"Obviously, that was a fistfight out there," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. "I thought both teams played very hard and it was a physical game."
At the halftime break, Northwestern held a 22-16 edge while the Huskers hit on just 25 percent of their shots from the field. It was looking like another grind-it-out Wildcat win on the way. But Miles had the Huskers ready to regroup.
It was Pitchford's three-pointer with just over two minutes remaining that gave Nebraska a comfortable five-point lead. In the final seconds, Petteway drilled one from beyond the arc that put the Huskers up by six.
"I trust Walter a great deal," Miles said. "We got a couple late that he could step into and make. Those were important for us."
Added Collins: "Those two threes were just daggers."
Northwestern has enjoyed recent success-winning five of its last seven games—playing smart basketball on offense and buckling down on the defensive end. It has caused trouble for teams looking to run and gun.
The Huskers were ready to counter the attack with a similar strategy, keeping Northwestern from getting the close looks it's had success with.
"Each possession is important—in every game," said Northwestern senior guard Drew Crawford. "You have to take it possession by possession and get a stop every possession. We kind of struggled with that; we turned the ball over a little too much."
Nebraska has played its best basketball at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena, but has been weary away from home—most recently in a 29-point drubbing at Michigan. On Saturday, the Huskers looked like a completely different team from their ugly loss in Ann Arbor.
"It was neat to see the growth of us bouncing back," Miles said.
In the wild, unpredictable Big Ten conference, anything can happen. Nebraska went from a team reeling on the road to taking down the red-hot Wildcats, beating them at their own game.
"They played great defense," Crawford said of Nebraska. "It was kind of tough to get into a rhythm. Give them credit, they played well."
Courtesy of Nebraska Media Relations: