After an emotional win in Lincoln against Butler on Wednesday, the Huskers moved on in the NIT to take on the TCU Horned Frogs, a one seed in this tournament. It would be a tall task for Tim Miles and company, but they have shown lately they can play above their paltry record.
James Palmer Jr. needed on 22 points to break the all-time Huskers scoring record.
TCU jumped out to a fast 10-4 lead, but a 8-2 run fueled by Thorir Thorbjarnarson and Glynn Watson, Jr. put the Huskers up 14-12 with under 13 minutes to go in the first half. It would go back and forth until the teams were knotted up at 19 with nine to go.
That’s when TCU jumped out on a 14-4 run to take a ten-point lead with four minutes to go. Up to this point, Palmer had not scored and he would finish the first half without any points, missing all ten of his shots. The Huskers tried to nip their way back in the first half behind Nebraska boys Tanner Borchardt and Johnny Trueblood, but lady luck kept looking TCU’s way.
See: shot at the end of the first half, where a TCU player grabbed a miss and threw it behind his head to give the Horned Frogs an eight-point lead at halftime.
The seocnd half started with Palmer finally getting on the board with a three-pointer, cutting the lead to five. TCU answered, and proceeded to get three more after tha, pushing the lead to 11.
Palmer would can two more three in the first three minutes, but for every shot, TCU could answer. Borchardt cut it to six with 17 to go, but a fast-paced TCU offense who was in a groove tonight got it right back out to ten before you could blink.
For the next 15 minutes, the lead never got smaller than nine, but was never above 13. TCU was keeping Tim Miles and company at arms length. Roby fouling out and getting ejected didn’t help, but he wasn;t as on fire as he was against Butler.
Horned Frogs player Alex Robinson eventually stretched the lead out to 16 by the end of the game. Just like that, the season was over. In a game that encapsulated so much of the frustrations this season brought, it was a familiar sight in what was likely Tim Miles’ last game. Palmer ended with 19 on 7-25 shooting, falling just short of that top spot.
Not to ignore, Horned Frog Desmond Bane dropped 30 points in the contest.
To finish off the season, one final thank you to the Husker seniors who stuck with this team through its ups and downs. Especially Glynn, who experienced his own rollercoaster ride but should leave quite the legacy here in Lincoln.
It will be a busy week ahead for the future of the Nebraska basketball program, but don’t forget to take a moment to look back on the memories of this players and this coach. There was some good stuff in there.
Final: TCU 88, Huskers 72