Husker Defense Stifles Redhawks

Nebraska got a huge effort from senior forward Wes Wilkinson as Nebraska dominated Southeast Missouri State, NU winning 69-54.

Senior forward Wes Wilkinson scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting as the Husker men's basketball team coasted to a 69-54 win over Southeast Missouri State Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. NU kept its season record perfect as it improved to 4-0 with the win, while SEMO dropped to 2-2.


Nebraska shot a sizzling 51.9 percent from the field while holding Southeast Missouri State to just 30.3 percent shooting, including just 28.1 percent in the second half. SEMO hit just four 3-point attempts in 15 tries (26.7 percent) in the second period as Nebraska built an 11-point halftime lead into a 20-point advantage late in the contest.


Leading by only nine with 5:16 remaining, Wilkinson sent Nebraska on a 12-3 run to put the game out of reach. Wilkinson, who also tied a career best with nine rebounds, drilled his second 3-point shot of the game to push NU's edge to 58-46 before SEMO's Roy Booker followed with a trey of his own.


Wilkinson answered with a putback of a B.J. Walker jumper and a baseline jumper before adding another trey. Freshman point guard Marcus Walker then forced a steal on the Redhawks' next possession and took it the length of the court for a layup, while B.J. Walker, a junior forward, drove the lane for a short jumper on the next NU possession to put the game away at 69-49.


Nebraska's defense was stellar again, allowing an opponent season-low 30 percent shooting from the field while forcing 19 turnovers. SEMO's 54 points also marked an opponent season-low total. The Redhawks managed to outrebound the Huskers by a 39-37 margin, including 20 on the offensive glass, but shot only 20-of-66 from the field for the game.


While Wilkinson was putting together a career day for the Huskers, senior forward Jason Dourisseau posted 12 points and five boards to help lift NU with his fourth straight double-figure scoring effort. Freshman Jamel White chipped in eight points and a team-high four assists, while B.J. Walker also scored eight points.


Booker led SEMO with his first double-double of the season after registering 23 points and 11 boards. Terrick Willoughby added 15 points for the Redhawks.


NU forced the ball inside on the Redhawks early and often in the first half, scoring 22 of its 38 points in the paint and posting an 11-1 scoring edge from the free-throw line. The good looks at the basket from inside the lane helped the Huskers shoot a season-high 59 percent from the field in the first period.


With the score tied 17-17 at the 9:50 mark, Nebraska slowly built an eight-point lead while holding SEMO to only one field goal in the next six minutes. After Willoughby ended a three-minute scoreless stretch for SEMO with a jumper in the paint with 3:41 remaining in the opening period, the Huskers added a trey by Wilkinson, a pair of shots from the charity stripe by Aleks Maric and a layup by White for a 13-point cushion.


Nebraska looks to stay undefeated when it returns to the court Wednesday with a 7 p.m. matchup with Marquette at the Devaney Center. The game will be televised on FSN Midwest and can be heard on the Pinnacle Sports Network and


Nebraska-Southeast Missouri State box score


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