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Wolverines pad NIT resume in a tough 93-72 Husker loss

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers hoped to bring momentum from a home win over Penn State when the team played in Romulus Ann Arbor Wednesday night. An at one-time 24-point deficit in the first half and a 15-3 run by Michigan to end the second proved too insurmountable as the Huskers fell 93-72 to the Wolverines to drop to 11-14 overall and 4-10 in league play.

As the month has turned to February a road weary and shorthanded Nebraska team that traveled 8,138 air miles in January alone couldn’t keep up with Michigan’s 14-of-26 shooting from deep, a percentage for UM only bested by the 55.6% outing against Minnesota.

The Huskers shot a respectable, but inadequate 35% from beyond the arc, going 7-of-20 as a team and led by Keisei Tominaga’s 24 points, including 4-of-8 from deep. Derrick Walker was second in scoring with 15 and led on the boards with seven and in helpers with eight.

Tominaga led all scorers on the night as well as Michigan’s Jett Howard managed 22, one of six UM players in double figures.

Nebraska opened the game promising enough, leading 12-11 at the 14:34 mark. Michigan then went on a 22-3 run capped off by a Dug McDaniel free throw at the 8:44 mark and a few moments later led 41-17.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable deficit that could lead some squads to simply fold, Nebraska did work in the closing minutes and trimmed the Wolverines’ lead to just 46-34 to finish the half.

The Huskers went on to make it single digits in the opening minutes of the second half, trailing 48-39. Michigan wouldn’t let it get any closer from there and pushed the lead back out to 21 by the 11:41 mark. While UNL was able to cut it back to 10 three separate times between 8:34 and 6:25, UM’s 15-3 run to end the game was only snapped by Jeff Grace free throws to make it the final margin of 93-72.

Nebraska returns to action Saturday in Lincoln when the Wisconsin Badgers come to town. Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 3:00 p.m. Central Time and the game will be on the Big Ten Network.