Huskers win 63-62 over Iowa State

Lance Jeter's free throw with 0.4 seconds remaining lifted Nebraska to a 63-62 win over Iowa State in the Big 12 opener for both teams Saturday evening.

Lance Jeter combined with Ray Gallegos to steal the ball from ISU's Diante Garrett before Jeter drove the length of the court and was fouled as time expired. After a conference, the officiating crew ruled that he was fouled with 0.4 seconds remaining and was sent to the line for a pair of free throws.

The senior's first attempt rolled off the rim before swishing the back end of the pair, giving Nebraska (13-2, 1-0 Big 12) a one-point lead. Nebraska deflected Iowa State's inbounds play, preserving the 11th straight win for Nebraska in front of a season-high crowd of 11,151 at the Devaney Center.

"I was just making the play for my team," Jeter said of the final sequence. "I knew we were fighting so hard that we didn't want to let the fans down and didn't want to let the coaches down. We were working so hard and for us to come through in a tough game shows that this is not last year's team. We do fight all the way to the end. I am just proud of my team."

The Huskers overcome a four-point deficit in the final three minutes by scoring each of its final five points at the free-throw line, as the Huskers won just its fourth Big 12 opener in 15 years of league play.

Trailing 62-58, Brandon Ubel hit a pair of free throws with 2:07 left to cut the deficit to two, while junior guard Toney McCray connected on 2-of-4 attempts from the charity stripe to tie the game with just over a minute remaining. Neither team was able to break the tie on its next possession, giving Iowa State a chance the win the game with six seconds left.

Jeter produced an all-around solid effort by finishing the game with 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds and only one turnover in 36 minutes of action. He totaled seven points, four rebounds and three assists in the second half, and led Nebraska to the win after Iowa State overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to take its first lead of the game at 47-45 with 14 minutes remaining. After losing the lead for the first time in the game, the Huskers responded with their own 8-2 run to regain the lead at 53-49. During that run, Jeter shined as he accounted for six points, a steal and a rebound to help NU to four-point lead at the 11:47 mark of the second half.

Iowa State refused to back down as the Cyclones battled back and eventually tied the game at 57-57 with just over five minutes remaining. With the score tied, Melvin Ejim put away his only three of the game and capped off his 12-point performance to give Iowa State a 60-57 edge with 4:27 remaining.

Garrett, who finished with a game-high 18 points, gave Iowa State a 62-58 lead after a successful drive to the bucket, but Iowa State wouldn't find the scoreboard again as Nebraska held ISU scoreless for the last 3:40. After a foul on ISU's James Vanderbeken, which marked his fifth of the game, Brandon Ubel was able to pull the Huskers within two points with a pair of free throws and set up the game's thrilling finish.

Caleb Walker finished with a team-high 13 points, including 11 in the first half, while Drake Beranek scored five of his seven points in the first 20 minutes. Nebraska grabbed an early 12-4 lead through the first four minutes, including five points from Walker and three NU steals. The strong start was capped when Beranek stole an entry pass and executed a fast break give-and-go with McCray for an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Iowa State fought back to cut the lead to three points, 21-18, at 9:45 but Nebraska would not relinquish its lead. Garrett drew his third foul with seven minutes remaining in the first half and sat out the rest of the frame. Two minutes later, Jeter drove baseline and found a slashing Toney McCray underneath for a two-handed jam to give NU a 28-20 lead with 5:40 left. Andre Almeida came off the bench to help NU build its 10-point halftime lead with a pair of back-to-back field goals with under three minutes remaining, while Walker added a 3-pointer and McCray nailed a jumper with 32 seconds left to give NU the 39-29 lead at intermission.

In addition to Walker and Jeter, McCray gave NU three double-digit scorers as he turned in a 12-point performance. Walker led all Huskers in rebounding with eight, including three on the offensive end, as Nebraska held a 41-40 edge on the glass and forced 14 turnovers.

Nebraska now heads on the road for a pair of tough contests at No. 9 Missouri on Wednesday night and No. 3 Kansas on Saturday afternoon. The Huskers' game at Missouri will begin at 6 p.m. and will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and also televised on Fox Sports Midwest.

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