Indianapolis, Ind. - The Nebraska basketball team fell to Ohio State by a 71-67 margin in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. OSU came back from 18 points down in the second half to eliminate the Huskers from the league tournament.
NU, now 19-12 on the year, opened the second half and continued a 23-2 run (17-2 to start the half half), stretching the lead to 48-30 at the 13:45 mark of the second half. However, the Buckeyes (25-8) responded with a quick 12-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the deficit to eight with 11 minutes to play. OSU chipped away NU's lead to tie the quarterfinal at 63-63 with under two minutes remaining. The Buckeyes finished a 7-0 run to take a 67-63 lead with 17 seconds to go as the Huskers fell late, 71-67.
Sophomore first-team All-Big Ten selection Terran Petteway, who fouled out in the final minute, moved all the way into sixth place on NU's single-season scoring list with a team-high 20 points, passing Marvin Stewart (556, 1970-71), Aleks Maric (556, 2006-07) and Jaron Boon (559, 1994-95) with 561 points in 2014.
After the Buckeyes took an early 11-3 advantage and led for the majority of the first half, sophomore Walter Pitchford stepped outside the arc and knocked down a triple to cap a mini 6-0 spurt and knot the score at 20-20 with 4:31 to play before halftime.
Sophomore Shavon Shields, who finished with 12 points, six boards and four assists, gave the Huskers a lead for the first time in the contest with 48.4 seconds remaining in the first half when he got fouled and made the bucket. NU finished out the period on a 6-0 run thanks to a Ray Gallegos jumper that put the Big Red in front by a 31-28 margin at the break.
The Big Red held the edge at halftime despite the Buckeyes firing 52.5 percent from the field on 12-of-23 shooting, including just 1-for-8 from 3-point range. The Huskers managed 37.5 percent (12-of-32) in the frame but made five triples and forced nine OSU turnovers, while committing just three.
Junior David Rivers grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and added eight points in the start for NU.
Ohio State finished shooting 45 percent from the field, while Nebraska shot 37 percent. OSU's LaQuinton Ross led all scorers with 26 points. The Huskers were outrebounded by a 42-34 margin in the contest while OSU also had a big edge in points in the paint (36-14) and second chance points (16-6). NU forced 15 turnovers on the night but recorded eight costly miscues in the second half.
The Huskers will now await their NCAA selection this Sunday which will be televised live on CBS at 5 p.m. CT.
*-Nebraska falls to 19-12 on the season and had won eight of its last 10 games heading into the postseason.
*-Nebraska falls to 1-3 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament with today’s loss, and two of NU’s Big Ten Tournament losses are to the Buckeyes.
*-Prior to today, the largest lead in any game NU had lost was seven points against UAB on Nov. 22
*-Terran Petteway had 20 points, his 11th 20-point effort of the season, before fouling out. Petteway now has 561 points on the season, moving him into seventh place on NU’s single-season chart. It is the most points in a season by a Husker since Tyron Lue in 1996-97 (603).
*-David Rivers’ nine rebound was a career high. His previous best was seven on several occasions, most recently against Michigan State on Feb. 16
*-Walter Pitchford finished with 15 points, the seventh time in the last eight games he has been in double figures. Pitchford had just three points in the two regular-season meetings with OSU.
*-Shavon Shields tied his career high with four assists, accomplished most recently against Indiana on Jan. 30. Shield also added 12 points and six rebounds.