LINCOLN, Neb. – Showing a late charge down the stretch, Nebraska couldn’t overcome an early 16-3 run by Michigan early in the second half, falling 81-68 in front of a packed house at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Down 18 at the 13:30 mark in the second half, Nebraska was able to pull within two with 3:11 left. Sixth free throws and a dunk later extended the Wolverine lead to eight with a minute left.
“I think our kids showed a lot of heart,” said head coach Tim Miles. “They fought back. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a lot of games at home this year and they hate that. They want to do well for our fans and they want to win games. I think they just absolutely played with a lot of heart, because it wasn’t our best night. We were a little flat early.”
Nebraska was paced by Glynn Watson and Andrew White’s 15 points a piece, but the two combined to only go 3 for 13 from deep.
After scoring 28 against Michigan State earlier in the week, the Wolverines focused on Shavon Shields when he touched the ball. The senior only scored 11 points and committed five turnovers.
Nebraska gets a week off before returning to the court against Purdue next Saturday. The game is slated for a 3:30 CT tipoff from West Lafayette, Indiana.
NU MEDIA RELATION GAME NOTES:
*-Tai Webster finished with a career-high five steals, topping his previous best of four set on two other occasions. It is the most steals by a Husker since Brandon Richardson had seven against Ohio State on Jan. 3, 2012. Webster also reached double figures for the third straight game with 12 points off the bench.?
*-Nebraska put four players in double figures, marking the eighth time this year that NU had at least four players in double figures.?
*-Freshman Glynn Watson Jr. finished with 15 points, his fourth straight game in double figures?*-Nebraska committed 10 turnovers, the third straight game NU has had 10 turnovers or less?
*-Michigan snaps Nebraska’s four-game win streak with the win today. Michigan shot 56 percent which was a season-high against NU. It marked just the fifth time in the last 65 contests that an opponent shot over 50 percent against Nebraska.?
*-Michigan has won the last eight meetings, including all six since Nebraska joined the Big Ten.
Andrew White III and Glynn Watson Jr.
On Michigan’s offense:
White: They executed really well. We gave them some momentum in the first half. A few of those mistakes were mine and when you have a team like that that’s a rhythm offensive team you can’t let them get rolling and that was kind of our emphasis all week was to not let them have a hot start because that’s not the kind of team you want to play and try to dig yourself out of a hole. We were well aware of what we were getting into if we let them get going early and myself and some others didn’t do a good job of stopping that from happening.
Watson: I think it was mostly our defense execution. We let them get open shots, they had us in rotation a lot. Most of the things we worked on during the week we just didn’t execute right. Other than that, they made some good shots and a couple tough shots.
When you guys are down 18, how do you stay in the game?
White: We just fought, we knew we were better than what we were playing before and I think everybody just wanted to do their part to get us back into the game. I know that’s what I felt personally since I was kind of responsible for getting us into that hole. So, just myself and I’m sure everybody else just tried to dig in and get a little run going because when you're playing at home you're just a couple stops and a couple buckets away from getting the crowd going and getting your teammates and the bench going and you can't ever give up on the game regardless of what the score is. I think we did a good job of that, but like I said once you get into a hole it’s hard to dig yourself out.
Did you make an effort to be more aggressive in the 2nd half?
White: I think I played pretty much my normal game. I just kinda play off of guys, and I try not to force too many things. In the second half I just knew we needed something on both ends of the court so I just tried to tighten my game on not just offense but defense and rebounding also. On offense, my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball and putting me in a position to help us get going but like I said defense was really what we needed to do to get back in the game so I think that was more of a group effort more so than just the little run of points I had early in the second half.
Were nerves part of it?
Watson: I don’t think so, I think everybody is used to it by now, we’re in the Big 10 play, it should be normal. I think we just didn’t execute on defense, it wasn’t really about us being nervous.
How difficult is it as a team to be locked in?
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White: When they would reverse it to our group they had guys that could play on the perimeter and they had guys who were hard rollers to the rim so I think they had good versatility just because they put pressure on the rim and to stop that you have to build your defense from the inside out. Being that they hit a couple shots early and spread our defense out a little bit it was kind of pick your poison because now the lane is open and guys are getting open shots so I think that was just them doing a good job executing their stuff and I think their perimeter game is what opened up their pick and roll and shots near the rim.