Playing their third game in the last three days, a tired Nebraska defense struggled to get stops and the Huskers fell to Maryland on Friday night in the third round of the Big Ten Tournament, 97-86.
With a 16-18 overall record, Nebraska's future in the postseason is still a question mark. The Huskers could be headed to the CBI - extra games for a young roster that includes four true freshman playing major minutes.
Nebraska tried to keep the pace in the first half with the Terrapins, pulling within three, 12-9 five minutes into the contest. But, Maryland shot 9-of-10 from deep in the first half and over 70 percent from the field, taking a 54-37 lead into the break.
The Huskers deserve plenty of credit. Despite trailing by double-figures much of the second half, Nebraska made it a two possession game with 1:20 left, after an Andrew White III three-pointer. White led Nebraska with 25 points. Shavon Shields scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds. Shields averaged nearly 20 points a game during the tournament.
"I'm very proud of our team. They showed a tremendous amount of heart and fight," said head coach Tim Miles. "I would like to give credit to Maryland. They played at an unbelievable pace and really played well. I think a lesser team would have maybe folded, but I thought our guys showed just grit, toughness, heart, soul, whatever you want to call it, to battle back and put themselves in decent position to put themselves to have a chance to win the game."
Before beating Rutgers on Wednesday and Wisconsin on Thursday, Nebraska had lost nine out of their last 11 games, including five straight. Two wins in the conference tournament will hopefully build momentum for a young team according to players.
"I think it's just a testament to our resilience," said junior guard Tai Webster. "We had tough battles this year, but I think we did a great job. We're a young bunch, and I think we did a good job of staying resilient throughout the tournament. Obviously, no one picked us to be here except us really. We knew that we could get this far. We knew what we could do. The season didn't go as well as we wanted to send our seniors off, guys like Shavon and Benny (Paker), who are a huge part of the program. So we just wanted to do everything we can to send them off the right way, and I think we did that."
NU MEDIA RELATION GAME NOTES:
*-Andrew White III finished with a team-high 25 points, his eighth 20-point game of the year. He also finished with five 3-pointers, upping his total to 87 on the year. He moved past Ray Gallegos (82, 2013) for second place tonight and is one shy of NU’s single-season record.
*-The 13 3-pointers by Maryland were a season-high by a Husker opponent (previous high was 11).
*-Benny Parker appeared in his 130th game tonight, which is one shy of the Huskers career record.
*-Shavon Shields made his 112th start tonight, passing Dave Hoppen for second on NU’s career starts list.
*-Shields finished with 19 points, matching Aleks Maric (1,630 points) for fifth place on NU’s career scoring list.
*-Shields reached double figures for the 16th consecutive game, the longest streak of his career.
*-Nebraska finished with four players in double figures, the third time this week NU had at least four in double figures.
*-The 97 points allowed and 60.3 percent field goal shooting were season highs against Nebraska.
*-Nine of NU’s 18 losses have been to ranked teams
*-Nebraska scored 80 or more points for the second time in three game and the ninth time this season.