Nebraska’s Bryce McGowens nearly broke Tyronn Lue’s freshman scoring record of 30 points while attempting to lead the Huskers to their first Big Ten win of the season.
Both efforts fell short, however, as McGowens led Fred Hoiberg’s club with 29 points in another heartbreaking defeat. This time Nebraska fell 63-61 to Rutgers who walloped Nebraska 93-65 at their place earlier this month.
Scoring droughts from the field at the end of each half, allowed Rutgers to stay in the game, take it’s first lead (61-60) with 1:32 left in the contest and eventually earn its sixth conference victory of the year.
Nebraska (6-15 overall, 0-10 Big Ten) led by as many as nine points in the second half and seemed to have an answer each time Rutgers (12-8 Overall, 6-4 Big Ten) made a run.
The Huskers took that nine-point (41-32) lead when Trey McGowens scored on a layup with 14:35 left and sank the free throw. At the 12:10 mark, Nebraska was up 41-36, when Trey McGowens, who finished the contest with 11 points, blocked Geo Baker’s dunk attempt.
Kobe Webster grabbed the rebound and found Bryce McGowens for a driving layup on the other end to put the Huskers up 43-36 with 11:58 left and plenty of momentum.
The Scarlet Knights, however, chiseled away at the Big Red advantage and cut it to 46-43 on Mulcahy’s layup with 8:26 left. Bryce McGowens responded by scoring on a layup and a free throw and then with 6:36 left sank to more charity tosses.
Nebraska ran out of answers, however, and was outscored 20-10 from there. Seven of Nebraska’s points came from the free throw line during the run. Trey McGowens hit a 3-pointer with 3:28 left to pull Nebraska within 58-54 for the only Big Red field goal during Rutger’s decisive run. Nebraska made just one of six field goals down the stretch.
Trailing 63-60, Webster had an opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt late. The senior missed the first free throw, knocked down the second one and threw the third one hard off of the backboard and rim in an attempt to get a rebound and the put back.
Rutgers, however, grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock.
The Huskers held Rutgers guard Ron Harper Jr., who got into early foul trouble, scoreless for much of the contest after he crushed Nebraska with 15 first half points and 29 points for the game in Rutgers’ 28-point win in Piscataway. The Scarlet Knights landed five players in double figures in that contest.
Harper sank a pair of free throws to score his first points of the night with 11:12 left in the contest. He finished with seven points, a couple of rebounds and an assist in 28 minutes and Rutgers still squeaked out a huge road win.
Nebraska survived a late scoring drought in the opening half and still led 31-28 at intermission. Unfortunately for Hoiberg and the Huskers, Rutgers scored the final eight points of the half after Nebraska opened up what proved to be its largest advantage of the game, 31-20, when Bryce McGowens made both of his free throws with 4:04 left before intermission.
Bryce McGowens led all scorers for Nebraska with 13 points on three of five shooting from beyond the arc in the opening half. Derrick Walker, meanwhile, put in seven points while C.J. Wilcher added four points in the opening period.
Mawot Mag led Rutgers with six points in the first 20 minutes while Clifford Omoruyi put forth five points and six rebounds.
Rutgers outshot Nebraska from the field in the opening half 12-for-28 (42.9-percent) to just 9-for-31 (29.0-percent) for the Huskers. The Big Red, however, outscored Rutgers 12-3 from beyond the arc and 9-3 from the free throw line.
After making four of 11 shots from beyond the arc in the opening half, Nebraska made just two of nine bombs in the second half to finish six for 20 for the contest. Rutgers, who is shooting better than 34-percent from downtown for the year, made just three of 19 for the contest.
Nebraska starting guard Alonzo Verge did not play in the contest. According to the Omaha World Herald, Hoiberg said it was due to a personal matter. Webster started in his place. The Huskers have not won a game since upending Kennesaw State 88-74 in Lincoln on Dec. 22.
Baker led the way for Rutgers with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. Mag scored 13 points for head coach Steve Pikiell and pulled down seven boards while Mulcahy chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists.
Bryce McGowens added seven rebounds and a pair of assists to his stat line while Trey McGowens scored 11 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out an assist. Walker added nine points for Big Red.
Nebraska outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 44-39 and led for more than 37 minutes in the contest. Rutgers, meanwhile, blocked 10 shots, swiped 10 Nebraska balls and dished out 10 assists as a team. The Huskers were good for six blocks, four steal and nine assists.
Rutgers scored 28 points in the paint to 22 for Nebraska and their bench outscored Nebraska’s bench 20-4. Both squads scored 14 second chance points and Rutgers outscored Big Red 11-9 in fastbreak points.
Nebraska will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan Tuesday, Feb. 1 to battle the Michigan Wolverines (10-8 overall, 4-4 Big Ten) at 8 pm CST on the Big Ten Network. Rutgers, meanwhile, is set to take on Northwestern (9-10 overall, 2-8 Big Ten) in Evanston Tuesday, Feb. 1. That contest is scheduled for 6 pm CST on the Big Ten Network as well.