MINNEAPOLIS–(NU Athletics Dec. 6)–Brice Williams had a team-high 18 points, but Nebraska went ice cold in the final 20 minutes, as Minnesota rallied for a 76-65 victory Wednesday evening at Williams Arena.
Williams had 17 of his 18 points in the opening 20 minutes, but Nebraska (7-2, 0-1 Big Ten) shot just 29.2 percent in the second half, while Minnesota shot 59 percent in the second half and overcame a 15-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Huskers, 52-26 after halftime.
Jamarques Lawrence had a career-high 16 points while Juwan Gary had 11 off the bench, but the Huskers committed 18 turnovers, nearly double their season average coming into the night, including 12 in the second half.
Joshua Ola-Joseph led five Golden Gophers (6-3, 1-1 Big Ten) in double figures with 15 points.
The second half flipped quickly, as Minnesota roared out of the gates in the second half. The Gophers opened the half with an 18-3 run to pull even at 42 after a steal from Mike Mitchell Jr with 13:14 remaining. Juwan Gary’s jumper ended a 13-0 Golden Gopher run and gave the Huskers the lead at 44-42.
Nebraska pulled even at 47-all after a 3-point play from Juwan Gary with 10:59 left, but Minnesota used a 10-1 run over the next two-plus minutes to take a 57-48 lead after a Pharrell Payne basket with 8:46 remaining.
Nebraska responded as a Lawrence 3-pointer and two technical free throws from Keisei Tominanga pulled NU within 57-53 with 7:42 left. Nebraska continued to hang around and was within 65-60 after Juwan Gary’s dunk with 3:09 remaining but could not get any closer in the final minutes.
It was the Brice Williams show in the first half, as Nebraska built a 39-24 halftime lead. Williams scored 17 points and had three assists in the opening 20 minutes, as Nebraska shot 59 percent in the first half.
After an opening eight-minute stretch which saw seven lead changes and a pair of ties, Nebraska took over in the final 11:40 of the first half, limiting Minnesota to just 2-of-14 shooting from the field the rest of the half and just 34.6 shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
NU trailed 16-15 before CJ Wilcher and Williams took over. The pair combined for 17 straight Husker points as Nebraska went on a 17-4 run to take a 32-20 lead after the last of nine straight points from Williams. Nebraska used another 7-0 run later in the half to stretch the margin to 39-22 after a Wilcher 3-pointer before taking a 39-24 lead into the locker room.
The Huskers return home to take on Michigan State this Sunday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on BTN.