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Nebrasketball: Loss at Michigan State Sinks Miles in Penultimate Game

Huge games from James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. can’t save the Huskers in their final road game.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska came into Tuesday one game over .500 with a game against top-10 ranked Michigan State Spartans. A win would get Tim Miles (most likely) one final good memory to take from his experience in Lincoln. A loss would be expected and hit the final nail in his coffin. Even more than it has been.

The game started off pretty good for Nebraska, with Glynn Watson Jr. hitting two three-pointers in the first three and half minutes, where the Huskers had an 8-6 lead. It was Watson and James Palmer Jr. that kept Nebraska in it, as the two seniors had all of the first 14 points for the Huskers, with the score only 14-17.

What followed was a 13-point run for Michigan State that took less than three minutes. Amir Harris finally ended the near four-minute scoring drought to pull the Huskers down just 12.

Somewhere within that very same run, a the following interaction occurred:

Following a sequence with three offensive rebounds, Nebraska still could not get anything in the bucket. Isaiah Roby finally got the lid off the bucket with five minutes to go, Huskers down 17 points. In those five minutes, Palmer scored eight of their final 11 points.

That being said, Huskers still went into the half down 47-29, with the Spartans’ Kenny Goins emphasizing a strong first half with a cap-off dunk.

The second half started in a similar manner as the first. Watson made a three-pointer to score the Huskers’ first five points of half two. Palmer Jr. added on another three points. Those two had all but five of Nebraska’s 37 points up to this juncture. Huskers were down 14 points with 18 minutes to go.

The next three minutes was a back-and-forth affair, but, starting after Goins’s three-pointer to go up 60-47, the Huskers went on a nifty little run to cut the lead to seven. This would be the smallest lead for the Spartans since the ten-minute mark in the first half.

Just when I think I’m out, the Huskers pull me back in. But, by the time the Huskers scored two minutes later, again by Amir Harris, they were down 14 yet again.

Remember how we talked about Palmer and Watson being the only ones to score? Well, over the final nine and a half minutes, they scored all but four of the 19 points. The lead, however, didn’t get back into single digits.

Watson and Palmer scored 25 and 30, respectively, on a combined 20-41 shooting. Everyone else? 21 points on 6-21 shooting. In what was their, and likely Tim Miles’, penultimate game with the Huskers, those two seniors battled as hard as they have all season. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

Final: Husker 76, Spartans 91