Lincoln -Dylan Talley's jumper with 10.4 seconds remaining lifted Nebraska to a 51-50 win over Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday night at the Devaney Center.
Trailing 50-49 with 30 seconds left, the Huskers called timeout to set up the final play, as Bo Spencer dribbled into the lane and found Talley on the wing. The junior, who finished with a team-high 14 points including four 3-pointers, took one dribble and hit a medium range jumper to give the Huskers the lead.
Florida Gulf Coast got the ball to midcourt with 7.1 seconds before calling timeout to set up its final play. The Eagles tried to get the ball inside, but Brandon Richardson defensed the play well, forcing Christophe Varidel to take the final shot from beyond the arc. The sophomore guard tried to pump fake, but could not get the ball out of his hand in time, allowing the Huskers to escape with the one-point win.
Brandon Ubel joined Talley in double figures for the Huskers (5-3), as he finished with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first career double- double, as the Huskers shot 40 percent from the floor, but enjoyed a 32-25 edge on the glass.
Sherwood Brown finished with 14 points for FGCU, while Filip Cvjeticanin came off the bench for 12 points on four 3-pointers, as the Eagles (3-6) suffered their third one-point defeat of the season.
Ubel got the Huskers off to an early start, scoring all five of his first-half points early in helping the Huskers take an early 7-2 lead. Nebraska eventually used another 7-0 to break a 10-all deadlock, taking its largest lead of the half at 17-10 after a Toney McCray 3-pointer.
The Eagles came right back behind the sharp shooting of Cvjeticanin, who came off the bench for a trio of 3-pointers as part of a 17-3 spurt to give the visitors a seven-point lead at 27-20. Cvjeticanin hit three consecutive 3-pointers at one point, turning a 17-14 deficit into a 23-20 advantage.
The Husker defense then toughened, holding the Eagles without a field goal for the final 5:38 of the half to cut the margin to 27-26 at the break. Bo Spencer keyed the surge, as his block of Brown's layup led to a Jorge Brian Diaz dunk before Talley closed the half with a 3-pointer to make it a one-point deficit.
Trailing 29-28, Ubel came up big in the opening minutes of the second half, as his three-point play started a 7-1 Husker surge, as Nebraska took a 35-30 lead after two Ubel free throws.
The Huskers eventually stretched it to 40-34, but the Eagles came right back, as a 3-pointer by Cvjeticanin and a Brown jumper made it a one-point game with 9:05 left. The game would be a one-possession game the rest of the way, as Florida Gulf Coast regained the lead at 44-42 after a pair of Bernard Thompson free throws. The teams would trade points before Talley's 3-pointer gave the Huskers a 49-47 advantage with 3:05 remaining. Both teams would go cold for a spell before Varidel came up with a long 3-pointer with 1:23 left to give the Eagles their last lead.
The Huskers return to action Saturday night, as the Huskers take on TCU at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on the MTN (Ch. 616 on DirecTV) and also on the Husker Sports Radio Network.
*-Nebraska is now 3-4 in one-point games under Doc Sadler. Six of the seven have taken place in the last 28 games dating back to last season
*-The 50 points scored by Florida Gulf Coast matched its season low, which was set at Miami on Nov 22. It Is also the second opponent Nebraska has held to 50 points or less this season. Nebraska is 65-9 under Sadler when allowing 60 points or less.
*-Jorge Brian Diaz tied his season and career high with five blocked shots. He also had five blocks against South Dakota in the season opener on Nov. 11. Diaz now has 20 blocks on the season and is averaging 2.5 blocked shots per game. His next blocked shot will be the 100th of his career.
*-Brandon Ubel recorded the Huskers' first double double of the season, finishing with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. His previous best rebound total was nine against Davidson and Missouri last season.
*-Dylan Talley reached double figures for the fifth time in eight games, finishing with 14 points. His four 3-pointers also matched a season high set against Oregon on Nov. 23.
*-Bo Spencer's six points matched his season low set against South Dakota
*-Nebraska's 50 points were a season low, as the previous low was 53 against Wake Forest on Nov. 30.
