Two weeks ago Nebraska basketball fans were worried where the first win in conference play might come from. Fast-forward and the Huskers have won four straight and sit on the top half of the Big Ten standings.
Needing every second, we will explain in a paragraph or two, Nebraska (12-8, 4-3) knocked off No. 9 Michigan State on Wednesday night, 72-71. The Huskers held on after a buzzer-beating shot from Sparty senior Denzel Valentine was off the mark.
Nebraska was led in scoring by Shavon Shield’s 28 points on 12 of 20 shooting. Freshman guard Glynn Watson and junior guard Tai Webster were the only other Huskers in double-figures, scoring 13 and 10 a piece.
The game wasn’t without its drama. While Nebraska was up 68-62, the clock stopped for an extended period of time at the 2:15 mark. After a long look by the officials, they decided ten seconds needed to be taken off the game clock – seconds that proved to be big later in the game.
“Our kids I think are in a good place when it comes to determination and mindset,” said Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on the Big Ten telecast. “They believe in each other.”
Four true freshman for Nebraska played over nine minutes in the game, including game highs of 31 a piece for both Watson and post Michael Jacobson.
But, it was Shields who willed the Huskers to their victory. After being helped off the court with a right leg injury in the first half, the captain responded in the second half, proving tough to slow down for Michigan State. Shields scored 19 of the Huskers’ 39 points in the second half.
“He’s going to need a few days off here, but he is a tremendous player,” said Miles. “He’s a big game player. When you watch him take over the game, it was really cool.”
Nebraska junior guard Andrew White was held to just seven points after battling foul trouble for much of the game. White is averaging 17.5 this season.
It was the third straight win for Nebraska over Michigan State and the second time in three years the Huskers have beat the Spartans on the road while Michigan State was ranked inside the top 10.
NU MEDIA RELATION GAME NOTES:
*-Shields matched his season high of 28 set against Miami on Dec. 1
*-Nebraska picked up its third straight win over Michigan State and NU is 3-4 against MSU since joining the Big Ten.
*-Nebraska’s win snapped a 10-game losing streak vs. ranked opponents
*-NU’s third straight conference road win was the first time NU won three straight conference road wins since 1998
*-Nebraska improves to 2-11 all-time against the No. 11 AP ranked team. The other win came against Indiana in 2011-12.