I heard a question this morning.
“Is Nebraska going to win a conference game this season?”
While it sure looked like it was going to happen tonight a few missed free throws at the end as well as another timely missed foul call at the buzzer left Nebraska out high and dry.
Ohio State’s Freshman out-dueled Nebraska’s freshman as Malaki Branham scored 35 points on 19 shots. He went 6 for 10 from three. Thirty-five points by a freshman was the second most in program history.
Nebraska’s super frosh scored a *measly* or should I say quiet 18 points from Bryce McGowen. An energized Derrick Walker played a huge game on both ends of the court as he ended the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
His biggest opportunity however was at the end of regulation when he grabbed an offensive rebound merely inches from the rim after a Kobe Webster miss. Walker likely was going to finish the win but was rejected by Ohio State as the buzzer sounded.
Nebraska fought tooth and claw with the 13th ranked team in the country. It is a selling point and maybe a opportunity for learning and growth.
Alonzo Verge not in since the 10 minute mark. He played 23 minutes in the game but the coaching staff took the ball dominant guard off the floor the the last half-plus of the game. It could have been about shot selection or maybe it was matchups.
It was not the first time in Kobe Webster’s career that he came off the bench to end up finishing the game because he gave the team a better chance to win compared to the guy he replaced.
There was hope at the end and it came after a drunk by Lat Mayen to put Nebraska up by five with 37 seconds left to go.
The game was in hand. That is, until Nebraska allowed Ohio State’s Jamari Wheeler to hit a three within five seconds of the Ohio State possession. It was took quick for Nebraska’s sake.
That’s okay right. All they have to do is hit some free throws.
A time out was called and Hoiberg put five of their best free throw shooters in the game. Nebraska got the ball to Lat Mayen who shoots around 75% from the free throw line.
He missed both.
Ohio State gets an offense rebound on the next possession (which wasn’t the first offensive rebound of the game) and E.J. Liddell of OSU gets fouled.
He hit both.
It was a missed opportunity for Nebraska.
If you want to know what happened in overtime then just think of Ohio State knocking in a bunch of threes while Nebraska tries to hang on to their shoes.
With that all said, if Nebraska can bring that effort going forward then YES SIR, they should get at least one conference win this season.
Hopefully more than that.