----------------------------- 1 2 total Illinois 30 43 73 NEBRASKA 28 29 57 -----------------------------
Tai Webster led Nebraska (12-16, 6-10) with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but Illinois went 13-of-26 from 3-point range, including 8-of-9 to open the second half to break the game open in the second half.
Malcolm Hill led Illinois (17-12, 7-9) with 19 points, including 4-of-6 from long range to pace three Fighting Illini players in double figures. Tracy Abrams added 13 points, including four 3-pointers while Maverick Morgan added 12 points for the victors.
Illinois took control with a 12-3 run early in the second half as Hill and Abrams combined for eight points to help the visitors build a 44-35 lead and force a Husker timeout.
Nebraska pulled to within seven, at 44-37, on a Jack McVeigh basket, but 3-pointers from Jalen Coleman-Lands and Abrams pushed the lead back to 13 and Nebraska was unable to slice the lead back into single figures the rest of the way.
Illinois limited the Huskers to 38 percent shooting, as Evan Taylor (nine) and Ed Morrow Jr. (eight and seven rebounds) were the other Huskers to score more than seven points.
The first half featured solid defense by both teams, as Illinois took a 38-28 lead in the locker room. The Huskers held Illinois to 40 percent shooting, but shot just 33 percent in the opening stanza. The Huskers led 7-5, but Illinois ran off 10 straight points to build a 15-7 advantage following a basket by Kipper Nichols.
The Huskers, who missed eight straight shots in the run, charged back, as a McVeigh basket started an 8-0 spurt that pulled NU within 15-13 with 8:42 left in the half. The Huskers trailed 19-13 before Webster keyed a 9-2 Husker run, scoring six points, including a 3-point play that put the hosts up 22-21 with 5:49 left in the half, as Webster had 10 first-half points to key the attack.
The Huskers led 26-23, but Illinois run off seven straight points to build a 30-26 lead after a Malcolm Hill 3-pointer before a pair of Morrow free throws pulled the Huskers within two at the break.
The Huskers return to action on Thursday night, as they travel to Minnesota. Tipoff at Williams Arena is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN and carried on the Husker Sports Network. NU's final regular-season home game is set for next Sunday, as the Huskers will host Minnesota on Senior Night with tipoff slated for 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8-BIGRED.
*-Tai Webster reached double figures for the 29th straight game, finishing with 17 points, along with team highs in rebounds (eight), assists (five) and steals (four).
*-With 17 points tonight, Webster passed Cary Cochran (1,081; 1999-2002) for 26th on NU's career scoring list, as Webster now has 1,085 career points.
*-Webster's four steals matched his season high set at Indiana (12/28) and vs. Iowa (1/5)
*-Illinois' 13 3-pointers were the second-highest total allowed by Nebraska this season (14, Purdue). Over the previous three games, NU had limited its opponents to just 13-of-52 (.250) from 3-point range.
*-Nebraska enjoyed a 34-31 advantage on the boards, and has been out-rebounded once in its last eight contests.