Huskers stifle St. Louis

Tonight the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0) took on the Saint Louis Billikens (2-2). This talented Saint Louis team was coming off a victory three days ago against Boston College. Their only loss came November 19th against Kent State, and that was an overtime loss by two points.

Meanwhile, Nebraska was coming off a win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Huskers started off a bit sluggish during that game, and that seemed to be addressed tonight.

Starters for the Nebraska Cornhuskers included guards Steve Harley, Sek Henry, Ade Dagunduro and Ryan Anderson. The lone forward is junior Chris Balham.

While the starters for Saint Louis included guard Kwamain Mitchell, forward Brian Conklin, guard Kevin Lisch, center Brett Thompson, and guard Tommie Liddell the 3rd.

Nebraska was able to win the tip and march down court for an easy layup by Ade Dagunduro. Defense looked great early forcing two turnovers on Saint Louis' first two possessions and moving down the court extremely well to take a 4-0 lead. Dagunduro has the Husker's four points.

Tommie Liddell was able to score Saint Louis' first points of the game on a jump shot.

At 15:19 remaining in the first half, the score is 7-4 Huskers after Sek Henry made scored a 3-pointer from long range. Other than an easy breakaway steal for two points, the Huskers defense is still playing with a lot of pressure on the Billikens, often with three players on the man with the ball at a time.

At 11:37 remaining, the Huskers had extended their lead to 15-8 and defense is the story of the game early. The Huskers have forced 5 turnovers in less than ten minutes and are relentlessly pressuring the Billikens. Ade Dagunduro is leading the Huskers in scoring with 7 points while Sek Henry has 5. Tony McCray has also contributed 3 points of his own.

The Billikens ended a ten-point Nebraska run with another breakaway layup by Willie Reed. The Husker defense is still playing very strong.

At 7:57 the score is 21-12 Nebraska leading. At this point, the Huskers are just 2 for 8 on 3 point attempts, the latest made by Paul Velander. Steve Harley has finally scored as well, nailing a 3-pointer forcing St. Louis to take a timeout. The Huskers lead is now 27-16.

The Billikens began to battle back at this point. This was thanks in part to Nebraska committing fouls on consecutive possessions. They're making sure the game doesn't get out of hand before halftime.

At the half, we have a score of 37-29 and the Cornhuskers are leading.

Sek Henry started the half off with two huge possessions, one with a shot and foul for three points, and another breakaway layup immediately afterward. Huskers up 44-33 at 17:58.

Toney McCray hooked up with Cookie Miller on a breakaway at 15:37 to extend the Husker lead to 48-36.

With 7:59 left in the second half, the Huskers are up 54-47. Defense is still solid although letting off the pedal a bit. Also, nit-pick calls have been a bit of a story here in the second half, and no calls as well. A few traveling calls have gone unnoticed.

The Huskers slowed the pace in the last 5 minutes of the game. With 3:58 remaining in the game, the Huskers lead it 58-47. Sek Henry and Ade Dagunduro lead the scoring with 16 and 11, respectively. Cookie Miller has 8 points as well. Brian Conklin has 16 points for the Billikens, while Ruben Cotto has ten.

Steve Harley exploded for the Huskers in the final few minutes. He scored a layup and on a fastbreak down the court, earning a foul as well for a total of 5 points on the two possessions. His point total is now up to eleven.

Our final score tonight is 71-57, Cornhuskers earning the win in a night that saw great defense all night.

After the game, Coach Doc Sadler addressed the defense and had nothing but positives to say about the game he coached tonight.

"Tonight was such a big win for us." he said.

Sadler attributed the great defense tonight to the "best defensive practice he has seen while at Nebraska" taking place the day before.

The Huskers only gave away six turnovers all game as well. Sek Henry said last year they tried to get their turnover numbers down to only twenty, and that allowing only six was just fine with him.

The Huskers play again this Saturday against Creighton at the Devaney Center.

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