Nebraska (8-3) trailed The Citadel (4-9) 51-49 when Leslee Smith had a game-tying dunk with 10:58 left. Petteway then stole a fumbled Bulldog dribble at the Bulldog free throw line and went the length of the court for a dunk that started a 13-7 Husker run. Deverell Biggs' put back gave Nebraska a 64-56 lead with 6:15 remaining. Nebraska took a double-digit lead on Pettaway's free throws that made the score 66-56 with four minutes left. The Citadel went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring during the Nebraska run.
Nebraska outscored The Citadel 26-11 in the game's final 11 minutes. Nebraska, which made just 12 of its first 22 free throws, hit 10 of its last 12 attempts to seal the win.
Shavon Shields scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, hitting the first two baskets of the period to put Nebraska up 36-32. The Huskers trailed only briefly, falling behind 49-48 after Quinton Marshall's alley-oop dunk with 11:57 left.
Smith had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Nebraska.
Ashton Moore led the Bulldogs with 21 points. Matt Van Scyoc and Brian White had 11 points apiece for the Bulldogs.
Nebraska honored veteran official Ed Hightower during the game's final media timeout. Hightower is retiring at the end of December.