Huskers Fall to Badgers in Big Ten Home Opener
Lincoln - An offensive cold spell down the stretch proved costly, as Wisconsin escaped Lincoln with a 47-41 win over the Huskers Sunday afternoon.
Wisconsin (11-4, 2-0 Big Ten) held Nebraska to just one field goal in the final six minutes, closing the contest on 10-3 spurt to pull away from a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes.
Ryan Evans' 3-point play with 5:56 left started a 7-0 surge for the Badgers, as the senior led Wisconsin with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in a game that featured strong defense from both squads. Evans had five of his 10 points in the decisive run, as his jumper gave UW a 44-38 lead with 1:52 left.
Nebraska pulled to within three, at 44-41, on a three-pointer from Brandon Ubel with 1:00 left, but Traevon Jackson hit a tough jumper on the Badgers' next possession to keep the Huskers at bay.
Ubel was one of three Huskers to finish in double figures, totaling 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos had 12 points apiece, but the Huskers went just 2-of-12 from 3-point range against a stout Badger defense.
Scoring was tough for both teams, as Nebraska (9-6, 0-2 Big Ten) held Wisconsin a season-low point total on 37.7 percent shooting. Nebraska shot just 36.7 percent and allowed eight offensive rebounds which led to 10 second-chance points for the visitors.
Shavon Shields, who tied Ubel for game-high honors with eight rebounds, got NU on the board early in the second half as his 3-point play gave the Huskers a 22-19 lead. Nebraska would lead by as many as three points on four occasions, the last being 29-26 at the 13:16 mark following a Talley jumper.
Wisconsin would come right back with five straight points, taking a 31-29 lead after Sam Dekker's 3-pointer with 11:12 left and led 34-31 after a Berggren dunk. Nebraska would go on a final run, scoring five straight points to regain the lead at 36-35 on a Gallegos basket and led for the final time on Gallegos' jumper with 6:16 left.
Gallegos, who scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, helped Nebraska stay in the contest, as neither team led by more than four points until Wisconsin's late surge.
The first half was a show of strong defense, as Nebraska and Wisconsin went into the locker room tied at 19. Nebraska shot 40 percent from the floor and held Wisconsin to 25.8 percent, but allowed the Badgers to hang around by converting six offensive boards into six second-chance points.
The Huskers trailed for most of the half and were down 19-14 after a Ben Brust 3-pointer with 2:59 left in the half, but closed the half with five straight points, including Ubel's first 3-pointer since Nov. 21, and a steal and basket by Gallegos to knot the score at 19 and bring the Devaney Center crowd to its feet.
Huskers relied on the shooting of Dylan Talley, who scored the Huskers first six points before a Gallegos jumper gave Nebraska an 8-6 lead with 13:54 left in the half. George Marshall then provided the Badgers with a spark, scoring five straight points to put Wisconsin up 11-8 after his 3-pointer.
The Huskers return to action Wednesday night, as they travel to No. 2 Michigan. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (central) and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised on BTN.