Champaign, Ill. - The Nebraska men's basketball team had its five-game win streak come to an end on Wednesday evening with a 60-49 loss on the road at Illinois.
Illinois (16-12, 5-10) used a 12-0 run midway through the second half as the home team set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The Fighting Illini forced NU into 12 second-half turnovers, while committing just a pair of miscues. Kendrick Nunn led the Fighting Illini with 13 points, while Rayvonte Rice and Malcolm Hill put up 10 points apiece.
The Huskers (16-11, 8-7) received a large contribution from their role players as a trio combined for 23 points on the road. Leslee Smith amassed nine points on the evening, while David Rivers chipped in with eight as Benny Parker added six points.
Sophomore Terran Petteway, the Big Ten's leading scorer, paced the NU offense with a team-high 13 points despite struggling from the field. Shavon Shields, an Olate, Kan. native, pitched in eight points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Scarlet and Cream held Illinois to just 37.3 percent shooting from the floor, marking the sixth straight opponent they've held under 40 percent shooting. The Illini also knocked down nine 3-pointers. The Huskers shot 44.4 percent going 20-for-45 while managing just 3-for-13 from beyond the arc. This marks the third straight game in which NU has fired better than 44 percent from the field.
Illinois posted a 34-28 rebound edge on the night and forced NU into 15 turnovers which resulted in 24 points. Neither team was able to find their offensive strides in the closely-contested first half as the Illini held a 27-24 halftime lead.
With the loss, the Huskers finish the month of February with a 5-2 mark and have won eight of its last 11 contests.
The Huskers return to action Saturday when they welcome the Northwestern Wildcats to Pinnacle Bank Arena for a 4 p.m. tip. The game will be televised on ESPNU and be carried on the Husker Sports Radio Network.
-Nebraska sees its five-game win streak snapped with tonight’s loss.
-The Huskers held Illinois to 37 percent shooting, the sixth straight game an opponent has shot under 40 percent.
-Tonight’s loss marked just the second time in 16 games this season Nebraska lost while outshooting an opponent.
-Leslee Smith’s nine points was his highest total since scoring 11 points at Ohio State on Jan. 4