On the eve of the official start of the holiday season, it's often that people in this great country are driven to give to charities and help those less fortunate than themselves. It's one of the things that many love so much about this country. And so it was, at the charity line, that this game was won and lost. Nebraska did everything they could do to keep Tulane in the game and their effort at the free throw stripe was just as important in that as any other part of the game. The Huskers went 11-19 from the stripe, but as ugly as those numbers are, the charity stripe is where Nebraska also won this game. Well, at least where Tulane failed to keep themselves in the game. Tulane guard stepped to the line after being fouled by Ray Gallegos on a three point attempt with 1:05 left in the game and his team down two points. Callahan, a career 73% free throw shooter stepped to the line with an opportunity to give his team the lead with a minute to play. Callahan missed all three. Tulane would not score the rest of the way.
If you looked at a box score of this game, it might be difficult to see how Nebraska won this game by as small a margin as they did. They shot a better percentage from the floor, made more field goals, made six more threes, and only four fewer free throws. Where they got beat, and beat significantly, was on the boards. Tulane out rebounded Nebraska 31 to 23 and collected 11 offensive rebounds, that's not something that will likely sit well with Coach Miles.
This wasn't Nebraska's best effort as they often looked sluggish in their offensive sets and the movement wasn't as dramatic as it had been. But the first 12 minutes of the game and the final 8 were dominated by Nebraska big men. The Huskers used an impressive start from Brandon Ubel who collected 8 nifty points using a variety of post moves and solid positioning to pick up eight quick points including six straight forcing Tulane to call a time out with 11:05 left in the half as the Huskers got out to a 19-13 lead. A lead which would stretch to 22-13 on a Mike Peltz three pointer.
In the second half, after Tulane had battled all the way back to take a 53-50 lead, NU rode the broad shoulders of Andre Almedia who had seven of his ten points, including a running one hand dunk to take the lead 59-57. Those points would be the decisive ones in this Husker victory.
The Huskers also got solid efforts from Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos who shared the high score for the Huskers with 14 apiece. Gallegos was 4/6 from three land and hit the game sealing free throws to give the game it's final score of 61-57.
The game also saw the debut of Shavon Shields who had been out after having some repair done on his bursa sac on his left elbow. He didn't factor in the points column but saw 14 minutes and didn't appear to be overwhelmed.
The Huskers return to action in the final game of the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic Saturday evening at 8 pm at the Bob Devaney Sports Center and look to move to 5-0 for the first time since 2008-09 when they won their first six. The game will be televised on BTN.