Nebraska fought back from a double-digit second-half deficit, but No. 11 Wisconsin held on to earn a 73-65 win over the Huskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday.
The Huskers (6-14, 0-9 Big Ten) trailed by as many as 18 in the second half, but rallied to get within 63-55 with 3:17 remaining. Wisconsin put the game away by going 6-of-6 from the line in the last three minutes.
Freshman Bryce McGowens finished with 23 points and four rebounds in the loss, while Lat Mayen and Alonzo Verge Jr. added 11 points apiece. For Mayen, it was a season-high while he also added five boards.
Brad Davison had 21 points and was 5-of-8 from deep to lead four Wisconsin (16-3, 7-2 Big Ten) players in double-figures. Chucky Hepburn had 13 points and three boards while Johnny Davis also added 13 points – all in the second half – and nine rebounds.
Nebraska was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field to begin the first half and eventually pushed the lead to 16-11 with 13:20 left in the half. Wisconsin, which went 9-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half, hit four straight 3-pointers as part of a 15-5 run to build a 26-21 lead. Nebraska fought back and pulled within 29-26 after a Trey McGowens’ free throw, but Wisconsin would use 9-2 run to push the lead to double figures and take a 39-31 lead into the locker room.
The Huskers scored the first points of the second half, but Wisconsin used an 8-0 scoring run to stretch its lead to 47-33 with 17:34 remaining. The Huskers’ scoring drought continued as they were 1-11 in the first seven minutes of the half, and the Badgers extended their lead to 18 before the Huskers regrouped.
The McGowens brothers keyed an 11-0 run, scoring all 11 points as the Huskers pulled to 57-50 with 6:23 left. Nebraska stayed within striking distance and was within 59-50 with a chance to get within six, but missed two shots and two turnovers allowed UW to push the lead to 13 with 3:45 left.
The Huskers would have one more run, as a three-pointer from Mayen and a Kobe Webster jumper made it 63-55, but NU would not get closer.
Nebraska stays home to take on Rutgers this Saturday, Jan. 29.