The Nebraska Cornhuskers rallied in front of a deafening home court audience to force overtime and send the Maryland Terrapins flying home to BWI in defeat. The Huskers overcame an eight point deficit with 7:10 remaining to send the game into extra time and emerged with a 70-66 victory Sunday afternoon to improve to 14-14 overall on the season. That is the first time the team is .500 or better this late in February since falling to 15-12 on the same date in 2019 at Penn State.
Derrick Walker turned in a monster performance with a team-high 23 points, six assists, and three blocks along with finishing second on the glass with seven boards. Keisei Tominaga was second on the team with 20 points, included a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. His fifth-straight 20+-point game, Tominaga becomes the first Husker with five straight games of at least 20-points since Tyronn Lue did so in seven-straight games during the 1997-1998 season.
Sam Griesel added 12 points for Huskers hitting double figures scoring while Sam Hoiberg scored nine and grabbed six boards and a team-high two steals, including the game decider below. Blaise Keita led the team on the glass with eight rebounds.
Maryland had three players finish in double figures, Jahmir Young and Julian Reese tying for team lead with 16 each and Hakim Hart adding 14. Reese also grabbed 16 rebounds for the double-double performance on the day.
The first half was a low scoring affair Sunday as Maryland got on the board first, but took over a minute and a half into the game’s action before it could do so with a Donta Scott 3-pointer. Nebraska responded with a 7-0 run to take a narrow 7-3 lead shortly after the first media timeout, capped off by a 3-pointer by Tominaga with 14:52 left.
After the Terps were able to cut the Huskers’ lead to three, trailing 9-6 with 12:32 left, the Huskers responded with a 6-0 run to take the largest lead of the game by either team, up 15-6 with 9:54 remaining thanks to a jumper by Walker inside the paint. Once again, Maryland dug in and went on its own 10-0 run to take a narrow 16-15 lead with 7:17 remaining in the opening half.
UNL retook the lead quickly with a 6-0 run that forced UMD head coach Kevin Willard to call for a timeout, and the teams generally traded scores for the rest of the half. UNL was able to push its lead back out to seven by the buzzer to head into the locker room leading 31-24.
Nebraska was able to promptly push its lead back out to nine again thanks to a 5-0 run capped off by a jumper from Griesel with 17:12 left to extend its lead to 36-27. Maryland was able to mount an 11-0 run in response to eke out a narrow 38-36 lead, its first since the opening minutes of the game. Walker was able to halt it and tie it back up thanks to a pair of free throws with 12:21 left, but the Terps hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 6-0 run to give the home crowd a scare with 10:34 left and a 44-38 lead.
The teams went back and forth for the next few minutes of game action with UMD managing briefly to extend its lead out to seven thanks to a 3-pointer by Young with 8:04 left and then to eight with 7:10 remaining on a layup by Reese.
UNL refused to quit in this one, cutting it to within one with 2:04 left on a drive by Griesel. Back-to-back free throws by Tominaga with 1:24 and 1:06 remaining tied it up at 56-56 and Walker tied it again at 58-58 with :29 remaining. Maryland’s Young wasn’t able to sink his final attempt with just two seconds left and this one headed to overtime.
The teams battled back and forth, trading the lead and tying it up three times with Maryland holding it from 2:54 until Griesel took it back for good with a layup to make it 65-64 Nebraska with 1:23 left. Then Hoiberg’s monster steal already shown above happened and the Huskers never looked back. Final score: 70-66 Nebraska.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak to Maryland and marks the first win over the Terrapins in Lincoln since Feb. 13, 2018. Nebraska improves to 14-14 overall and 7-10 in Big Ten play. Maryland drops to 0-7 in Big Ten road games not played at Minnesota, 18-19 overall, and 9-7 in league play.
The Huskers next take the court when the team hosts Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Central Time. The Golden Gophers are just 7-17 overall and 1-13 in Big Ten play. Minnesota is 1-5 in league play on the road, its lone win coming in a 70-67 victory at Ohio State on Jan. 12. Nebraska defeated Minnesota in Minneapolis in an 81-79 overtime victory on Jan. 7.