Nassau, Bahamas - It was Nebraska which stood tall on Wednesday night, defeating the Commonwealth Bank Giants, 91-74, in the Huskers' second exhibition contest.
After being rebounded in Tuesday's opener, Nebraska controlled the boards on Wednesday. NU enjoyed a 37-19 advantage, including a commanding 15-3 cushion on the offensive boards.
Christian Standhardinger had 12 points and seven rebounds coming off the bench while Jorge Brian Diaz chipped in 10 points and five rebounds, including three offensive caroms that led to baskets. In all, five players had at least four rebounds while no Husker played more than 26 minutes.
"That was a main focus for us tonight after yesterday," Diaz said. "Coach told us before the game that rebounding was going to be huge factor, and we put a lot of effort in that today."
Diaz also sparked the Huskers at the end of the third quarter, hitting a driving basket to beat the buzzer after the Giants, who won the Bahamas Basketball Federation title this season, pulled to within 73-61.
"Any time you can make an aggressive play like that, it gets your team excited," Diaz said
The play started a decisive 10-2 spurt over the next four minutes that put the game out of reach after a Brandon Richardson 3-pointer gave Nebraska an 83-63 lead with 6:07 remaining. The Huskers held the Giants to just one field goal over the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Huskers once again relied on balance, placing five in double figures, led by junior college transfer Caleb Walker's 13 points in 20 minutes. Sophomores Brandon Ubel and Ray Gallegos had 11 apiece, while Eshaunte Jones knocked in a trio of 3-pointers for nine points. Nebraska shot 48 percent and dished 18 assists while forcing 20 turnovers.
"I thought tonight's effort was good," Nebraska Coach Doc Sadler said. "They played a lot of zone defense in the first half, and we weren't as prepared as we would like. I thought our guys made some good adjustments in transition and that got us some easy baskets. We didn't shoot as well as we would have liked from 3-point range, but we did a good job at the foul line for the second straight game."
The Huskers struggled against Commonwealth's zone at the start and were tied at 15 before the long range shooting of Lance Jeter and Jones sparked a 14-6 spurt to end the opening stanza. Jeter's three-pointer broke a 15-all tie before Jones hit three consecutive shots from long distance in the final 2:27 of the quarter, including a long three with 2.1 seconds left to give the Huskers an eight point lead.
Nebraska continued to build on the margin, as the Huskers used a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 42-27 on a Toney McCray 3-pointer with 6:22 in the half and took that 15-point lead into the half, at 53-38.
The Giants trailed 57-40 before chipping away at the Nebraska lead. Commonwealth Bank was 21-of-23 from the foul line through three quarters and pulled to within 12 points on a couple of occasions, the last being on a basket by Jeremy Hutchinson with 49 seconds left in the quarter. The teams traded missed shots before Diaz got the ball in transition and beat the buzzer to end the third quarter.
Michael Bain led all scorers with a game-high 21 points for the Giants.
The Huskers will continue their foreign tour Thursday night as they play the Bahamas Select team at 7:30 p.m.