Nebraska hammers Michigan basketball, 79-59

On3 imageby:Chris Balas02/10/24


Michigan got off to a terrible start in Lincoln Saturday night, falling behind by double digits in the first 6 minutes. The Wolverines missed 7 of their first 10 shots in falling behind 18-7 at the 12:31 mark, turned the ball over 4 times in the first 6 minutes, and had an even tougher time defending in a 79-59 loss. 

The Cornhuskers scored 10 points in the paint in the first 8 minutes, taking the ball to the rim frequently. They drew fouls when they didn’t finish, making 5 of 7 in running out to a 22-7 lead with a 13-0 run. Michigan sophomore big man Tarris Reed Jr. ended the run with a half-hook inside at 10:50, but it was all but guaranteed the Wolverines would be playing from behind for the entire first half. 

It would only get worse. Guard Keisei Tominaga hit two of his first three triples and C.J. Wilcher followed with another at the 8-minute mark to push the lead to 33-10. The Wolverines continued to turn the ball over at the other end and were consistently beaten to loose balls and the boards. Rienk Mast made a 3rd straight triple for the ‘Huskers to to push the lead to 36 to 10 — it was 38-10 after an offensive rebound and teardrop for Tominaga. 

That capped a 29-3 run before Michigan guard Nimari Burnett stopped the bleeding with a triple. Tominaga hit his third to answer and it was 41-13 with 6:15 remaining in the half, an embarrassing performance for the Wolverines. They pushed it to an even 30 at the 5-minute mark.

Even when Nebraska went into a shell, missing several shots at the rim in a 3:45 scoring drought, Michigan couldn’t make up ground. The Wolverines trailed by 26 before making a bit of a run, including a triple by Terrance Williams II at :35 that cut it to 45-22. A Jaelin Llewellyn triple to end the half cut it to 45-25. 

SECOND HALF — Nebraska holds on to trounce Michigan

Michigan crept within 19 points in the first 5 minutes of the second half, but the Cornhuskers would respond. They pushed the lead back to 24, 55-31 at the first TV timeout, in expanding their lead. They went 1-for-7 in a stretch, but the Wolverines couldn’t make up much ground. 

The U-M offense finally got it working a bit. They cut it back to 20, 55-35, on a fadeaway jumper by Burnett, and it was was 19 when Llewellyn hit another triple. They had a chance to further cut into the lead, but forward Olivier Nkamhoua missed a jumper and a quick triple on consecutive trips, Nebraska tripled, and it was 60-38 at the second TV timeout. 

The Wolverines were 0- for their last 7 and 2-for-12 in the stretch, shooting 30.4 percent from the floor and 29.4 from long range. 

To their credit, Michigan kept fighting. Will Tschetter cut it to 68-52 on a long triple at 5:10; U-M went on a 12-2 run and cut it to 70-55 on a Burnett 3-pointer. 

Nebraska, though, put it away down the stretch and was never in danger of losing.

The win was only the Conrhuskers’ second over Michigan since they joined the Big Ten in 2011. Burnett scored 18 while Reed and Williams added 9 each for U-M. Nkamhoua was limited to 3 on 1-of-10 shooting for the Wolverines, now 8-16, 3-10 in Big Ten play.

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