Nebraska beats Michigan State on Avery Strong Day

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Posted by: Sports

Courtesy: NU Media Relations 

Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields combined for 53 points, as Nebraska built a double-digit lead and withstood a frantic Michigan State comeback in a 79-77 win Saturday afternoon.

The Huskers thrilled a sellout crowd of 15,757 on #AveryStrong Day, as Petteway finished with a season-high 32 points, while Shavon Shields finished with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Nebraska shot 49 percent from the floor, and turned in one of its best free throwing shooting efforts, going 29-of-37 from the line in winning for the fourth time in the last five games.

Michigan State, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half, cut the lead two points  with 2.2 seconds left after a Travis Trice layup, but the Huskers (12-7, 4-3 Big Ten) got the inbounds pass in and ran out the clock for their fourth win in five games.

Trice led Michigan State (13-7, 4-3 Big Ten) with 27 points while Denzel Valentine had 21 points and 11 rebounds.

The Huskers, who were without starting forward David Rivers after a he suffered a knee injury, were dealt another early blow was Walt Pitchford was ejected for a flagrant foul just four minutes into the contests.

The Huskers were energized after the play, as Shields and Petteway combined for eight points on a 10-3 surge, as Nebraska took a 16-9 lead after Petteway’s 3-point play with 12:26 left in the half.

Michigan State chipped away and got within 20-18 before Petteway keyed arguably the biggest run of the game. The junior hit consecutive 3-pointers in a 15 second span, putting the Huskers up eight and forcing a MSU timeout.

NU, which shot 50 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, stayed on the attack, and got contributions from Tai Webster and Leslee Smith to help build the lead to 15 after a Webster 3-pointer and a layup from Smith and took a 14-point lead in the locker room.

Nebraska got out of the gate quickly, extending the lead to 17 points, at 44-27, after Webster’s second 3-pointer of the game and a Petteway basket, but the Spartans would not go away. 

Webster matched his season high with 13 points off the bench, as Nebraska’s reserves outscored the Spartan reserves, 17-7.

MSU, which dominated the glass by a count of 48-26, used a 15-3 surge to erase most of the deficit and pull within 47-41 after a Trice 3-pointer with 11:56 left. 

The Huskers answered back moments later after MSU closed to within 51-43, running off seven straight points, as Petteway’s 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 15, at 58-43 with 7:26 left. MSU would not quit, using a 9-1 surge to cut a 14-point lead to 66-60 after a Trice jumper with 1:56 left.

The Huskers withstood the rush down the stretch, hitting 18-of-25 from the foul line, including 12 straight at one point, to keep MSU at arm’s length in the final minutes as the Spartans lengthened the game to get back into it.

The Huskers travel to Michigan Tuesday evening to take on the Wolverines. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (central) on ESPN and on the Husker Sports Radio Network.