Watson has career high, Nebraska tops Sacramento State 83-61

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Glynn Watson Jr.'s head was hurting Sunday. But that didn't stop him from scoring a career-high 23 points to lead Nebraska past Sacramento State 83-61.

''Glynn actually tonight had a bad headache,'' said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. ''I don't know if it was a migraine or not. But we had to take him out two or three times and get him hydrated and make sure he got medicine. If he can do that in that condition … he's really good. Glynn is a guy that's a game changer.''

Watson didn't mention the headache after the game. Rather, he attributed his scoring to aggressive play.

''I just tried to play aggressive and execute our game plan,'' Watson said. ''That was basically what I tried to do, was play aggressive and try to get my teammates open. I had open shots so I took them, that was basically it.''

Watson kept Nebraska (1-0) in the game in the first half, tying his career-high with 17 points on 7 of 10 shots. The rest of the Huskers were just 9 of 29 in the half, earning them a halftime ''butt chewing'' from Miles.

Nebraska opened the second period with a 9-2 run, going up 45-35 on Tai Webster's driving layup with 17:22 left. That opening spurt was the game changer, said Sacramento State coach Brian Katz.

''We had a pretty good first half and the separation happened in the first five points of the second half,'' Katz said. ''They got five points in transition and went from 36-33 to 41-33, and I thought that was the difference in the game. ''

The Huskers hit 10 of 12 shots in the first eight minutes of the second half, taking a 58-44 lead on Webster's jumper with 12:23 remaining.

''I thought the second half was really good,'' Miles said. ''But they were pretty good early too. Unfortunately, we missed 12 shots within what, four feet in the first half. I was happy with the team. They came out and did what they had to do to win.''

Nebraska never trailed, but saw Sacramento State (0-2) tie the game at 31 on Jeff Wu's basket with 2:01 left in the first half. Watson responded with a 3-point play to put the Huskers in the lead for good.

THE BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: Five of the 10 Huskers who took the floor Sunday were seeing their first action as Huskers. All five came off the bench. They scored just five points combined.

Sacramento State: The Hornets hit 48 percent of their shots in the first half to stay close to the Huskers. But Sacramento State struggled from the field in the final 20 minutes, hitting just 9 of 26 attempts and only 2 of 12 from 3-point range.

QUOTABLE

Miles on Nebraska's first half play: ''We were just rushing on offense, there was no poise. It was like one, two passes and force your way in there. The reason we missed 12 shots (near the basket) was because they weren't very good shots. You can't get an offensive rebound, puke on yourself, then try to put it back in there. It just seemed like we were playing mindless basketball.''

UP NEXT

Nebraska hosts the University of Mary, Miles's alma mater, Tuesday.

Sacramento State will host Antelope Valley Thursday in its home opener.