Badgers top Huskers in low scoring battle
Lincoln Â An offensive cold spell down the stretch proved costly, as Wisconsin escaped Lincoln with a 47-41 win over the Huskers Sunday afternoon.
Wisconsin (11-4, 2-0 Big Ten) held Nebraska to just one field goal in the final six minutes, closing the contest on 10-3 spurt to pull away from a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes.
Ryan Evans' 3-point play with 5:56 left started a 7-0 surge for the Badgers, as the senior led Wisconsin with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in a game that featured strong defense from both squads. Evans had five of his 10 points in the decisive run, as his jumper gave UW a 44-38 lead with 1:52 left.
Nebraska pulled to within three, at 44-41, on a three-pointer from Brandon Ubel with 1:00 left, but Traevon Jackson hit a tough jumper on the Badgers' next possession to keep the Huskers at bay.
Husker coach Tim Miles tried to put a finger on the outcome afterwards. "I told the guys in the locker room I can live with that effort. I can. I mean, that's got to be what our identity looks like: that kind of team that's out there scrapping and fighting. I can live with that. (I am) disappointed with the loss; kind of go back and forth on what we could've done late in the game and try to score the ball a little bit, right? There was a critical juncture in the five-minute area where we miss an inside layup and then miss a bonus-and then (Traevon) Jackson hit two tough plays on Benny (Parker). Benny's right there and fighting the whole way and Jackson made two tough plays."
Ubel was one of three Huskers to finish in double figures, totaling 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos had 12 points apiece, but the Huskers went just 2-of-12 from 3-point range against a stout Badger defense.
Scoring was tough for both teams, as Nebraska (9-6, 0-2 Big Ten) held Wisconsin a season-low point total on 37.7 percent shooting. Nebraska shot just 36.7 percent and allowed eight offensive rebounds which led to 10 second-chance points for the visitors.
Shavon Shields, who tied Ubel for game-high honors with eight rebounds, got NU on the board early in the second half as his 3-point play gave the Huskers a 22-19 lead. Nebraska would lead by as many as three points on four occasions, the last being 29-26 at the 13:16 mark following a Talley jumper.
Wisconsin would come right back with five straight points, taking a 31-29 lead after Sam Dekker's 3-pointer with 11:12 left and led 34-31 after a Berggren dunk. Nebraska would go on a final run, scoring five straight points to regain the lead at 36-35 on a Gallegos basket and led for the final time on Gallegos' jumper with 6:16 left.
Gallegos, who scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, helped Nebraska stay in the contest, as neither team led by more than four points until Wisconsin's late surge.
The first half was a show of strong defense, as Nebraska and Wisconsin went into the locker room tied at 19. Nebraska shot 40 percent from the floor and held Wisconsin to 25.8 percent, but allowed the Badgers to hang around by converting six offensive boards into six second-chance points.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan thought it was a great defensive game. "That's as physical and as tough of a game on both sides. I thought our guys played extremely well defensively, and I thought their guys did too. I don't think there is any other way to describe this type of game. If you are a fan of people showing that they want something, no 'hot dogging' no 'in your face stuff' just all hard clean good basketball, and boy did it make for some tough looks at the basket. Then you get a little tight when some aren't going down, and that rim gets awfully small."
The Huskers trailed for most of the half and were down 19-14 after a Ben Brust 3-pointer with 2:59 left in the half, but closed the half with five straight points, including Ubel's first 3-pointer since Nov. 21, and a steal and basket by Gallegos to knot the score at 19 and bring the Devaney Center crowd to its feet.
Huskers relied on the shooting of Dylan Talley, who scored the Huskers first six points before a Gallegos jumper gave Nebraska an 8-6 lead with 13:54 left in the half. George Marshall then provided the Badgers with a spark, scoring five straight points to put Wisconsin up 11-8 after his 3-pointer.
The Huskers return to action Wednesday night, as they travel to No. 2 Michigan. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (central) and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised on BTN.
Nebraska Postgame Notes
*-Shavon Shields made his first career start today, the first time in 15 games NU used a different starting lineup. With Shields and Benny Parker in the lineup, it marked the first time since 2009-10 that the Huskers started two freshmen in a game.
*-Nebraska held Wisconsin to a season-low 47 points, the eighth opponent held under 60 points this season. NU falls to 6-2 in those contests
*-Nebraska lost for the first time in eight games when getting three or more players into double figures
*-Brandon Ubel's 3-pointer with 2:24 left in the half was his first 3-pointer since Nov. 21. He went 2-for-2 from 3-point range after coming into the game just 1-of-9 from long distance. Ubel also had a career-high three blocked shots (previous high was two on five occasions).
*-Nebraska was held to 36.7 percent and is now 1-6 this season when shooting less than 40 percent from the field
*-Shavon Shields grabbed eight rebounds and is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game in NU's two Big Ten games.
*-Nebraska committed just eight turnovers, the sixth time this season Nebraska committed 10 turnovers or less.
*-Ray Gallegos tied a career high with three steals, as he also had three at Oregon on Dec. 15.
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