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.
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.
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.
25-23 with 6:43 remaining in the first half,
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.