Nebraska Drops Close One to ‘Horns

Both Nebraska and Texas looked to keep their winning streaks going, but both for different reasons. Texas had won the last five meetings against the Cornhuskers dating back to 2002, while Nebraska hoped to push their perfect home record to 10-0 on the season with a win over the ‘Horns.

One of those streaks had to come to an end and unfortunately for Nebraska, it was their undefeated home winning streak, as Texas won a closely fought contest 62-61 in front of 10,661 at the Devaney Center.


"I told my team that they have the wrong coach coaching them if they think I am satisfied losing by one point (to Texas)," said NU head coach Doc Sadler.


Texas came to Lincoln with all-everything player, Kevin Durant.  The 6-9 freshman was averaging a double-double per game with 23.8 ppg with 10.9 rpg.


Nebraska looked nervous and overly anxious in the early going as they made a lot of turnovers, most of them unforced.  It didn't take long though as the Huskers settled down and began forcing some turnovers of their own.


Texas led 7-2 with 16:50 left in the game but NU went on a 5-0 run to tie it shortly after with 15:59 on the clock. 


Husker senior Marcus Perry hit one of his four three-pointers to help NU regain the lead with 11:25 left at 17-14. 


The Huskers held on to that lead until Texas tied it at 26 with 7:24 left in the half. 


That tie at 26 would remain so until the 3:33 mark when Jamel White hit a running jumper to put NU up 28-26. 


Texas would answer right after with a 3-pointer by Durant putting UT up by one (29-28).


Texas held for the final shot of the first half but Durant's shot was rejected by Chris Balham with 0.4 seconds left.  The Longhorns were able to get a running baseline jumper by freshman guard Justin Mason and led at halftime 31-28.


Nebraska was led at halftime by Marcus Perry's 12 points coming from 4 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc.  Overall the Huskers were 7 of 14 on three-point shooting in the half.


"I was disappointed in the first half that we shot so many three's.  I thought our shot selection was a little early and ended up with too many three's," said Sadler.


Durant paced the Longhorns with 13 points with 2 of 3 from three-point land including a game high nine rebounds.


Durant opened the scoring of the first half with his third three-pointer of the game, giving the Longhorns a six point lead at 34-28.


The Huskers started the second half much like they did the first with unforced turnovers. 


The Huskers closed the gap to 39-38 but Durant converted a three-point play to push the lead back up to four (42-38) with 13:51 left.


Texas then widened their lead at 51-43 with 10:38 to go in the game and looked to be in control.


Nebraska could not get center Aleks Maric going inside as Longhorn freshman center Dexter Pittman handled him physically.  Pittman stood 6-10 and weighed 315 pounds, and was the biggest body Maric has faced all year.


"We came out and tried to play hard.  I told the team that we had to be better on defense.  I thought that we switched well and we did good in guarding Maric, going inside and outside well," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes.


The Huskers clawed their way back as senior guard Charles Richardson Jr. hit two free throws to put NU within two at 54-52 with 6:19 to go in the game.


Then Nebraska took their first lead of the half at 57-56 when Ryan Anderson hit a long-range three-pointer.


Texas again answered right back with a three-pointer of their own pushing them back in front at 59-57. 


NU tied the game again (59-59) on Maric's basket, but Mason hit a three for Texas giving the Longhorns a 62-59 lead with only 2:06 to play in the game.


With 1:08 left to play in the game, Texas held a 62-61 lead.  Nebraska worked the clock and their half court offense but Perry missed his 3-pt. attempt.


The Longhorns took over possession but there was still an eight second differential between the shot and game clock.


Texas missed their shot and Maric grabbed the rebound giving it to Jamel White.  White ran down the baseline and put up a seven foot baseline-runner that bounced off the rim giving the Longhorns a 62-61 win.


In the game, Perry led the Huskers with 17 points, shooting 5 of 9 from three-point land.  Maric notched a double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.


Texas was led by Durant who had game highs in rebounds (15) and points (26).


Nebraska now goes on the road to face Kansas State on January 27th while Texas plays Baylor at home that same day.


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