Huskers Fall in Minnesota Rematch 60-42

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Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Minneapolis, Minn. –
Nebraska could not overcome a slow first half in falling to Minnesota, 60-42, at Williams Arena Saturday afternoon

The Huskers (12-9, 4-5 Big Ten) battled back from a seven-point halftime deficit to cut it to four points with 9:22 left, but was unable to complete the rally down the stretch.

Shavon Shields had 11 points and five rebounds, while Petteway had 10 points and five assists, but the Huskers were done in by 20 turnovers and a strong performance by Maurice Walker. The Gopher center, who was held to four points in the first matchup in Lincoln, led all scorers with 19 points and eight rebounds, hitting seven of 10 shots from the field.

Nebraska got to a quick start in the second half, pulling to within 27-21 after Petteway’s 3-point play with 18:03 left. Minnesota extended the lead to 10, at 33-23, after a Walker basket, but the Huskers kept cutting into the Gophers’ lead. NU got to within 33-27 after a Shields layup and eventually pulled within four, at 39-35, after Tai Webster 3-pointer with 9:22 left.

Minnesota would answer, as Walker’s 3-point play got the lead back to seven.

Trailing 49-37, the Huskers made one last run behind the play of Tarin Smith. The freshman scored five straight points for the Huskers, as his 3-point pulled the visitors to within 49-42 with 4:09 left. Smith finished with six points and six rebounds.

Nebraska got a stop on defense and had a chance to trim the deficit further, but Shields missed a good look on a corner 3-pointer. Minnesota, which hit two of its first 11 from 3-point range, put the game away, as consecutive 3-pointers from Hollins and Mason to extend the margin back to 13, at 55-42, and ended NU’s chance to win.

Another spurt to close the first half proved costly to the Huskers, as Minnesota scored nine of the last 11 points to take a 23-16 lead into the locker room. The Huskers shot just 29 percent from the field in the opening period, while committing 15 first-half turnovers. Nebraska’s defense and rebounding kept the visitors in the game, as the Huskers enjoyed a 20-14 advantage on the glass and held Minnesota to 32 percent.

Nebraska led 10-9 after a Walter Pitchford jumper, but the Gophers scored five straight points, taking a 14-10 lead after a DeAndre Mathieu layup.

Nebraska came back, as baskets from Webster and Pitchford tied the score at 14, but the Pitchford basket would be Nebraska’s final field goal of the half. Pitchford and Shavon Shields combined for 11 of the Huskers’ 16 first-half points

Walker’s basket started a 7-0 Gopher run as Joey King’s 3-pointer pushed the margin to seven, at 21-14. Walker led UM with eight points and four rebounds in the first half.

Shields, who had seven points and five rebounds in the opening stanza, hit a pair of free throws to cut it to five, but King, who had all five of his first-half points in the surge, hit a jumper to stake the Golden Gophers a seven-point halftime cushion.

The Huskers return to action Tuesday evening, as they host the Northwestern Wildcats. Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be carried on BTN and the Husker Sports Radio Network.