The Huskers were victorious in game one of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge, defeating the Clemson Tigers away from home, 68-66. It was a wild game, with both teams trading baskets all night. Heading into halftime, the score was tied 31-31.
Although they led the entirety of the second half, the Huskers had not safely secured the victory until the final buzzer sounded. With two and a half minutes remaining in the 2nd, it appeared as if Nebraska had hit a dagger when Thomas Allen’s three pointer extended their lead to 8. However, Clemson whittled down the lead to just two points with a little under a minute to go on a David Skara dunk in transition.
James Palmer Jr. came up empty the next possession, missing a three point jump shot. Ultimately, Clemson couldn’t capitalize, as senior guard Marcquise Reed turned the ball over, giving the Huskers a chance to ice the game. Glynn Watson Jr. was fouled after he caught a baseline inbound pass with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game. He hit both of his free throws, making it a two possession game at 68-64. The Tigers would make a lay-up with two seconds left in the contest, but by then it was too late, as Nebraska went on to win.
The significance of the win wasn’t lost on Husker basketball head coach, Tim Miles. “This will be a quality win in March,” Miles said. “We know that. They (the NCAA) can’t take that from us now.” Palmer, who led the way for Nebraska on the court with 20 points, was in agreement with his head coach. “It was a hard fought game tonight. We just wanted to come and prove a point,” Palmer said. “We knew this was a statement game. We just wanted to come and take care of business.” With the loss against Texas Tech in Kansas City, this win will do wonders for the Husker’s resume.
Also making a statement of sorts was Watson. He scored 12 points, which was good enough to catapult him from 25th to 21st on the list of Nebraska’s all time leading scorers in team history.
Nebraska will be in action next when they take on Illinois on December 2nd for their first conference game of the season at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
(By Tim Curran)