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March 2, 2013
Huskers hang with Illinois
but fall short in the end
Champaign, Ill. — Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos combined for 43 points, but Illinois pulled away in the final five minutes to earn a 72-65 victory over Nebraska Saturday afternoon in Assembly Hall.

Gallegos led all players with 23 points, matching his career high with six 3-pointers to pace the Huskers while Talley turned in another strong performance with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a losing effort for Nebraska (13-16, 4-12 Big Ten).

Nebraska led the back-and-forth contest 57-55 after a Shavon Shields basket with 6:07 left, but the Illini (21-9, 8-8 Big Ten) took control with a 7-0 spurt to regain the lead for good in a matchup which saw 10 ties and 13 lead changes.

Brandon Paul hit a jumper knot the game at 57 before D.J. Richardson drilled a corner three with 4:58 left to put the Illini ahead for good.

Nebraska kept hanging around and was within 64-62 after Gallegos' sixth 3-pointer of the night, but Paul's driving basket started a game-ending 9-3 surge. The Illini went 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute to hold off the Huskers' comeback bid, capping a 15-of-18 effort from the charity stripe on the day.

The Huskers return to the Devaney Center for the final time this Wednesday, March 6, when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. with a Huskers Legends autograph session set for 7 p.m. and Senior Night ceremonies for Andre Almeida, Dylan Talley and Brandon Ubel prior to the game. Tickets are set for $10 and $15 by visiting Huskers.com or calling 800-8-BIGRED.
The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.

Tracy Abrams led five Illini in double figures with 16 points, including 6-of-6 from the line, while Paul and Richardson added 14 and 13 points, respectively for the winners.

Nebraska shot 46 percent from the field, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range, and held Illinois to 44 percent, including 9-of-26 from long range.

The Huskers played a solid first half, shooting 50 percent from the field and were tied before Abrams' long-distance 3-pointer on Illinois' final possession of the half gave the hosts a 35-32 lead. Nebraska controlled the tempo for most of the half and got major contributions from Gallegos and Talley, who had 11 points each before the break.

Richardson, who had a career-high 30 points in the first matchup, score five early points, but the Huskers used a 7-0 spurt to take a 9-5 lead after a David Rivers basket at the 17:00 mark. After a Brandon Ubel basket tied the score at 13, Illinois went on a 9-2 run to build a 22-15 left after an Abrams' 3-pointer. Nebraska came back with five straight points on a Gallegos' 3-pointer and a pair of Talley free throws to trim the lead to two points, at 22-20. The teams would be within one possession of each of ether for the rest of the half, before Abrams' shot to beat the buzzer gave the hosts a 3-point halftime lead.

Nebraska trailed 39-35 early in the second half after a long Paul jumper, but used a 5-1 run to tie the score on a Talley 3-pointer with 15:16 left. Talley scored seven straight Husker points, as his steal and bucket gave Nebraska a 44-42 lead. The teams traded the lead, as Gallegos put the Huskers ahead before a Talley basket with 11:19 left gave the visitors a four-point lead.

The lead would not last long, as a 3-pointer from Tyler Griffey and a Nnanna Egwu put-back put the Illini on top 50-49. Gallegos, as he did for most of the day, answered back with a 3-pointer to give NU a 52-50 lead. With 7:09 left, Paul's 3-pointer put the Illini ahead 55-53, but Nebraska answered back. Brandon Ubel's basket tied the score before Shields' driving bucket put NU head 57-55 for the final time.

                       1st   2nd   Total
Illinois                35    37      72
Nebraska                32    33      65

Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.

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