Dunk Contest Highlights Husker Madness

The Nebraska men's basketball team kicked off the 2005-06 season in high style as it participated in Husker Madness, a combined event with the NU women's team, at the Devaney Center Friday night. The women's team led off the night with a scrimmage and 3-point contest and the men followed with a 20-minute, running clock scrimmage and a slam dunk contest.

An enthusiastic crowd of nearly 2,500 came to its feet in the final minutes of the evening when the Husker men put on a show in the dunk competition. After the field of eight competitors was trimmed to four -- including senior Jason Dourisseau, redshirt freshman Jim Ledsome and freshmen Mike Smith and Kyle Marks --the excitement went up a notch as three of the final four put down solid dunks, highlighted by Marks' off-the-shot-clock power dunk.

Marks advanced to the finals with Dourisseau, and each brought down the house with high-light reel dunks that scored perfect 10s from each of the five judges. Dourisseau put down a slam after jumping over a rack of basketballs just inside the free throw line and Marks followed by jumping over the Huskers -- literally. Marks had every member of the Husker team crouch down in the paint and leaped over them to put down a monster dunk and tie Dourisseau with 50 points. Dourisseau was then the only one to get down a slam in the extra session and was crowned Husker Madness Dunk Champion.

The exciting finish to the evening came on the heels of a solid first scrimmage. The Nebraska White team, consisting of the seven returning letterwinners, took an early 16-5 lead behind seven quick points from senior Wes Wilkinson before holding on for a 34-25 victory over the eight newcomers who made up the Nebraska Red.

Wilkinson finished with nine points, second on the White squad to Dourisseau who scored 10 points. Charles Richardson Jr. pushed the tempo for the White and added six assists, including a pair of alley-oop setups, with three points and a game-high four steals.

Sophomore center Aleks Maric added seven points and sophomore guard Joe McCray gave the White the final nine-point margin with his only 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds of the scrimmage. Maric and McCray were the highest scoring freshman duo in Nebraska history last year when they combined for 23.5 points while adding 11.3 rebounds per contest. McCray set the Big 12 freshman record with 80 3-pointers.

For the newcomers, junior Marcus Perry led the way with a game-high 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Perry, who redshirted in his first season in the program last year, also added three blocked shots in an impressive first outing while another junior college transfer, B.J. Walker, added six points and a game-high six rebounds.

Nebraska followed the scrimmage with its first official regular-season practice and returns to the court on Saturday to get into its regular routine. The Huskers open the exhibition season with a Nov. 7 matchup with Nebraska-Omaha and follow with a contest against Holy Family University on Nov. 12 at the Devaney Center.

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