Lincoln – Derrick Walton Jr. hit a driving layup with 23 seconds remaining, lifting Michigan to a 71-70 win over Nebraska in front of a sellout crowd of 15,012 at Pinnacle Bank Arena Thursday night.
Walton’s heroics put the Wolverines (11-4, 3-0 Big Ten) ahead in a back-and-forth game which saw 11 ties and 10 lead changes, as neither team led by more than six points the entire game.
The Huskers (8-7, 0-3 Big Ten) had a shot to win, but Terran Petteway’s drive slipped off the rim and Leslee Smith’s putback attempt at the buzzer rolled off the rim, as Nebraska suffered its first loss at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Petteway, who had 14 of his 16 points in the second half, kept the Huskers in the game down the stretch, hitting baskets to tie the score at 67 and 69 before his free throw with 34 seconds left gave Nebraska a one-point lead at 71-70 before Walton’s basket gave the Wolverines the lead for good.
Nebraska trailed 42-36 before using an 11-4 run to take its first lead of the half at 47-44. A 3-pointer from Petteway started a run of seven straight points before baskets by Gallegos and Biggs forced Michigan to take timeout.
The Wolverines trailed 51-48 before two straight Jordan Morgan baskets gave Michigan the lead. Morgan was one of five UM players in double figures with 15 points, while Glenn Robinson III led all scorers with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting
Trailing 54-51, Biggs’ 3-point play ended a 6-0 Wolverine run, but Nik Stauskas led Michigan back, hitting a long jumper before his 3-pointer made it a five-point game at 59-54. The Huskers were down 61-56 before using a 7-3 run to tie the score at 63 on Ray Gallegos’ fourth 3-pointer of the night.
Walton provided heroics in the first half, as Nebraska overcame an early five-point deficit to pull even on a Biggs jumper with four seconds left, but Walton closed the half with a 3-pointer from halfcourt to beat the buzzer and send Michigan with a three-point lead into the locker room.
The Huskers return to action on Sunday, as Nebraska takes on Purdue. Tipoff is at 11 a.m. on BTN and the Husker Sports Radio Network.
*-Nebraska suffers its first loss at Pinnacle Bank Arena, as the Huskers were 7-0 entering Thursday’s game.
*-The loss was the first in two seasons by five points or less for Nebraska. The Huskers were 8-0 in games decided by five points or less before tonight.
*-Nebraska shot a season-high 53.1 percent from the field, while the 70 points were the Huskers’ highest total in Big Ten play.
*-Deverell Biggs’ 14 point effort was his highest total in Big Ten play and most since scoring 18 points against Northern Illinois on Nov. 30.
*-Nebraska shot a season-best 91.7 percent from the foul line.
*-Michigan’s 62 percent was the highest against Nebraska this season.