LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Tim Miles has spoken often that the way to build a program is to “creep, crawl, walk, run.”
Those stages apply to mental toughness, too, which the Huskers took a step in the right direction Thursday by rallying from 16 points behind to beat Indiana.
“We’re getting better,” Miles said. “We found a way to win tonight. We have to credit them for being able to scratch out a victory when they weren’t at their best.
“It’s one thing to just shoot well and win. It’s another to go out and scratch out a win. I was proud of the guys that they went out and did that.”
Terran Petteway, the Big Ten’s No. 3 scorer, said the Huskers followed a first half of confusion with a second half of concentration.
“We just calmed down,” said Petteway, who hit his average of 18 points. “In the first half, we were rushing too much. That’s why we got so many turnovers.”
Crazy times in the Big Ten
Nebraska’s victory over Indiana completed a two-night run of topsy-turvy results in Big Ten men’s basketball.
On Wednesday, Penn State won at No. 24 Ohio State and Northwestern won at No. 14 Wisconsin.
“After the last two nights,” Miles said, “it would appear that Psalm 37, ‘The meek shall inherit the Earth, and the first shall be last and the last first,’ kind of feels like the Big Ten right now.”
Northwestern, which started Big Ten play 1-4, is in sixth place at 4-5. Nebraska, which started 0-4, is tied for seventh at 3-5. Penn State, which started 0-6, is tied for 11th at 2-6.
Bits and pieces
The 16-point deficit Nebraska overcame was the second-largest under Miles. The biggest was 19 points against Iowa. ... Petteway has scored in double figures in 17 straight games. ... Indiana freshman forward Noah Vonleh, projected as an NBA lottery pick, had seven points and five turnovers. “Tough night for a freshman,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “He was not as emphatic and decisive with the ball as he needed to be.” ... Nebraska’s next game is Wednesday at No. 10 Michigan.