The Huskers, who shot just 30 percent in the second half, rallied behind the play of sophomore Tai Webster, who scored nine of his 16 points in a 15-4 surge to open the second half.
Webster went 4-of-5 from the floor on the night, including a trio of 3-pointers as four Huskers finished in double figures. Junior Shavon Shields led all scorers with a game-high 29 points and nine rebounds, while Terran Petteway and Benny Parker added 10 points apiece for the Big Red.
The Huskers, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, were down 34-30 at the break before Webster took over. The sophomore hit consecutive 3-pointers during an 8-0 Husker run to give Nebraska its first lead since the opening minutes. The 6-foot-4 sophomore then capped the run with a conventional 3-point play, putting Nebraska ahead 45-38 with 15:06 left.
Southwest Minnesota State continued to hang around and was within 45-43 with 12:55 left, but a jumper by David Rivers and four Webster free throws capped a 6-0 spurt and put the Huskers ahead 51-43. SMSU pulled to within five at 51-46 on a Cole Martin 3-pointer, but the Huskers put the game away with a 16-3 run highlighted by eight straight points from Shields. [Read more…]