Huskers can't pull a win in Wisconsin rematch
Madison, Wis. — Nebraska whittled an 11-point deficit against Wisconsin to two in the second half, but the Huskers were unable to complete the comeback, falling 50-45 against the Badgers at the Kohl Center Sunday evening.
Nebraska (9-8, 1-5 Big Ten) trailed 36-25 midway through the second half, but rallied behind the shooting of Bo Spencer and Dylan Talley, as Nebraska fought back to make it a one-possession game down the stretch.
Jordan Taylor led Wisconsin (14-5, 3-3 Big Ten) with 19 points, including 11-of-15 shooting from the foul line, while Josh Gasser added 12, including eight in the first half as Wisconsin built a 24-21 halftime lead .
Spencer led Nebraska with 13 points while Talley scored all nine of his points in the second half in the losing effort
Trailing 36-25 with 11:35 left, Nebraska then made a run with eight unanswered points as Toney McCray hit a driving layup before Spencer connected on two straight 3-pointers to pull the Huskers within 36-33 with 9:44 left, forcing a Badger timeout. Talley then hit a jumper to pull NU within 38-35, but the Badgers scored the next five points to take a 43-35 lead.
Brandon Ubel broke the UW run with a pair of free throws - Nebraska's first two attempts of the game - before Spencer's 3-pointer made it 43-40 with 4:10 remaining.
Nebraska, which held Wisconsin to a season-low 31.3 percent from the floor, had a chance to get closer on its next possession, but a Jorge Brian Diaz miss with 2:58 gave Wisconsin the ball. The Badgers then ran the clock and missed the shot, but got the offensive rebound and kept the possession alive. Wisconsin kept crashing the boards and kept possession until the 1:20 mark when Gasser hit a pair of free throws to make it 45-40.
On the Huskers' next possession, Talley's 3-pointer with 29 seconds left pulled the Huskers within two points at 45-43, but were forced to foul. After Taylor hit a pair of free throws, Spencer got Nebraska within 47-45 with a driving layup with 18 seconds left. NU fouled Taylor, who made the first, but missed the second, but the Badger point guard got the offensive rebound and sank a pair of free throws for the final margin.
The Huskers shot 38 percent in the first half, but trailed by only three points with a solid defensive effort of their own. Nebraska forced 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, and held the Badgers to just 45 percent shooting to trailing 24-21 at the half.
The Huskers fell behind 6-0 in the first two minutes, but rallied behind the inside play of Brandon Ubel, who had baskets on NU's next two possessions. The Huskers held Wisconsin scoreless for nearly six minutes and tied the score at six on a Caleb Walker jumper with 12:08 left in the first half. Wisconsin finally ended their offensive drought, as Taylor's 3-point play with 11:43 left in the half broke the Badgers' scoring drought.
The Huskers trailed 14-8 before Diaz came off the bench with six points in helping Nebraska stay close as his third basket pulled the visitors within 17-14 with 3:42 left in the half. Wisconsin eventually built a 22-16 lead on a Jared Berggren 3-pointer, but McCray answered with a 3-pointer of his own and the Huskers eventually pulled to within 24-21 with a Spencer jumper in the closing seconds of the first half
The Huskers begin a two-game homestand on Wednesday night, as Nebraska welcomes No. 7 Indiana to the Devaney Center. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and tickets are available for as little as $10 by calling 800-8-BIGRED or by visiting Huskers.com.
*-Nebraska held Wisconsin to a season-low 31.3 percent from the floor. It is the second-lowest percentage allowed by Nebraska this season
*-Nebraska held Wisconsin to just two 3-pointers after allowing 11 in the first matchup on Dec. 27.
*-Nebraska has now held four opponents to 50 points or less this season and falls to 3-1 on those games
*-Nebraska allowed a season-high 17 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 Wisconsin second-chance points
*-Nebraska forced 11 first-half turnovers, as Wisconsin came into the game leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game (8.8). The Badgers finished with 12 turnovers, while Nebraska had a season-low seven turnovers.
*-Toney McCray's stretch of seven straight efforts in double figures ended today as he finished with seven points in the loss
*-Nebraska got to the line a season low two free throws and were out-scored 18-2 at the foul line.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.