Huskers Fall at No. 2 Kansas

By NU Athletic Communications
Steve Harley set a career-high in points for the second straight game, finishing with 16 against the Jayhawks.
Steve Harley set a career-high in points for the second straight game, finishing with 16 against the Jayhawks.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Lawrence, Kan. -- Kansas proved why its defense was one of the most highly regarded in the nation as the No. 2 Jayhawks pressured Nebraska all game long while pulling away for an 84-49 victory Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

It was the eighth straight win in the series for the Jayhawks and 46th in 53 games at Allen Fieldhouse. Last year, the Huskers suffered their second-worst defeat in the program's history, dropping a 92-39 contest at KU.

It looked to be much of the same in the first half as Kansas blitzed the Huskers from the opening tip. Nebraska shot just 20.7 percent (6-of-29) from the floor in the opening frame while producing just one assist against eight turnovers. Kansas shot 57.1 percent (16-of-28) including hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Brandon Rush, a projected first-round NBA pick this summer, was the only Jayhawk to connect from outside the 3-point line, hitting 4-of-5 while posting 14 points in the period. Rush and sophomore forward Darrell Arthur combined to hit 11-of-15 shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, as the two outscored the Huskers 28-15.

Quickly down 6-0 to open game, Nebraska pulled within three, 8-5, on Ryan Anderson's deep 3-pointer, but that would be as close as it would get. Coach Doc Sadler was forced to use three timeouts in the first period to stem the Kansas offensive push.

A pair of baskets by Arthur, a 3-pointer by Rush and a steal and layup by Sherron Collins made it a 9-0 run to extend the Jayhawks' lead to 17-5 before Sadler called his second timeout of the half at the 12:20 mark.

The physical game had the Huskers in foul trouble early as Aleks Maric, Cookie Miller and Anderson each had two fouls with less than 11 minutes off the clock. Kansas took advantage, putting on a 17-4 run before Steve Harley finally answered for the Huskers with a driving layup in the lane to pull NU within 14 points at 25-11 at the 7:43 mark of the first half.

KU then outscored Nebraska 19-4 the rest of the way before intermission. Ade Dagunduro led the Huskers with six points while coming off the bench for the first time this season.

Nebraska showed some moxy in the second period as it kept competing and forced the Jayhawks to continue to work for shots. The Huskers scored 14 points before the second media timeout, nearly matching their first-half output. Harley led the early effort with five quick points while Chris Balham added four points and Miller had three along with an impressive block while getting back in transition defense.

Balham finished with a career high in points (six) and rebounds (eight). Maric did not score in a game for the fifth time in his career, as he was held to 0-of-6 shooting. Maric added nine rebounds as the Huskers were outrebounded 46-39. 

Harley led the Huskers with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting while Arthur had a game-high 18 points. Rush added 17, including five 3-pointers, while Darnell Jackson had 13 and Sherron Collins came off the bench for 10 points. 

Nebraska returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when it hits the road for the second straight game to face the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo. The Huskers and Tigers will tip off at 7 p.m. and the game will be seen in the state of Nebraska on FSN Midwest and nationally on ESPN FullCourt. All Nebraska contests can also be heard live on the internet at Huskers.com.

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