LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Jan. 23)–Behind a career-high performance from Rienk Mast, Nebraska posted an 83-69 win over Ohio State on Tuesday evening.
Mast was dominant, hitting 13-of-17 shots from the field, including 6-of-8 behind the en route to a career-high 34 point, 10-rebound, four-assist effort.
Mast, who posted his fifth double-double of the season, had 21 points in the second half on 9-of-10 shooting as his 34-point night topped his previous career high of 30 set in the 2023 MVC Tournament.
Nebraska (15-5, 5-4 Big Ten) shot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 14 3-pointers, including four by C.J. Wilcher, who came off the bench and added 16 points and three assists. Brice Williams gave NU a trio of double-figure nights with 14 points and seven rebounds. Nebraska dished out 19 assists and had just six turnovers in the win.
Nebraska, which trailed by as many as nine in the first half, had built a 10-poit lead on the first possession of the first half before the Buckeyes used an 8-1 run to pull within 46-43 after Zed Key’s basket with 17:25 remaining.
Wilcher then provided a big moment, hitting a pair of corner 3-pointers in a span of 1:12 that extended Nebraska’s cushion to 52-43.
The Buckeyes (13-6, 3-5) pulled to within five at 52-47 before Mast took over. The 6-foot-10 junior scored five straight points as part of a 7-0 run to push the lead to 12. He then scored NU’s next 10 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers as the Huskers built an 18-point advantage with 6:51 remaining, and NU would lead by double figures the rest of the night.
Ohio State started off hot, hitting their first four shots of the night to race to a 9-4 lead before NU settled in. OSU hit eight of their first 13 shots and built a 22-13 lead after a pair of Bruce Thornton free throws at the 11:36 mark capped a 9-0 run.
Nebraska’s bench would ignite the crowd of over 14,000 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, as Wilcher had five points in an 8-0 run to pull NU within one after a putback by freshman Eli Rice.
Nebraska trailed 30-26 before Mast hit consecutive 3-pointers to give NU a 32-30 lead. NU held the Buckeyes to two field goals in the final 4:30 and took control of the contest with a 17-5 spurt to close the half. Mast had 11 of his 13 first-half points as Nebraska took a 43-35 lead into the locker room after a Williams putback in the final seconds of the half.
NU hits the road to face Maryland this Saturday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. (CT). The game will be aired on BTN.