To the victor go the spoils and the Northwestern Wildcats officially swept the Nebraska Cornhuskers in regular season action tonight. UNL fell 77-65 in Evanston in yet another loss for the Fred Hoiberg era.
Bryce McGowens became Nebraska’s all-time freshman scoring leader with 452 points, passing Dave Hoppen’s freshman scoring mark of 445 set in 1982-83. He finished with his second double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds. McGowen’s other double-double was against Southern on Nov. 21. He finished in double figures for the 21st time and has now been in double figures in nine straight games. He also tied his season high with four assists.
Alonzo Verge Jr. reached double figures for the 20th time this year with 15 points, matching McGowens for the team high tonight. Verge also tied his season high with four steals, marking the seventh time he has had three or more steals. Kobe Webster had 13 points off the bench, the 18th double-figure game by a Husker reserve this season. Derrick Walker finished with 10 rebounds, his fourth double-figure rebounding effort this season and first since Jan. 2. Walker also dished out a season-high five assists, one off his career high of six set in the 2021 Big Ten Tournament.
The Huskers got off to a slow start in the first half, trailing by as much as 14 at one point. A late rally cut the game to six with both teams heading into the locker room with the score 37-31 Northwestern in the lead.
The second half opened with Nebraska cutting it to within four just 12 seconds in off a layup by Lat Mayen, but NU went on a tear and by the 17:13 mark the Huskers were once again in a double digit hole of 13 points trailing 46-33. Things only got worse for much of the second half as the Wildcats pushed the lead out to 21 on a second-chance layup by Ty Berry with 7:27 to go, up 68-47.
UNL refused to go quietly in the final minutes, though. Nebraska went on a 16-4 run to trim the deficit to just nine points with 1:47 to go. Northwestern would finish out strong from the free throw line and thus the final score 77-65 Northwestern with the victory.
Nebraska returns to action Friday night when No. 25 Iowa visits Lincoln for an 8:00 p.m. CST tipoff on the Big Ten Network.