Huskers take down TCU in huge second half
Fort Worth, Texas. — Behind a game-high 22 points from Bo Spencer, Nebraska rallied from a 10-point first half deficit to post a 69-57 win at TCU Saturday night.
The Huskers (6-3) trailed 37-27 in the waning seconds of the first half before Spencer drained a 65-footer to beat the halftime buzzer, give the Huskers the jolt of energy they needed to put together their best half of the season.
Nebraska out-scored TCU, 39-20 after the break in shooting 56 percent in the second half while holding TCU to just 24 percent in the final 20 minutes to pick up its second road conference win of the season. Spencer hit 7-of-12 shots from the field including four 3-pointers en route to his fourth 20-point effort of the season.
Nebraska used an 11-0 run early in the second half to turn the tide against the Horned Frogs (7-3). Trailing 39-30, Jorge Brian Diaz's basket got the Huskers going before a 3-pointer from Spencer and a steal and layup from Brandon Richardson pulled the Huskers within 39-37. Diaz tied the score at 39 before freshman Josiah Moore's backdoor layup on the next possession gave the Huskers their first lead since midway through the first half at 41-39.
The Huskers took the lead for good with 10:26 remaining, as Brandon Ubel's putback broke a 45-all deadlock before Richardson's layup gave the Huskers a 49-45 lead.
The game would remain a one-possession game before Spencer took over in the final five minutes. Leading 58-55, the senior hit a long jumper falling down to beat the shot clock buzzer before Spencer hit another long jumper on Nebraska's next possession to extend the lead to 62-55. The Huskers then put the game away at the free throw line, hitting seven of eight from the foul line in the final two minutes to preserve the win.
While Spencer was the only Husker in double figures, Nebraska also got a strong performance from Caleb Walker, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds and Jorge Brian Diaz who had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Huskers got a nice contribution from the bench early, as the Husker reserves scored nine of Nebraska's first 14 points in building a 14-9 lead after David Rivers' 3-pointer. Rivers had five points all in the first half, while Toney McCray added six of his eight points in the opening 20 minutes.
Nebraska led 16-14 before the Horned Frogs started heating up from long range, hitting three straight shots from long range to take a 23-16 lead after the second of Garlon Green's 3-pointers. TCU shot 48 percent from the floor in the half, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range and out-rebounded the Huskers, 16-10 in the first half.
TCU built a 26-19 lead before the Huskers came back, as baskets from Spencer and Ubel and two free throws from Caleb Walker made it a one-point game with 4:26 left in the half. Nebraska was within 29-27 after a Rivers' jumper, but could not get closer, as TCU used an 8-0 run to build its largest lead at 37-27 before Spencer gave the Huskers some momentum with his buzzer beater
Nebraska trailed 39-30 before a Jorge Brian Diaz basket started the Huskers on big spurt, pulling to within 39-37 after a Brandon Richardson steal and layup with 16:46 remaining. After a timeout, Nebraska continued the run, as Diaz tied the score at 39 with a layup 16:08 remaining before Josiah Moore's backdoor layup capped the 11-0 run and gave the Huskers their first lead since midway through the first half at 41-39.
Hank Thorns led TCU with 18 points, as the Horned Frogs saw their four-game win streak snapped.
The Huskers return to action next Saturday, Dec. 17, as Nebraska hosts Alcorn State at the Devaney Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com or calling 800-8-BIGRED.
*-Nebraska won two road non-conference games for the first time since the 1998-99 season and finished 2-1 on the road in non-conference play
*-Bo Spencer finished with 22 points, his fourth 20-point effort on the season, including a season high four 3-pointers. His previous best was three, set on two occasions.
*-Nebraska shot above 50 percent for the second time this season and for the first time since Nov. 20.
*-Nebraska went 15-of-18 from the foul line, the fourth time in the last six games that Nebraska has shot 80 percent or better from the foul line
*-Jorge Brian Diaz became the ninth Husker to record 100 career blocks with his first blocked shot against TCU. Diaz had three blocks in the win over TCU
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.