Nebraska men’s basketball could not overcome their own mistakes on Saturday afternoon, as the Minnesota Golden Gophers knocked off the Huskers 60-42. Nebraska committed 20 turnovers, with 15 coming in the first half. Nebraska had a three game win streak against Minnesota snapped.
With Terran Petteway in foul trouble in the first half, Nebraska could find an offensive rhythm. The Huskers first half output of 16 points was their second lowest of the season, only beating their game against Loyola Marymount by 2. Nebraska’s last field goal came at the 7:52 mark of the first half, and ended the half trailing 23-16.
While the Huskers were struggling to even attempt a field goal in the first half, Maurice Walker was bulldozing his way into the paint early and often. Walker scored six early points to set the tone early. While Walker was helping spark the Gophers, Nebraska struggled to get anyone going.
Shavon Shields tried to get going early, but Shields continues to struggle to find his stroke. Shields would finish the game 4-15 from the field and only 1-7 on three point attempts. Shields also lead the Huskers with 6 turnovers. Petteway tried to play facilitator instead of scorer, leading the team in assists in the first half, but only scoring 3 points.
The Huskers fixed their turnover problem to start the second half, and tried to chip away. Tai Webster cut the Minnesota lead to four with a three at the midway mark of the second half. Minnesota responded and pushed the lead back up to ten thanks to Maurice Walker bullying his way into the paint.
Tarin Smith tried to spark the Huskers with a three at the 4:15 mark, but a pair of Minnesota triples put the game away. Nebraska finished the second half with only 5 turnovers, but could not convert their opportunities into points. Shields, Petteway, and Walter Pitchford all struggled in the second half, effectively leaving the Huskers with no scoring options to try and mount a comeback.
The Huskers ended the game shooting 37% compared to Minnesota’s 44%. The Huskers shot only 20% on three balls, while the Gophers shot 31% from behind the arc. The Gophers killed the Huskers at the free throw line, shooting 12 more free throws than Nebraska. The Huskers did manage to win the glass and the assist statistics, but just could not overcome their turnovers.
Nebraska falls to 12-9 (4-5), while Minnesota improves to 14-9 (3-7). Nebraska returns home to host Northwestern Tuesday night, while Minnesota is off until next Saturday when they host Purdue.