Despite a season-high 17 points from Lance Jeter, the Nebraska basketball team suffered a 70-67 loss to Davidson Friday in the Honda Puerto Rico Tip Off.
Jeter hit 7-of-8 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, dished out five assists and matched his career high four steals, but the Huskers (2-2) were unable to slow down the Wildcats’ sharp shooting from 3-point range.
Davidson hit 11-of-28 from beyond the arc, including six from Brendan McKillop, who finished with a game-high 21 points and five assists to lead four Wildcats in double figures. McKillop had 15 of his 21 points after halftime, including back-to-back 3-pointers to break a 40-all tie, and gave Davidson, which hit 7-of-14 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Huskers trailed 58-52 with 5:01 remaining before sophomore Jorge Brian Diaz led the Huskers back. Diaz, who finished with 13 points, three blocks and four rebounds, scored eight straight NU points as the Huskers pulled within 63-62 on a Jeter jumper with 1:01 remaining.
On Davidson’s next possession, McKillop missed a 3-pointer, but Tom Droney hauled in the offensive rebound and converted both free throws to push the lead back to three points. NU cut it to 65-64 on Drake Beranek’s two foul shots and had the ball trailing 66-64, but a costly turnover on its next possession put the Huskers in a position to foul.
Davidson extended lead to 69-64 before Jeter’s 3-pointer made it a two-point lead with two seconds remaining.
The Huskers had one final opportunity to send the game to overtime after Droney split the three throws, but Brandon’s Richardson’s desperation heave fell short, sending NU to Sunday’s 9:30 a.m. against Hofstra, which lost to Western Kentucky, 62-60 on Friday.
Sophomore Christian Standhardinger joined Jeter and Diaz in double figures, finishing with 14 points, including 10-of-12 from the foul line, and five rebounds.
Nebraska got off to a quick start, jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the first four and a half minutes, as Jeter had all seven of his first-half points in the spurt. Davidson fought back, getting two quick 3-pointers to trim the margin to 11-8 before the Huskers got baskets from Standhardinger and Diaz to push the lead back to seven points.
Davidson would get back into the game behind the play of Jake Cohen, who had 15 of Davidson’s 28 first-half points. Trailing 17-10, Cohen’s basket sparked a 12-3 Wildcat run, taking the lead at 22-20 on Clint Mann’s jumper.
Davidson eventually got the lead to 28-24, before the Huskers closed the first half on a 6-0 run, as a Brandon Richardson jumper and four points from Brandon Ubel, who finished with seven points and a career-high nine rebounds, gave NU a 30-28 halftime lead.
The Huskers will play either Western Kentucky or Hofstra Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU and also carried across Nebraska on the Husker Sports Network.