Top-ranked Indiana broke open a close game by outscoring Nebraska, 18-4, over the final 10 minutes of the first half and defeated the Cornhuskers, 67-50, in the championship game of the Hoosier Classic last night in Indianapolis.
Randy Wittman, a 6-foot-6 senior, scored 19 points for Indiana and was named most valuable player.
Freshman guard Kim Cooksey scored 22 points, 17 in the first half, as Grambling rallied from 11 points down to beat Cornell, 66-62, for third place.
Indiana (10-0), bothered by Nebraska's aggressive defense early in the game, trailed, 13-10, midway through the first period. But the Hoosiers held the Cornhuskers to two baskets by Lenard Johnson the rest of the half.
The first basket by Johnson gave Nebraska (7-2) its final lead at 15-14 with 6:42 left in the half. Steve Bouchie put the Hoosiers ahead with a basket that started a run of 10 straight points.
"It really went the way I thought it would go," said Indiana Coach Bob Knight. "It was tough to get our offense going early on. Our ball handling hurt us at the start, and we had some unforced errors. Nebraska did a good job applying the pressure."
Indiana shot 58 percent to Nebraska's 40 percent, leading Cornhusker Coach Moe Iba to say, "When you're playing a team like Indiana, you just can't make mistakes."