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Palmer, Watson lead Huskers past DII SW Minnesota St. 79-38

December 29, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — James Palmer and Glynn Watson Jr. scored 16 points apiece, and Nebraska closed nonconference play with a 79-38 win over Division II Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday.

Isaac Copeland Jr. had 12 points and Thomas Allen added 10 for the Cornhuskers (11-2), who are off to their best start since 1991-92.

The Mustangs (7-4), playing for the first time in two weeks, got eight points each from Ryan Bruggeman and Steven McNease.

Nebraska was missing starting forward Isaiah Roby (groin) and reserve guard Amir Harris (illness) and was down to eight scholarship players. Forward Tanner Borchardt made his first start in 42 career games, replacing Roby, and had a career-high nine rebounds to go with four points.

It took the overmatched Mustangs 3 ½ minutes to score their first points — prompting a fan to shout, “There goes the shutout” — and they had more turnovers (9) than field goals (7) in the first half

Nebraska took a quick 12-0 lead and was up 37-18 at halftime. In only their third game in three weeks, the Huskers missed 19 of their first 27 shots and had scoring droughts of 3:10 and 4:15 in the first half. But they were 7 for 13 on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and 11 of 24 for the game.

Nebraska converted SMS’ 15 turnovers into 24 points. The Huskers turned over the ball just once in the first half and six times for the game.

Fans started heading for the exits at the under-8-minute timeout with the Huskers up 66-33.

The game was an exhibition for the Mustangs and a regular-season game for Nebraska. There’s a connection between the schools. SMS coach Brad Bigler played for Nebraska’s Tim Miles when Miles coached the Mustangs from 1997-2001.

BIG PICTURE

Southwest Minnesota State: The Mustangs were paid a $30,000 guarantee, and their players got the experience of competing in a big-time atmosphere.

Nebraska: This was a stay-busy game for the Huskers in front of an understandably subdued crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The competition ratchets up next week when they resume Big Ten play with a stretch of four of six games on the road.

UP NEXT

Southwest Minnesota State plays at Sioux Falls on Sunday.

Nebraska visits Maryland on Wednesday.

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