Nebraska built a 14-point lead and held on down the stretch, picking up a 50-48 win over Valparaiso in the opening game of the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Huskers got a little sluggish in the second half and found themselves standing around instead of moving and cutting much like they did in the first half, but the defense was consistent for most of the game, holding Valparasio to just 34% shooting and 2-of-15 from 3-point range. The preseason favorite to win the Horizon League, the Crusaders came into Thursday’s game averaging 77 points per game and shooting 54 percent from long range.
Husker junior Ray Gallegos hit a career-high four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Gallegos, who had a career-high 16 in NU’s opener against Southern, was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Senior Brandon Ubel led the Huskers in scoring with 17 points and five rebounds, including a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to provide the Huskers with breathing room.
AUDIO Tim Miles’ assessment of the Huskers (:40)
Nebraska will continue play in the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic on Sunday, Nov. 18 when NU plays Nebraska-Omaha at 2 p.m.