Huskers Drop Second Straight on the Road

Oklahoma forced Nebraska into its worst shooting night of the season and the Sooners used a 13-0 second-half run to pull away for a 70-53 victory Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center. With the loss, the Huskers fell to 11-5 on the year and 0-2 in Big 12 play while the Sooners improved to 10-6 on the year and 2-2 in conference action.

The Huskers, who came into the game ranked among the national leaders in field-goal percentage, hit just 34.9 percent from the floor as NU suffered its second straight defeat. Oklahoma added to the Huskers' problems as it held a 37-21 rebounding advantage, including dominating the offensive boards to the tune of 11-2.  

Nebraska hit just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from the field after the break, as OU outscored the Huskers 40-27 in the second period. Michael Neal lead the way with 20 points on the night while Nate Carter added 19.

Oklahoma established its defense, which ranks among the best in the Big 12 Conference, early in the game while allowing NU to attempt only two shots in the first 5:18. During that span, Oklahoma's Neal hit a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws while Tony Crocker added a 3-pointer, helping OU to an 11-2 lead in the early going.

Nebraska made a quick run to get back to even, tying the game at 11-11 just two minutes later.

The Huskers had a 9-0 run started by Charles Richardson Jr.'s 3-pointer -- NU's first basket of the game -- at the 14:21 mark before Jamel White added back-to-back 3-pointers. Following an OU bucket, Aleks Maric got into the act with his first basket in the paint to tie the game at 13-13 before Marcus Perry's trey gave NU its first lead of the game at 16-13.

Perry's basket started a personal run of 11 straight points for the Anniston, Ala., native, as he was the only Husker to score over the next 9:08 until Paul Velander hit a pair of free throws with 1:31 left in the period. The lone Husker to score a basket in the final 12:18 of the first half, Perry hit three 3-pointers in his run, the last giving Nebraska a 24-23 lead with 3:57 to play in the opening frame.

Nebraska shot well from beyond the arc in the first half as it hit 46.2 percent from long range, but nailed just 41.2 percent overall before going into the locker room trailing by four, 30-26, as OU used a 7-2 run to end the period. Oklahoma limited the Huskers' shots as NU attempted just 17 (seven made), while the Sooners hit 11-of-26 (42.3 percent).

OU came out with the same defensive intensity by forcing the Huskers into several long-range shots early in the second period. Richardson responded as he hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the second half, pulling NU within 38-34 at the first media timeout.

Leading 41-37 following another Perry trey, the Sooners used a 13-0 run ignited by six straight points from Nate Carter to open their largest lead of the game at 54-37. Carter scored 11 of OU's first 19 points of the second frame and finished with 19 points, including 15 in the second half on 7-of-11 shooting.  Neal hit 6-of-13 from the floor and 6-of-10 from 3-point range as the Sooners connected on 46.9 percent overall.

White ended the run with a free pair of free throws at the 9:29 mark, but the Huskers' field-goal drought lasted seven minutes and three seconds until Sek Henry found Chris Balham on the break for an alley-oop at the 8:03 mark.

The Huskers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 20, when NU plays host to the Colorado Buffaloes at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The game, which will tip off at 5 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN Plus and ESPNU, will be Nebraska's Big 12 Conference home opener and the first of a two-game home stand, as nationally ranked Texas comes to the Devaney Center next week on Wednesday, Jan. 24.


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