Huskers Fight Off Bulldogs for Second Victory

Each program has existed for over 100 years, but Nebraska and Yale met for the first time and now the Huskers own a 1-0 edge on the Bulldogs, Nebraska besting Yale 73-64

Lincoln --- Four Huskers scored in double figures for the second consecutive game and NU's defense held Yale without a field goal during a crucial five-minute stretch of the fourth quarter Saturday as the Nebraska men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 73-64 win over the Bulldogs during the John Thompson Foundation Classic at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Senior forward Wes Wilkinson led a balanced Husker scoring effort with 14 points, while adding a career-high five blocked shots. Senior guard Jason Dourisseau pitched in 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while sophomore guard Joe McCray and freshman guard Jamel White notched 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Trailing 55-54 with 6:53 remaining, NU ‘s defense clamped down on Yale, holding the squad without a field goal until just under the one-minute mark. The Huskers finished the game on a 19-9 run to turn away the Bulldogs' (1-1) upset bid. Nebraska, which shot only 33.9 percent from the field for the game, won the battle thanks to a 28-of-36 effort from the free-throw line, including an 8-for-10 performance by White. Yale finished only 5-for-8 from the charity stripe.

Junior forward Sam Kaplan paced Yale with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while junior forward Casey Hughes posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. The Bulldogs pounded the glass throughout the game, finishing with a 49-40 rebounding edge over the Huskers.

The Huskers started the game strong on defense, holding Yale scoreless for the first 2:53 and forcing turnovers on the Bulldogs' first three possessions. McCray and freshman guard Marcus Walker opened the scoring with three-point buckets to give Nebraska a quick 6-0 lead before Yale answered with an 12-3 run of its own to claim an early 12-9 advantage.

While the Husker offense struggled to get in gear with a 34.4 percent effort in the game's first half, defensive pressure kept NU within reach of the Bulldogs, who shot 13-of-19 from inside the arc in the first half. The Huskers forced 12 first-half turnovers and notched 14 points off Yale miscues.

The game was closely contested early with four ties and nine lead changes in the first 12:19.

Trailing 25-23 with 6:43 remaining in the first half, Nebraska reeled off an 11-0 run to take a 34-25 lead with nearly four minutes remaining in the period. McCray started the flurry with a jumper before Wilkinson added his second trey of the game. Following a Bulldog timeout, Dourisseau hit a baseline jumper and Wilkinson, who scored a team-high 10 first-half points, added a pair of free throws to push NU's lead to nine. The Bulldogs ended the first period on a 9-2 run to cut the Husker lead to 36-34 entering halftime.

Yale came out of the halftime break strong, taking a 45-41 lead nearly five minutes into the second half before the Huskers answered with a 6-0 run to grab a two-point lead. White knocked down a 15-foot jumper and junior forward B.J. Walker followed on NU's next possession with a short hook in the paint. Following a Yale misfire and foul on the rebound attempt, Wilkinson added a layup to put the Huskers back on top.

Yale followed with a 3-pointer and layup on consecutive possessions to regain a three-point lead. Dourisseau ended the run by throwing down a dunk after out-hustling two Bulldogs outside the paint for an offensive board.

Nebraska took the lead for good with the score nodded at 57-57 on a slashing drive and layup by McCray at the 4:46 mark. Following two and one-half minutes of scoreless play, Dourisseau knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Huskers a four-point lead. Sophomore center Aleks Maric then scored his first backet from the post to extend NU's lead to six points with only 1:31 remaining. Following a Hughes free throw, Marcus Walker notched a pair of free throws to give NU its biggest lead at seven points.

Nebraska concludes its play in the John Thompson Foundation Classic Sunday with a 3:30 p.m. matchup with Louisiana Tech, which the 1 p.m. Longwood-Yale game.

NU vs. Yale box score

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