Before we get started on the disappointment of tonight, there is something I have been meaning to do: introduce myself!
I am Kade Dohmen, a Sports Media student at UNL who loves football (and basketball, if my teams cooperate). I grew up in Iowa, but trust me, I hate them as much as the next Husker fanatic. Also a die-hard fan of the Los Angeles Chargers formerly known as San Diego, so not huge on the local Chiefs like everyone else. Outside of sports, I love movies (Star Wars), TV and just about anything entertainment related. I don’t know how much to introduce myself, so lastly my favorite colors are navy, gray, purple, teal and forest green. Excited to be part of Corn Nation!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Coming into tonight’s home game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (16-8 record), the Huskers, losers of seven straight, were favored by 4 according to Vegas and had a 83.3 percent chance of winning according to ESPN’s BPI.
If you watched the start of the game, you would not understand why. After James Palmer Jr. started the game off with a quick layup, the “Nebrasketball” happened. What do I mean by that?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Minnesota is on a 10-0 run and Nebraska hasn’t scored in nearly five minutes.— Robin Washut (@RobinWashut) February 14, 2019
Gophers up 10-2 at the U16.
Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu (who finished with 16) had six of those points for the Gophers. Minnesota would eventually go up 15-4. It seemed like it would be the same old same yet again.
Then a newfound grit showed for the Huskers. They keep battling. They were going punch for punch. Down 21-14, Palmer would go on his own eight-point run to give the Huskers their first lead since the first minute.
A back-and-forth affair for the final five minutes would see the Huskers head into the half down 31-30.
It is the second half that would be much more interesting. But before we get there, I want to share this fun video of Scott Frost celebrating the Huskers’ 150th birthday.
Back to Nebrasketball.
Thomas Allen opens up the half with a three. Glynn Watson Jr. matches him on the next possession. Then Palmer matches them on the next one. Where has this shooting been all year?
Another back-and-forth dogfight for the next five minutes saw the Huskers leading 47-46 at the U12 TV timeout.
This is when it would turn into Jordan Murphy vs. the Huskers. Murphy would score or assist on all but two of Minnesota’s final 15 points (two free throws). With Roby, Palmer and Borchardt all sitting on three fouls, he was allowed to do his work in the post (including what many saw as some borderline offensive fouls).
Then, up 59-55, the Huskers went back to how they started. The Gophers went on a 6-0 run to go up 61-59 with a minute on the clock.
Having not scored in over three minutes, it felt like the Huskers were cooked.
Instead, Palmer Jr went into attack mode. He was fouled and made one of his two shots from the charity stripe.
Up 61-60, Minnesota gets the ball with 45 seconds left. And finally, luck befell the Huskers and Murphy was called for an offensive foul. Thomas Allen missed a layup with two seconds left, but there was a foul. A quick inbound to Palmer Jr., who pump faked and got the foul call with a second on the clock.
While Palmer has had his fair share of struggles from the free throw line, Huskers fans held out hope they could win by Palmer sinking his shots from the charity. And lucky for Tim Miles, Nebrasketball tourney hopes and the hope of any Husker hoops fan, James made ‘em both, putting the Huskers up 62-61.
Minnesota fumbled the ball away and time ran out. Huskers win.
I repeat, Huskers win. Tim Miles is “happier than a camel on Wednesday.”
Final: Huskers 62, Minnesota 61