Huskers Tame Titans, 86-62
Lincoln, Neb. --- Glynn Watson Jr. recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, as No. 25/22 Nebraska improved to 10-2 on the season with an 86-62 win over Cal State Fullerton Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Watson guided a Husker attack that went over 80 points for the seventh time this season, while setting up a pair of 20-point scorers for the Big Red. Watson’s points-assists double-double was the first by a Husker since 2011, and helped NU it its 18th straight home win, the longest home win streak in over 50 years.
James Palmer Jr. finished with a game-high 23 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while Isaiah Roby chipped in a career-high 20 points and a team-high eight boards. For Palmer, it marked his third straight 20-point effort.
As a team, the Huskers dished out 18 points and committed a season-low seven turnovers, while forcing 16 Cal State Fullerton miscues that led to 20 Husker points.
Nebraska put four players in double figures, as senior Isaac Copeland Jr. added 12 points to complete the quartet, while Nana Akenten and Thomas Allen also added nine each as Nebraska continued its best start since the 1994-95 season.
Leading 36-25 at the break, the Huskers opened the second half with a 9-2 spurt, including 3-pointers from Palmer and Copeland before Roby’s conventional 3-point play stretch the lead to 45-27 with 17:25 left.
The Huskers eventually stretched the lead to 60-39 only to make Cal State Fullerton make one last charge, scoring nine straight points to cut a 21-point deficit to 12 with 8:53 left after a pair of Kyle Allman Jr. free throws.
That would be as close as the visitors would get, as Roby scored six of his 18 second-half points in an 11-2 Husker run that pushed the lead back to 21, and NU would not be threatened the rest of the way.
In the first half, the Huskers got 14 points from Palmer, while the Huskers held Cal State Fullerton to 36 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes to take a 36-25 halftime. Lead. Palmer hit 4-of-7 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and added three rebounds and a pair of steals to pace NU while Copeland, Watson and Nana Akenten had six points apiece.
Nebraska took control midway through the first stanza, using a 7-0 run to build a 15-7 lead after a Thomas Allen layup with 12:56 left in the first half.
The Titans, who returned four starters from a team which won 20 games and reached the NCAA Tournament, chipped away and got within 17-13 after two straight baskets from Austen Awosika, but a 3-pointer from Akenten and Watson layup stretched the lead to nine at 22-13 with 9:29 left in the half.
The Huskers eventually got the lead to 12 points on a pair of occasions, the last being a pair of Roby free throws with 3:06 left in the half and took an 11-point lead to the locker room.
Allman led CSF with 16 points, but held Khalil Ahmad to just 12 points, as the pair went a combined 0-of-7 from 3-point range. The pair entered the game ranking second and third in the Big West in scoring.
The Huskers will have a couple of days off for Christmas before returning to action next Saturday, Dec. 29, against Southwest Minnesota State. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and available on BTN+.