Husker Fall to Baylor in NCAA Tournament
San Antonio, Texas - A memorable 2013-14 season for the Nebraska men's basketball team came to a close on Friday with a 74-60 loss to Baylor in an NCAA West Regional second-round matchup at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The Huskers finish the season with a 19-13 record including an 11-7 Big Ten record and fourth-place finish in conference play. The Huskers began the season picked to finish 12th in a preseason media poll.
Nebraska also made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 1997-98 campaign and set home attendance records in its inaugural season at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Baylor quickly built on a 13-point halftime lead by connecting on a 3-pointer to open the second half for a 32-16 advantage. Nebraska pulled within 38-29 with 14:33 to play on a Ray Gallegos 3-pointer, but the Bears quickly built the lead back to 15 points at 44-29 and maintained a double-figure lead for the majority of the game.
Nebraska closed to within nine at 62-53 with just less than three minutes to play, but could not get closer down the stretch.
Nebraska fell behind by double digits at the half, as it suffered through an ice-cold offensive first half. After a Shavon Shields layup just 18 seconds into the contest, the Huskers went 9:07 without a field goal and also had four turnovers in the game's first eight minutes. The early struggles allowed Baylor to race to a 12-3 lead.
The Bears lead reached double digits for the first time at 17-7 at the 8:16 mark of the first half. Their lead grew to 13 on three occassions in the first half and the Bears led by the same margin at halftime with a 29-16 edge.
Nebraska connected on just 6-of-26 field goals in the first half, including misses on all 11 of its 3-point attempts. The Huskers also hit just 4-of-9 from the foul line in the first half. The 16 first-half points tied Nebraska's season low. Baylor had its own offensive struggles in the first half, hitting 33.3 percent from the field, but surged to the double-digit lead by hitting 14 first-half free throws.
The Huskers finished the game by connecting on 42.6 percent from the floor (23-54) and 19 percent from 3-point range. Nebraska did not makes its first 3-pointer of the day until the Gallegos 3-pointer with 14:33 to play in the contest. NU hit 10-of-16 free-throw attemtps.
Baylor hit 40.5 percent from the floor from the game, but made 38-of-48 free throws, including 24-of-28 in the second half. Four of those free throws came following a pair of technical fouls assessed against NU Coach Tim Miles.
Nebraska was led in scoring by All-Big Ten guard Terran Petteway who finished the day with 18 points, including 13 after halftime. Petteway connected on 5-of-15 field goals for the day, but was 0-of-7 from 3-point range and picked up his fourth foul with 13:56 remaining. Shields added 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while Gallegos closed his NU career with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
Despite Friday's loss, the future looks bright for Husker basketball. Nebraska will return its top three scorers for the 2014-15 season and loses just two seniors.