With nothing more than pride on the line for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Huskers took the Illinois Fighting Illini to the brink before falling for the seventh consecutive game. Many questioned whether they would do more than just play out the string, whether Head Coach Tim Miles had lost the locker room, not just locked it's doors, but if tonight is any indication, he has not. Illinois is fighting to find it's place in the NCAA Tournament and the Huskers went into the soon-to-be-renovated Assembly Hall and made the Illini earn every point they got in their 69-57 victory.
The Huskers, who were without Walter Pitchford who stayed in Lincoln with a hip injury, saw hobbled Leslee Smith, himself battling swelling in his surgically repaired knee, record a season high in points (eight) and rebounds (nine). His post-mate, David Rivers chipped in 10 points and five boards of his own.
The loss pushes the Huskers three games below .500 and all but extinguishes any lingering post-season ambition they may have still held onto. NU will return home on Sunday afternoon for their final regular season game of the year and Senior Night as Smith, Rivers, Moses Abraham, Trevor Menke and Kye Kirkowski will play their final games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers will tip off vs. the Maryland Terrapins at 6:30 PM.