NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Despite 23 points and eight rebounds from Tai Webster, Nebraska fell to Virginia Tech, 66-53, in the third-place game of the Wooden Legacy Sunday afternoon.
Webster led all scorers with 23 points, including 10-of-12 from the foul line, and matched his career high with eight rebounds, but the Huskers shot a season-low 29 percent, including 4-of-21 from 3-point range.
Ed Morrow was the only other Husker in double figures, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds, but the Hokies held Glynn Watson Jr. to just two points after he averaged 23.5 points per game in NU’s first two games in Anaheim.
Nebraska, which led by as many as eight in the first half before taking a 26-23 lead into the locker room before the Hokies rallied behind the play of Zack LeDay, who finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
LeDay keyed a 6-0 spurt for the Hokies coming out of the locker room with a pair of dunks to give Virginia Tech a 29-26 lead. NU regrouped with a 5-0 run as a 3-pointer by Jack McVeigh 3-pointer and a basket by Webster gave the Huskers a 31-29 lead.
Virginia Tech took control midway through the second stanza, using a 6-0 run as part of a 13-3 surge to build a 10-point lead with 7:47 left. The Huskers were within 41-37 after a Webster 3-pointer, but 3’s from Ty Outlaw and Justin Robinson gave the Hokies a 47-37 cushion.
The Huskers continued to battle, cutting a 12-point deficit to 52-44 after a Morrow basket and eventually whittled the deficit to 54-48 after two Webster free throws with 2:01 left, but the Hokies salted the game at the line, going 10-of-10 in the final two minutes to pull away.
Ahmed Hill scored all 12 of his point in the second half for Virginia Tech, who shot 56 percent in the second half, while Nebraska shot just 7-of-31 from the field.
In the first half, the Huskers used a strong defensive effort in taking a 26-23 lead into the locker room. Nebraska held the Hokies to 29.6 percent shooting and out-rebounded Virginia Tech, 20-19, in the opening stanza despite Morrow sitting a good portion of the half after he scored six points, but picked up a pair of fouls.
The Huskers took command with a 10-3 spurt keyed from Anton Gill. The junior hit a pair of 3-pointers as Nebraska eventually took a 20-12 advantage after a Glynn Watson putback with 5:16 left in the half.
The Hokies fought right back with 3-pointers from Justin Bibbs and Seth Allen to make it a 2-point game. Virginia Tech cut the lead to 22-21 after a free throw from Zach LeDay, who had a team-high nine first-half points, but Evan Taylor’s basket gave the Huskers a little breathing room as they took a 3-point led to the locker room.
The Huskers return home before a quick turnaround, as they travel to Clemson for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for a Wednesday evening matchup. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU and on the Husker Sports Network.