Huskers Hold Off Hatters
Stetson 24 38 - 62 Nebraska 24 47 - 71
Isaac Copeland and James Palmer Jr. had 13 points apiece to pace four Huskers in double figures, but it was the performance of junior forward Tanner Borchardt that sparked the Huskers to a 71-62 win over Stetson Friday night.
Borchardt, who was put on scholarship a week ago, had eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the second half, setting personal bests in all three categories, as Nebraska held Stetson (7-8) to just 36 percent shooting in the second half.
Borchardt keyed a strong performance by the Husker bench in a decisive 10-0 spurt that wrestled control of the contest, grabbing four rebounds in the spurt and hitting a pair of free throws after the Hatters tied the score at 48. Thomas Allen started the run with four straight points, including a steal and layup which gave NU the lead for good before Palmer closed the run with four points to extend the Huskers’ lead to 10, at 58-48.
Stetson closed to within 58-52 before Copeland’s 3-point play with 2:56 remaining keyed a 5-0 run that pushed the lead back to nine, at 63-54. The visitors stayed within striking distance down the stretch. Stetson closed to 68-62 on a Divine Myles basket with 16 seconds left, but would get no closer, as Gill split a pair of free throws before Palmer’s steal and dunk sealed Nebraska’s ninth non-conference win.
Myles led all scorers with 17 points and added nine rebounds for the visitors.
Neither team was able to find consistent offense in the first half, as the teams were deadlocked at 24 at halftime. The Huskers shot just 24 percent in the first half, while Stetson shot just 33 percent in the opening 20 minutes. Anton Gill’s six points led NU, while Abayomi Iyiola had eight points and give boards off the bench for the Hatters.
After struggling from the field early, Gill’s 3-pointer started an 11-2 Husker run, as Nebraska ran off eight straight points to build an 18-9 lead after a pair of James Palmer Jr. free throws.
Stetson would come right back, scoring seven straight points as part of an 11-2 run, tying the score on a steal and basket by Luke Doyle with 4:08 left in the first half. Anton Gill’s 3-pointer ended the dryspell, but the Huskers were hurt by going 7-of-14 from the charity stripe in the first half, and Stetson pulled even on a Divine Myles basket with 46 seconds left in the half.
The Huskers return to Big Ten play on Tuesday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Northwestern. Tipoff at Allstate Arena is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised on BTN.