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Huskers Drop 80-68 Setback at Northwestern

Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

Juwan Gary had a team-high 15 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, but Nebraska fell at Northwestern, 80-68, Wednesday evening.

Gary scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half but it was not enough as Northwestern hit eight 3-pointers in the first half enroute to building a 16-point halftime lead.

Brice Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds while Jamarques Lawrence and Keisei Tominaga added 12 and 11 points, respectively, as Nebraska fell to 16-8 and 6-7 in Big Ten play.

The Huskers shot 45 percent and went 18-of-22 from the foul line, but 17 turnovers led to 26 Northwestern points.

Boo Buie had 17 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to lead four Wildcats (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) in double figures., Ryan Langborg had 18 points, while Brooks Barnhizer added 14 points and 10 boards, as the hosts enjoyed a 36-29 advantage on the glass.

The Huskers were unable to withstand a flurry of 3-pointer as Northwestern built a 47-31 halftime lead. The Wildcats hit 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, including 4-of-5 from Buie in the opening 20 minutes.

Nebraska was with 16-13 after a Lawrence 3-point play at the 12:11 mark, but the Wildcats took control with a 14-5 spurt over the next four-plus minutes, as Langborg and Ty Berry combined for 12 of the Wildcats’ 14 points in the spurt to give Northwestern its largest lead at the time.

Nebraska, which shot 48 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, got to within 33-23 after five straight points from Juwan Gary, who had 13 first-half points, but a 3-point play from Matthew Nicholson and a 3-pointer from Buie quickly stretched the margin back to 16.

The Huskers battled back in the second half, cutting a 17-point deficit to 12 at 52-40 after a Williams jumper with 16:05 left. NU whittled the Northwestern advantage to 53-42 after Williams’ 3-pointer with 12:59 remaining.

Northwestern would respond with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes, as Nick Martinelli scored eight straight points to stretch the Wildcats’ lead to 21 before the Huskers made a run.

The Huskers trailed 64-43 before Jamarques Lawrence started a comeback. The sophomore had six straight points in a 7-0 spurt that pulled NU with 64-50 with 6:35 left and forced a Wildcat timeout.  The Huskers continued to battle and got it within 12, at 67-55 after a Lawrence free throw with 4:41 left.

Nebraska would continue to battle and got to within nine on two occasions in the final minutes, the las at 77-68 after a pair of Rienk Mast free throws with 54.3 seconds remaining, but could get no closer.

The Huskers return home on Saturday to take on the Michigan Wolverines. Tipoff from a sold out Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 5:30 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network and televised on BTN.

*-Juwan Gary made his first start since Jan. 17, and reached double figures for the 11th time this season with 15 points before fouling out.
*-Brice Williams with first double-double of season and fifth of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds
*-Jamarques Lawrence came of the bench for 12 points, the 21st time in 24 games where NU had a double-figure scorer off the bench