Jason Dourisseau's double-double was the second of the season and the third of his career. He helped Nebraska enjoy a commanding 44-27 advantage on the boards and helped the Huskers force 19 Baylor turnovers.
Wes Wilkinson was the third Husker to finish in double figures, finishing with 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and five rebounds. His effort, which included 11 first-half points, helped Nebraska to its third straight win as NU improved to 5-3 in Big 12 play for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Nebraska held Baylor to just 15 second-half points, the lowest by a Husker opponent since Morgan State scored 12 points in the second half in December of 2004. Baylor connected on just 5-of-24 shots, including 2-of-10 from 3-point range after it was 8-of-13 beyond the arc in the opening half. In all, NU has held its last three opponents to under 60 points after surrendering 80 or more points in the previous three games.
The Huskers trailed 33-26 before Maric took control, scoring nine points in leading the Huskers on a 26-5 run that helped NU build a commanding 49-35 advantage with just under five minutes remaining.
Maric, who missed all five of his field goal attempts in the opening 20 minutes, gave the Huskers a quick lift. He scored NU's first seven points of the second half to pull NU within 33-30 before two straight jumpers by senior Wes Wilkinson gave the Huskers the lead for good at 34-33.
Baylor closed to within 36-35 on a Curtis Jerrells layup, before Maric had consecutive dunks, the last being part of a 3-point play, to give the Huskers a 41-35 lead at the 8:01 mark. Dourisseau, who scored 10 points in the second half, then helped NU cap a 13-0 spurt with a dunk with 4:48 remaining, as Baylor wrapped up a stretch where they hit just 1-of-15 shots. Baylor closed to within 52-43 after a pair of Tommy Swanson free throws with 2:13 left, but could not get closer as baskets by Richardson and Doursseau and two free throws by Marcus Walker extened Nebraska's lead to 15 points with just over a minute remaining.
Behind the long-range shooting of Aaron Bruce and Henry Dugat, Baylor got off to a quick start, scoring 11 of the game's first 14 points taking an 11-3 lead after consecutive 3-pointers. Bruce, who scored all of his game-high 17 points in the first half, helped Baylor build an 11-point lead, the largest lead that Nebraska has overcome in a game this season. The sophomore guard was held scoreless in the second half before fouling out at the 5:56 mark.
The Huskers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when they host Kansas at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available by calling 800-8-BIGRED or at Huskers.com.
Nebraska Postgame Notes
• Nebraska improved to 15-6 overall and 5-3 in Big 12 play. The five wins match NU's most through the first half of the season since the formation of the Big 12. The Huskers were also 5-3 to open the 1999 conference season.
• Wes Wilkinson recorded 11 first-half points for his 13th double-figure scoring effort and fourth straight in league play. Wilkinson finished with 15 points and five rebounds. His basket with 14:43 remaining gave the Huskers a 34-33 lead – one they would not relinquish – and led for the first time in the game since 3-0.
• Nebraska trailed 30-23 at the half, marking only the third time this season the Huskers trailed at the intermission at home. NU improved to 2-1 at home when trailing at the intermission.
• Aleks Maric matched his career high with three assists, all in the first half. It was the second straight game Maric had at least three assists, and Nebraska had 11 assists against just nine turnovers in the game. The nine turnovers tied for the second-fewest in a game this season and marked the third time this year NU committed 10 or fewer turnovers. NU also had nine turnovers against Oklahoma.
• Maric recorded his sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and 13 rebounds. . It was his second straight double-double and third in league play.
• Maric added two blocked shots, marking his third straight game with multiple blocks. Maric has 16 blocks this season, including eight in the past three games.
• Jason Dourisseau recorded his second double-double of the season and third career double-double with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night. It was the eighth time this season he had at least nine rebounds, and the fourth time he had at double-figure boards. He had his first career double-double against Big 12 Conference opponent two weeks ago at Colorado.
• Maric and Dourisseau became the first set of Huskers to record double-doubles in a game since Dec. 14, 2002, when Andrew Drevo (13 points, 15 rebounds) and John Turek (18 points, 11 rebounds) each had a double-double in a 63-46 win over IPFW at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska Coach Barry Collier quotes
On the game
"I thought our guys really played terrific in the second half, especially on defense. We hit the boards hard both halves. I thought our focus was really sharp in the second half."
center Aleks Maric
"He's a very capable player. All of us were trying to encourage him to get going (at halftime). He was too mechanical there early and they did a good job collapsing on him and got some blocked shots. He's been playing a lot better in the post."
Baylor's 3-point shooting
"They've been largely a perimeter team. We don't mind contested 3-pointers, but we didn't want them to get open shots. Our defense in the second half was the story of the game. We talked about playing a different kind of defense in the second half, but for the most part we just got after it. We had more intensity in the second half and that mentality carried over offensively."
where his team is at
"We've reached the halfway point (of Big 12 play). We feel like we've gotten better. We're wishing we'd played better in those games we lost. We'll get to play each of those teams again and that will be a real challenge. We played fairly well again today and we have to keep improving. The main thing is to keep an understanding that we can get better."
Nebraska player quotes
Center Aleks Maric
On his teammates continuing to get him the ball
"My team encourages me and we feed energy off of each other and we've grown as a team. It's a game and you have to enjoy it. We love what we do and we play for each other. We always back each other up."
Kansas coming to town next week
"We'll take one game at time. We'll practice hard and watch video and take it from there."
the game was fun playing against Aaron Bruce
"Yeah this game was fun. We have played against each other a number of times and like to keep the rivalry going. So yeah, it's fun to compete against him."
feel like you had more energy in the second half?
"I think I started to play like I know how to play. Getting into it helps give you a little confidence and you build off that. Everyone on the team, we all feed off each other and we are growing as a team. When you get the ball inside and get some easy baskets and layups, it also opens the perimeter and helps to get other guys shots too."
Forward Wes Wilkinson
On Aleks Maric
"We have to keep feeding him the ball and he's got to attack the rim. We play our best basketball when Big Al is down under."
"We play our best offense when we play good defense. We just have to learn from tonight and know that we can't afford to let down."
Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew quotes
On the first half
"I thought that our momentum from the last game really carried over. We were definitely a step ahead of them in the first half and made some shots and played some good defense and had the lead going into halftime. In the second half, I credit Nebraska for picking up their intensity. It was the first time we had the lead going into halftime and when they picked up their intensity, we missed some shots and lost some confidence."
Huskers inside game
"We played real well. So going into second half, like I said, they picked up their intensity. On the road, it is tougher. You don't get the breaks like you get at home and you have to be that much tougher and stronger. You look at the inside and that was the difference they had. Dourisseau played like a senior for them tonight with 16 (points) and 10 (rebounds) and Aleks (Maric) hit 14 (points) and 13 (rebounds). He's only a sophomore but he's 21 years old. That makes a big difference. And Wes (Wilkinson) had 15 (points) and five (rebounds). The good thing is some of those guys will be gone next year."