*-Nebraska's 18 turnovers were its second-highest total of the season and most since committing 18 at USC on Nov. 14
Nebraska Head Coach Doc Sadler
"Well the good news, obviously, is the outcome of the game. We knew going into the game it was going to be very difficult. If you look at the games they've played now, I think the six losses are by 22 points and had chances to be in it tonight just they were against Miami and Maryland. I knew it was going to be a tough basketball game. It didn't look like we had much emotion at all, but I think you have to give them credit for putting us in a situation for spreading us out. They made some big 3-pointers in a row at the end of the first half. Their zone gave us problems. That's the best zone we've played against- taking the inside away. I thought we got very panicky in the first half. At one time I think 10 of our 13 shots were threes. I think this team is trying way too hard. They have to relax and they have to enjoy the game. As I told them in the locker room, 'you better enjoy every game right now that we can win.' You go in the locker room and it's like they're just taking a big sigh. They got to enjoy it. We do have a good basketball team.
On the last play for both teams
"The play obviously at the end, we knew that they were going to get into the ball screen, and I think they knew we were going to be switching it. Brandon Richardson did just what he was supposed to do by taking that slip away. We talked about making sure we stay inside and took the slip away, so you have to give Brandon credit there. Offensively, I think we did better in the fact that against Oregon, we ran the same thing out of the same play there against their zone when we got the double ball screen to the outside to get Dylan a shot. They did a good job of helping and this time Bo kicked it (to Talley). So we've made progress. I think when we got some guys that didn't necessarily play well offensively, but continued to compete, I thought it was good. One thing I was concerned about late in the game was when we gave up two maybe three offensive rebounds. We got to finish plays when they matter."
On the last basket
Bo penetrated and kicked it out to me, and I thought I had the shot. I just took a dribble and tried to use the ball screen and make a play. I made it thankfully. It felt really good. We needed that win big time.
On the relief of a win
We are really excited about the win. Actually we thought we could have won all three of the games we lost. To lose another one, we knew we could win would have been hard. We pulled out a close one. This should give us confidence for the next close game because all the games from here on out are going to be tough.
On his health
It is day to day. It is hurting to be honest. I hurt it in the South Dakota State game, then hit it again in the game at Creighton. It was hurting pretty bad after that. I was thinking about sitting out, but really didn't want to miss any time. I'm just going to play through it. I'm happy coach had the confidence to play me so much in the game.
On the game being harder than they thought it might be
"We came in knowing they were pretty athletic team. We watched a lot of film on their changing defenses and knew that they were going to do that. We knew they were going to keep it tight. We struggled a little bit to get the ball inside, whether that was on the post or the drives. They did give us a little trouble and it was a little bit of a different game. They have played everybody close and are a pretty good team.
On his creating a spark in the second half
We were down one at that point, and I don't think we had energy we usually do. I just went out there and tried to give everyone a spark.
Head Coach Andy Enfield
On the final play
"Well we had a ball screen setup with a roll-and-replace. We knew that they had a slower big on our 5-man, so we tried to get Bernard Thompson a dribble opportunity, a one-on-one situation with their 5-man and create for himself or a teammate. He probably could have taken it to the basket and tried to draw a foul, but he threw it back to Christophe (Varidel), and Christophe had a chance to shoot it, but he didn't really understand the clock. I think he thought he had another second, so he shot faked instead of just letting it fly. We didn't get the shot off and that was a disappointing ending. They made a shot with 10 seconds left, and they deserve the credit. They made a shot and we didn't"
On their defensive effort
"We've been playing solid defense all season. It's a mix between a man and a zone, and our guys really stepped the intensity up in the second half. They made a run early in the second half and got a lead, and we picked the defensive intensity up. We did a better job of rebounding the ball, so I was very proud of our effort. I can't say enough about his team because of the tough schedule, but we have played hard and had a chance to win every game."
On what they can take away from this game
"We're not trying to take much away from this game. We want to forget this game, but there are some positive things; the effort, the defense in the second half. I just think losing - we hate losing in the end like we did. We have some things to work on in the next week and a half before we play again. We have finals coming up, so it's important for our players to focus on academics for the next couple days."