The Nebraska Cornhuskers men’s basketball team did something the football team has never done as a member of the Big Ten Conference: beat a good Ohio State team. Forget the current record of the Buckeyes, the ceiling for this hoops team is far higher than that of the 2011 OSU football team.
The victory snaps a two-game losing streak for the Huskers and moves UNL to 3-5 in Big Ten play and 10-9 overall on the season.
Sam Griesel led Nebraska in scoring with 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal. Keisei Tominaga added 11 points for the only other Husker in double figures scoring and tied for team-high in assists with four. Derrick Walker led the team on the glass with 10 boards and dished four assists before fouling out late.
Brice Sensabaugh led all scorers with 18 points for the Buckeyes and was one of two OSU players with a double double thanks to his 10 boards. Zed Key was the other with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Nebraska kept this one close, never letting Ohio State led by more than five. The Huskers also challenged down low, getting 32 of the team’s 63 points from the paint and adding eight points off 11 turnovers.
Ohio State scored first, but it took over a minute and a half into the game before either team got on the board. The Huskers answered with a 3-pointer by Denim Dawson and kept the lead until the 1:46 mark. A jumper by Sean McNeil to give OSU a narrow 22-21 lead would mark the final points for the half.
The second half was a battle down to the wire as the game was tied up or the lead changed 19 total times. The Huskers were able to wrest it for good with a 3-point score by Jamarques Lawrence with 7:55 remaining. Nebraska never led by more than six in the final stretch, but Ohio State only cut it as close as two once and that was with :10 remaining. A free throw by C.J. Wilcher ensured it was a 3-pointer by OSU to force overtime and the Buckeyes couldn’t get it to go in on the final attempt by McNeil as time expired.
The Huskers return to the court Saturday at Penn State for a 1:15 p.m. Central Time tip off. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.