clearly Indiana's second-best and most consistent player after Jackson-Davis and his ability to defend multiple positions sometimes makes him even more valuable.

However, Thompson ran into foul trouble, picking up his second foul with just under six minutes to go in the first half and then his third with 12:41 to go in the second half. So Geronimo had to play the most minutes he's played since his 13-point, 13-rebound performance in Indiana's blowout win over Merrimack on Dec. 12, and he shined on both ends.

Geronimo made 4 of 4 field goals for 10 points showing off an impressive mid-range jumper along with a tip dunk, and grabbed eight rebounds. He was impressive enough to trust him to handle the 4 when Jackson-Davis left the game. The Hoosiers used Thompson and Geronimo together in the frontcourt and managed to keep Nebraska from mounting a comeback.

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Geronimo's performance was just part of a strong game by the recently maligned Indiana bench. Sophomore guard Trey Galloway scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting and did solid work when he was assigned to cover Trey and Bryce McGowens. Freshman Tamar Bates also did decent work on those matchups. He played 12 minutes, which is the most he's had in a game since December, and knocked down a long first-half 2-pointer after a lengthy drought struggling with his jump shot in recent weeks.

The Hoosiers weren't good in their trouble areas, but they didn't collapse

Indiana's loss at Iowa on Thursday was a product of total collapse in the areas where a team generally has to perform well to win on the road. They turned the ball over 23 times, surrendered 11 second-half offensive rebounds and also struggled to make free throws.

The Hoosiers weren't spectacular in any of those areas on Monday evening, but they were just good enough at each of them not to lose.

They turned the ball over 14 times, including eight in the second half, and those led to 13 Nebraska points, but that still represents an improvement from Thursday night. They gave up seven offensive rebounds to the worst rebounding team in the Big Ten, but just six second-chance points. They missed seven free throws, but they still made 17. It was not at all a shining example of a road win, but it was still a road win, and one the Hoosiers will take after four humbling defeats on the road.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: 3 reasons Indiana basketball beat Nebraska for first road win of season