Rion Brown scores 25 points but Miami falls at Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Terran Petteway scored all 14 of his points in the second half and Walter Pitchford added 13, and Nebraska posted a grinding 60-49 victory on Wednesday night.
The win allowed the Big Ten to forge a 6-6 tie in the 12-game, two-night Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Big Ten, by virtue of the tie, retains the Commissioner’s Cup and is 3-10-2 in the 15 Challenges.
Shavon Shields added nine points and seven rebounds for the Huskers (6-2), and Leslee Smith had 10 rebounds to go with seven points. Rion Brown had 23 of his 25 points in the second half for Miami (5-4), which managed just 13 first-half points.
The Huskers, picked to finish last in the Big Ten, went on a 19-9 run to break open the game after Miami pulled to 36-31.
The Hurricanes shot 32 percent in an offensive performance symptomatic of a team in rebuilding mode after a run to the Sweet 16 last season. They lost all five starters from the 29-win team that won the ACC. This season the Hurricanes are picked 12th out of 15 in the ACC.
Miami, which had won two straight after coming from behind to beat Arizona State 60-57 on Sunday, scored under 50 points for the second time this season.
The Hurricanes went six minutes between field goals in both the first and second halves. The crowd rode Manu Lecomte and Davon Reed hard after they shot 3s that missed everything, chanting “air ball, air ball” every time they touched the ball the rest of the game.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles tweaked his backcourt, with Tai Webster starting for the first time in three games and Ray Gallegos for the first time in four games.
The Huskers held Miami to 24-percent shooting and a season-low 13 points in the first half. Webster’s drive to the basket ended the Huskers’ 5 -minute scoring drought and broke an 11-11 tie.
The Huskers in the first half shot only 32 percent and were out-rebounded by four, but they still were better against a Miami team couldn’t find an offensive rhythm until it was too late. The Hurricanes made only two field goals in the last 9 minutes of the half, going nearly six minutes without one before Jekiri Tonye’s dunk with 3:09 left.
Gallegos’ back-to-back 3s got the crowd on its feet and pushed the Huskers’ lead out to 22-13 at the break.
Miami got back into the game, pulling to 36-31 on an 11-0 run that included a pair of 3s by Brown and another by Reed. Pitchford’s 3-pointer and free throws put Nebraska ahead 41-31 with 6 minutes left.