Cornhuskers use late run to put away Boston College 71-62
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Well, at least Nebraska did its part for the Big Ten in what has otherwise been a miserable Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the conference.
James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland scored 15 points apiece, and the Cornhuskers broke open the game late in a 71-62 win over Boston College on Wednesday night.
The win was only the Big Ten’s second in 13 games in the annual battle between the leagues. Purdue beat Louisville for the other one.
”Someone told me we only had two wins so far. That’s just stunning to me,” Huskers coach Tim Miles said. ”Good old Nebraska at least got ’em one.”
The Huskers (6-2) went on a 12-0 run after Boston College (5-3) had trimmed the lead to 59-57. Palmer, who scored 11 points in the second half, started the spurt. Copeland ended it, leaving the Huskers with a 71-57 advantage with 1:30 to play.
Evan Taylor added a season-high 13 points for the Huskers and Glynn Watson Jr. had 10 points and six assists despite feeling under the weather.
Jerome Robinson had 17 points, Ky Bowman added 13 points and eight rebounds and Nik Popvic had 10 points for the Eagles (5-3), who have lost three straight in the Challenge.
BC lost forward Deontae Hawkins to a right knee injury in the first half. Hawkins, averaging 13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds, was on crutches in the second half. The Eagles also were missing starting guard Jordan Chatman (shoulder). Freshman Steffon Mitchell made his first start in Chatman’s place.
”We’ve got guys out there who haven’t played all year,” BC coach Jim Christian said. ”We’ve got two starters out in the first three minutes of the game. I’ve got Vin Baker, who’s played maybe 19 minutes on the year, playing 30 minutes. Ervin Meznieks who hasn’t played all year. They gave us heart, they gave us effort. You’ve got to make open shots to win on the road.”
Boston College: The Eagles entered the game off their best start in seven years, and now possible trouble looms. Much depends on the seriousness of Hawkins’ injury.
Nebraska: The schedule gets much tougher now. The next four games are against No. 3 Michigan State (road), No. 12 Minnesota (home), No. 25 Creighton (road) and No. 2 Kansas (home).
”Who wouldn’t want to play against four of the best programs in the country?” Taylor said. ”It’s going to be hard, but it’s an opportunity to show the world what Nebraska basketball is and to get better. I’m excited, and I know our guys are excited and we hope for the best.”
RILEY IN THE HOUSE
Mike Riley, fired as the Huskers’ football coach on Saturday, attended the game with his wife, Dee. Miles said he had gotten a call from an associate athletic director asking if he had extra tickets for the Rileys.
Miles said Riley told him he planned to be in Lincoln for a while and that he hoped to go to some games.
”He is a man of class and grace and dignity,” Miles said, ”so it’s good to have that kind of fan with us.”
HE SAID IT
”This year we’ve been putting halves together, but not a full game. Today, they made their runs, but we stayed strong. We never lost the lead, so it’s just a sign of growth. Hopefully, we can build on that.” – Taylor.
Boston College visits Hartford on Saturday.
Nebraska visits No. 3 Michigan State on Sunday.
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