February 16, 2016

Indiana lost its share of the Big Ten lead after faltering once again on the road but will get to play its next two games on its own floor.

The No. 22 Hoosiers could get back into first place by remaining unbeaten at home Wednesday night against Nebraska and getting some help.

Indiana (20-6, 10-3) fell one game behind Iowa with an 88-69 loss at No. 8 Michigan State on Sunday, its third in four road games. The Hoosiers shot 37.7 percent and have connected at 37.1 percent in back-to-back losses outside Bloomington.

They're the Big Ten's best shooting team at home - 53.9 percent in 14 games - and among the national leaders with a 90.6-point average.

Indiana topped No. 4 Iowa 85-78 in its latest game at Assembly Hall on Thursday. The Hawkeyes play Wednesday at Penn State, which knocked off the Hoosiers 68-63 in its most recent home game Feb. 6.

Another Nittany Lions upset would open the door for Indiana.

"We need to be better, and we were much better (against Iowa)," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. "Now we turn around and get ready to play Nebraska."

Indiana won 79-69 at Nebraska on Jan. 2 and could use another win over the Cornhuskers (14-12, 6-7) before a difficult closing stretch. The Hoosiers will face three Top 25 teams in their final four games, including Iowa and fellow Big Ten contender Maryland, ranked sixth.

After this game, they face in-state rival and No. 17 Purdue at home Saturday.

Having Yogi Ferrell end his shooting funk could be a huge momentum boost. The Hoosiers' leading scorer has gone 8 of 34 from the floor in his last three games and 4 of 21 from 3-point range.

Ferrell shot 1 for 6 beyond the arc and 3 for 10 overall while finishing with nine points at Michigan State.

"I think he pressed a little bit tonight. I think he pressed a little bit in the Iowa game too, no question about it," Crean said. "It's probably just a matter of trying to make too many things happen."

Ferrell made 8 of 13 shots, including 4 of 5 on 3-pointers, while scoring 24 points at Nebraska. He also had seven assists, and freshman Thomas Bryant added 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

The Hoosiers connected at 54.9 percent and went 9 of 18 from beyond the arc in their second straight win in the series. Indiana had taken all four home meetings until a 70-60 loss in March 2014.

Nebraska has dropped its two road games since upsetting then-No. 11 Michigan State 72-71 on Jan. 20. The Cornhuskers lost 89-74 at then-No. 21 Purdue on Jan. 30 and 72-61 at Wisconsin last Wednesday.

They bounced back with a 70-54 victory against Penn State on Saturday, with Andrew White III scoring a career-best 35 points. White, averaging a team-leading 17.6 points, was dealing with a cold and a minor ear infection while second-leading scorer Shavon Shields missed a second straight game because of a concussion.

Shields' status is unclear for this game.

"The coaches tell me I'm the guy, that I have to lead the team now," White said.

White, a transfer from Kansas, had 16 points and six rebounds in last month's loss to Indiana. Jack McVeigh, averaging 4.9 points, matched a career high with 16.

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