Minneapolis–(NU Athletics Feb. 8)– Playing its second road game in three days, the Nebraska men’s basketball team was unable to overcome a hot-shooting start by Minnesota in a 79-61 loss to the Golden Gophers in Minneapolis Monday night.
Minnesota (12-7, 5-7 Big Ten) made seven straight shots over a four-minute stretch early in the game to turn a one-point lead into a 23-10 advantage. The Gophers had runs of 7-0 and 6-0 while opening the game 9-of-13 from the field. Minnesota then used another 7-0 spurt to stretch the lead to 30-14 before the Huskers dug in defensively.
After Minnesota scored 30 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers scored only 15 points over the final 10 minutes of the first half. But Nebraska was unable to take advantage of its defensive effort, as the Huskers only trimmed one point off the lead and entered the locker room trailing 45-30.
Nebraska (4-10, 0-7 Big Ten) did not hit a 3-pointer in the first half, shot just 33 percent from the field and committed 10 turnovers. Minnesota shot 44 percent in the opening period, and the Gophers hit five 3-pointers.
Minnesota made its first two shots of the second half to stretch the lead to 19 before Nebraska’s defense forced Minnesota into 17 straight misses. Even though it took the Huskers nearly four minutes to make their first basket of the second half, Nebraska was able to take advantage of its strong defense.
Lat Mayen hit a pair of 3-pointers and Shamiel Stevenson had two baskets during a 10-0 Husker run that cut the Minnesota lead to nine. A Kobe Webster jumper then capped a larger 13-1 run that made it 52-45 with 10:53 to play.
It remained a seven-point game with seven minutes remaining before Minnesota used a 9-2 run to push the lead back to 12 with four minutes to play. A 6-0 run two minutes later stretched the lead back to 18 and essentially put the game away.
Mayen, who sat for much of the first half with three fouls, scored 13 of his career-high-tying 15 points in the second half to lead Nebraska. Stevenson added 14 points, tying his highest total as a Husker. Mayen, Stevenson and Trey McGowens tied for the team lead with six rebounds apiece, while Dalano Banton had a team-high six assists to go along with nine points and five rebounds.
Marcus Carr led Minnesota with game-high totals of 21 points and eight assists in only 19 minutes. Three other Gophers finished in double figures, including Brandon Johnson, who had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
In a change from the original schedule, Nebraska is back on action Wednesday night at home against Wisconsin. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.