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Alonzo Verge Jr. had nine of his game-high 26 points in an 11-0 run, as Nebraska stunned No. 10 Wisconsin with a 74-73 win on Sunday afternoon in Madison, Wis.
The Huskers, who closed out Big Ten play with three straight wins, trailed 71-62 after Brad Davison’s three-pointer with 5:48 remaining, but held the Big Ten champion Badgers without a field goal the remainder of the game and to just 40 percent on the day.
Trailing 71-65, Verge Jr. took over in the last 3:05 before fouling out with 19.8 seconds left. The senior scored seven straight points, as his three-pointer with 1:48 left gave the Huskers the lead for good.
Wisconsin trailed 74-71 and had a pair of chances to tie in the final 20 seconds. Chucky Hepburn was fouled on a three-point attempt with 19.8 seconds left, but missed the first one before sinking the next two to make it a one-point game. After C.J. Wilcher missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11.9 seconds left, the Husker defense forced Hepburn into a miss to preserve the win.
Wisconsin had won 15 straight games by two possessions or less before Sunday’s loss.
In addition to Verge Jr., who also dished out six assists, Derrick Walker had 15 points and seven rebounds while Wilcher added 10 in starting for Bryce McGowens, who missed the game with an injury. Nebraska shot 54 percent from the floor in the win, including 57 percent in building a 40-36 halftime lead.
Brad Davison led four Badgers in double-figures with a 20 points but went 5-of-15 from the floor.
Nebraska got off to a blistering start, using an 8-0 run to build a 10-3 lead and force a Wisconsin timeout, as Walker and Lat Mayen had two early baskets. The Badgers pulled to within 14-11 after five straight points by Johnny Davis, but Nebraska would rebound.
The Huskers ran off an 11-2 spurt to build their largest lead of the day at 25-13 following an Alonzo Verge jumper with 9:50 left in the half. Nebraska led 32-21 after Walker’s basket, as he had 12 first-half points and Nebraska had 26 points in the paint in the first half.
The Badgers charged back, using an 13-4 run to get within 36-34 after a Hepburn basket, but Walker quickly answered with a driving basket and NU took a 40-36 lead into the locker room after Wilcher’s basket in the final seconds. In all, Nebraska shot 57 percent in the half and forced seven Badger turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Nebraska extended the margin to 45-37 after a Walker basket with 18:54 left, but the Badgers would roar back. Wisconsin used a 12-2 run to tie the score at 47 before another 13-3 put the hosts up by 10 with just over 10 minutes left.
The Huskers would rally, using a 10-4 run to get within 66-62 after a Kobe Webster three-pointer and stayed within striking distance until Verge’s late-game heroics clinched the upset win for the Huskers.