Huskers Can't Overcome Early Deficit in Loss

Nebraska looked to finish the season strong and even its 5-8 Big 12 record with three games remaining in their regular season. Tonight's game against ISU was crucial for the Huskers but NU missed some early shots and couldn't recover from an early 16 point deficit and wound up losing 69-63.

NU came out with a game plan to get the ball inside to Aleks Maric.  Maric was creating position down-low and was able to get some good looks inside.  Unfortunately for the Huskers, Maric missed some point-blank shots. 


Iowa State though was hot early building a 26-10 lead with 9:05 in the first half behind the outside shooting of guard Mike Taylor.  Taylor connected on 3 of 4 three point shots and scored all 11 of his first half points with still 12:04 to play.


NU head coach, Doc Sadler said his team couldn't recover after Iowa State built that early lead.


"In first five minutes of the ballgame they hit us in the mouth and we didn't respond," said Sadler.


Cyclone freshman forward Wesley Johnson complemented Taylor, scoring 14 to lead ISU.


Maric finally started to hit his shots and forced fouls to get to the free-throw line.  Behind Maric, NU closed the gap and trailed by eleven at halftime 35-24. 


Nebraska was led by Maric who was 8-14 shooting for 18 points in the half.


The rest of Husker team only managed 6 points and were 0-4 from 3pt. land.  Iowa State on the other hand was 5-10 on three pointers and shot 50% from the field.


Sadler said his team needed someone other than Maric to step up on offense.


"Aleks had a lot of opportunities but we have to have that second guy.  Iowa State wouldn't let that happen tonight.  We couldn't beat them off the dribble," said Sadler.


Iowa State started the second half by hitting a three-pointer pushing the lead to 38-24.  Nebraska finally answered with their first three of the game by Ryan Anderson.


Then NU started to get to work whittling the lead down.  Anderson hit another three and Maric continued to dominate inside as the Huskers closed the gap to 39-35 with 15:39 left in the game.


The Devaney Center came alive and tried to help the home team inch closer and regain the lead.


Iowa State wouldn't have it as they scored five straight points to push the lead back up to nine at 44-35 with 12:57 left.


The Cyclones widened that lead to 50-39 on freshman's Dodie Dunson's 3-pointer with 9:21 left.


The Huskers clawed their way back to five at 54-49 behind Maric, with 5:43 to play.


With Iowa State leading 57-49 at the 5:26 mark, NU made one last ditch effort for a come-back.


Husker senior Marcus Perry hit a three-pointer and Maric hit a shot jumper to close the gap to 57-54 with 2:49 to play.


Iowa State came right back down the court and converted a huge 3pt. play by Taylor to push the lead to 60-54.


That proved to be game breaker as Iowa State converted some free throws to post a 69-63 victory.


Nebraska's offense was all Maric as he scored 36 points on 15-30 shooting to go along with his 12 rebounds.


"They (Iowa State) basically covered everyone else and let me go one on one," said Maric.


Iowa State was led by Johnson who had 22 points and Taylor who had 19.


Sadler understands the importance of home wins and realizes his team must take of business in the Devaney Center.


"To be successful in this league, you got to win your games at home," he said.


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