"We're very disappointed," Nebraska Head coach Doc Sadler said after the Huskers dropped their second road game of the week to a top-15 team. "We didn't come over here to get beat. We came to win. We're not going to accept playing close as a moral victory. We're disappointed that we let that one slip away. Our guys have to understand that playing hard and competing is really good, but we're going to win a ball game like that, and when it's all said and done we're going to win a lot of them. We just didn't get it done this week."
Senior point guard Lance Jeter led NU with 13 points and six assists in 34 minutes, while junior center Andre Almeida produced an effective performance off the bench 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds in 21 minutes . Almeida led a strong effort on the boards that saw the Huskers out-rebound the Jayhawks, 43-32, on the glass, as KU led the Big 12 in rebounding entering the contest.
Junior guard Toney McCray added nine points in 16 minutes, including eight points in a 69-second span that spotted NU its largest lead of the day at 38-28
The Huskers went into the locker room with a 30-25 advantage after they shot 43 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, while holding the Jayhawks to a 33 percent shooting clip. It marked Kansas' first halftime deficit of the season and Kansas, which led the nation in field goal percentage, hit just 46 percent on the day against the Huskers.
After Nebraska grabbed its 10-point lead, Kansas responded with a 14-5 run over the next 4 ½ minutes to take a 43-42 lead on a Markieff Morris lay-up, its first lead since the 7:53 mark of the first half. While the Jayhawks had momentum on its side, Kansas was unable to break the game open as a pair of lay-ups from sophomore Jorge Brian Diaz and a bucket from Almeida had NU trailing just 54-52 with 4:44 remaining. Markieff Morris then added back-to-back field goals to give KU a 58-52 cushion with 3 minutes left.
Just when it looked as if Kansas would put the game out of reach, Eshaunte Jones converted a rare 4-point play to bring NU within 58-56 with 2:36 left. Following a Marcus Morris tip-in, Jones was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to bring NU back within 60-58 with 1:25 left. Morris and NU guard Brandon Richardson then each missed the front end of 1-and-1 opportunities on ensuing possessions, but Marcus Morris hit both free throws to put KU ahead 62-58 with 27 seconds left.
After a Jeter lay-up, Tyrel Reed went 1-of-2 at the line to leave the door open for NU to tie the game, but Walker's 3-point attempt at the buzzer hit off the back of the rim.
Red and Marcus Morris led all players with 16 points apiece for the Jayhawks.
Nebraska led for nearly the entire first half, building an eight-point advantage at 28-20 with five minutes left on a Diaz layup, as the sophomore totaled eight points and eight rebounds.
Nebraska returns to the Devaney Center on Tuesday to face Colorado at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2. The Buffaloes (14-4, 3-0) are tied for first in the Big 12 Conference.