Coming off a disappointing second half against George Mason, the Huskers look to rebound in their final game in the Cayman Classic. They take on fellow .500 squad, the South Florida Bulls.
Both the Bulls and the Huskers are hot and cold teams that have struggled thus far from behind the three-point line.
Cam Mack did not start this game, per a coach’s decision, but he would play.
The Huskers put the pedal to the medal immediately, scoring the first six points of the game. USF finally got on the board thanks to a three-pointer three minutes in, leaving the Huskers up three.
Another Bulls layup would pull them to within one, but quick four points from the Huskers put Fred and his Huskers up 10-5 at the U16 timeout.
That media timeout proved to be the spark the Bulls needed, as they scored six straight out of it to take their first lead of the game, 11-10. The next five minutes would go back-and-forth, with USF on top with 18-16 with ten minutes left.
That’s when two struggling three-point shooting teams proceeded to hit four straight. Unfortunately for Nebraska, three of them were for the Bulls. Samari Curtis put the good guys up 19-18, but three straight threes from three different players gave USF the largest lead of the game, up eight with seven minutes left in the half.
That lead would hold through the next four minutes, until Jervay Green hit a three to go down five, his first points of the half. Haanif Cheatham got his eleventh point of the half on another three over a minute later. Huskers cut the lead to two at halftime, down 35-33.
Dachon Burke scored less than 20 seconds into the second half to tie everything up. A Yvan Ouedrago layup a few minutes later put the Huskers up 38-37, their first lead since the ten minute mark of the first half.
Huskers would go up three multiple times the next few minutes, but USF was always able to get a timely three or layup to keep the Huskers within punching distance. Once the teams tied at 45, David Collins of USF scored six straight as part of a larger 8-1 Bulls run. They would lead 53-46 with over 12 minutes to go.
Not to be outdone by Collins, Cheatham and Burke to score 15 of the next 17 for the Huskers, with Haanif getting 12 alone. Good news for Doc Sadler, as South Florida only scored two in that same five minutes. Huskers take a six-point lead, up 61-55.
In what seems to be a game revolving around just a few guys, David Collins’ second response proved to be crucial as well. After two free throws from his teammate Xavier Castaneda, Collins scored five straight to pull within one point with four minutes to go.
Dachon Burke scored five as part of that huge run earlier, but his next points were perhaps the biggest. Only up 63-62 with four to go, the Huskers needed to find a closer. The former Dayton Flyer answered, hitting two big threes in the next two minutes, his own 6-1 run.
Huskers up 69-63, the Bulls were able to quick bucket, but that was again answered by Nebraska, this time via their newly off-the-bench playmaker, Cam Mack, who hit a jumper to put Nebraska up for good.
Huskers escape Cayman with two wins, with today’s thanks in large part to a 26-point effort from Haanif Cheatham and 21 from Dachon Burke, as well as the discrepancy from the three-point line. USF went 8-27 against a solid, but subtle 6-14 from the Huskers.
Nebraska resumes action from the states when they take on Georgia Tech on December 4.