Nebraska survives 2nd-half lull, defeats Delaware St. 75-60
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska allowed its opponent to go on a big run for a second straight game. Unlike two nights before, the Cornhuskers got away with it this time.
Shavon Shields scored 21 points, Andrew White III added 20 and the Cornhuskers beat Delaware State 75-60 after they blew most of a 25-point lead during a second-half lull Thursday night.
The Huskers led 63-38 and then got sloppy. They committed five turnovers and missed six straight shots, and DeAndre Haywood scored 9 points as the Hornets went on a 21-0 run to get within 63-59 with 5:27 left.
“We took the foot off the gas a little bit. Not intentionally,” White said. “We had a big lead, and naturally that kind of thing happens. But that was a good learning experience to still be able to come out with a decent win so that we can learn, but learn with the win.”
The Huskers (2-1) bounced back from their 87-63 loss at No. 11 Villanova on Tuesday. In that game, Villanova broke open the game with a 22-0 run.
Haywood and Todd Hughes had 11 points apiece for the Hornets (0-3), who stunned the Huskers and the crowd with their sudden comeback. Haywood, in addition to his scoring, was active on the boards and on defense as the Hornets surged.
“I’m looking out on the floor, and most of those guys are freshmen and sophomores, and I was glad DeAndre was able to step up and show leadership during that crucial time,” Hornets coach Keith Walker said. “He was one of the big, big reasons we were able to make a run toward the end.”
Shields made a short jumper to end a nearly seven-minute scoring drought for Nebraska, and after Haywood missed two free throws, White sank a 3-pointer to put the Huskers up 68-59 with 4 minutes left.
The Hornets, picked ninth in the 13-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, made a game of it even though they were without starters Devin Morgan, their leading scorer through the first two games, and Kavon Waller. They were serving one-game suspensions for disciplinary reasons.
“We lost focus during different periods of the game,” Walker said. “When you’re playing a major like Nebraska, you have to have 40 minutes of straight focus or you give yourself less of a chance.”
Huskers coach Tim Miles said it’s disconcerting his team has committed 38 turnovers in two games, including 16 against Delaware State. Those turnovers fueled the runs by Villanova and the Hornets.
“We relaxed and that really hurt us,” he said. “It’s hard to turn momentum back, but we did. That’s the good news-bad news.”
Delaware State: The Hornets are 0-28 all-time against Big Ten opponents. ... This was the first of several long road trips. The Hornets will log more than 26,000 round-trip miles while visiting 12 states this season, with their longest coming next week when they play three games in California.
Nebraska: The Huskers’ 12 3-pointers and 19 assists were their most in Miles’ four seasons. ... Shields’ seven assists was one off his career high. ... Jake Hammond finished with a career-high seven rebounds in 13 minutes. ... Miles said he liked what he saw from freshman Jack McVeigh, who had eight points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals in 21 minutes.
HE’S A FROSH, BY GOSH
Nebraska freshman Glynn Watson Jr., who scored 12 points in 25 minutes against Villanova, had ups and downs in his first seven minutes against the Hornets. He made a 3-pointer and a couple free throws while scoring seven points — but also committed three fouls and went to the bench. He played eight more minutes but didn’t score again.
Delaware State hosts Lamar on Saturday.
Nebraska hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
AP college basketball website: http://collegebasketball.ap.org