HUSKER MEN’S BASKETBALL: Nebraska Tops Rutgers on Senior Night

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Mar. 3)–Keisei Tominaga scored seven of his team-high 18 points in a span of 48 seconds in the second half, as Nebraska held off Rutgers, 67-56, Sunday evening.

Tominaga, making his final regular-season appearance at Pinnacle Bank Arena, took over after Rutgers whittled a 16-point second-half lead to 54-58 with 7:05 remaining,

Tominaga started the run with a conventional 3-point play before sending the sellout crowd of 15,854 into a frenzy with a four-point play, as he was fouled while hitting a 3-pointer from the logo give the Huskers a 61-48 cushion with 6:00 left. Tominaga capped a personal 12-0 run with a trio of foul shots that put NU ahead 64-51 with 5:19 left and NU led by double figures the rest of the way.

While Tominaga keyed the decisive run, it was the play of Josiah Allick and Juwan Gary that sent the tone for Nebraska (21-9, 11-8 Big Ten), as both players posted double doubles. Allick had 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, while Gary added 15 points, 11 caroms and three blocked shots.

The pair helped Nebraska post a 44-40 advantage on the glass, while the Huskers held Rutgers to 32.8 percent shooting, including 4-of-25 from 3-point range.

Nebraska stretched the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, building a 49-33 lead after a pair of Brice Williams free throws with 14:36 left, but Rutgers would climb back into the game. The visitors used a 15-5 spurt to pull within 54-48 with just over seven minutes remaining before Tominaga took over down the stretch.

Nebraska’s defense and rebounding were the story in the first half, as the Huskers led 37-25 at the break. Nebraska held the Scarlet Knights to just 34 percent shooting in the first half and enjoyed a 24-12 advantage on the glass that led to 12 second-chance points for the Huskers.

Nebraska’s Boogie Coleman, C.J. Wilcher, Josiah Allick and Keisei Tominaga with head coach Fred Hoiberg on Senior Night. (Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics)

Nebraska got to a strong start, jumping to an 8-0 lead, including a trio of putback baskets in the first five minutes of the contest. Nebraska used a 9-2 spurt to push the lead to 12, at 19-7, after a 3-pointer from C.J. Wilcher at the 10:05 mark.

Rutgers was within 24-15 after a Jeremiah Williams basket, but Gary scored five of his 11 first-half points in an 8-0 run that made it 32-15 with 3:47 left in the half.

Rutgers mounted a comeback, with a 10-3 run to pull within 35-25 after Gavin Griffiths’ 3-pointer but Gary’s dunk pushed the margin back to 12 at the break.

Williams led Rutgers (15-14, 7-11) with 14 points while Griffiths added 10 points off the bench, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Huskers finish the regular season on the road when they take on Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Sunday, March 10. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. and will be carried on the Big Ten Network