The Nebraska Cornhuskers lost at Penn State on Saturday and put up a pathetic first half, scoring just 13 points, and couldn't figure out a way to get back in the game. Surely that would seem like a mistake that could only happen once.
But alas, it was not. Before the first TV timeout of the game the Badgers had already gained an 11-4 advantage. The Wisconsin Badgers came to Nebraska and shut down the Huskers and allowed only 13 points in the first half again. That gave Wisconsin a 27-13 lead at the half, and it seemed like they should have a good hold on the game from there.
But after Nigel Hayes nailed two free throws with 8:15 remaining in the game to give Wisconsin a 45-29 lead, Nebraska tried to charge back into the game despite the fact that it seemed like it was far too late. Leslee Smith hit a layup, Terran Petteway hit a three pointer, and Shavon Shields hit a layup to close the game to 47-36, and Nebraska's offense finally had some life. Shavon Shields added a free throw to cut it to just 10 point deficit, but Sam Dekker hit a 3 and Nigel Hayes to two more free throws to extend it back to 15 points.
Then Nebraska tried to charge again, as Tai Webster hit a layup but was fouled by Nigel Hayes and added a free throw as well. On the next Husker possession, Webster was able to hit a jumper. Tarin Smith made one of two free throws and Shavon Shields hit another jumper as the Huskers went on a 8-0 run to reduce the deficit to just 7 points, as the Badgers led 52-45. But with just 2 and a half minutes left, the Huskers started to foul to try to get back into the game. Terran Petteway added the next 8 Huskers points, on two layups, a free throw, and a 3 pointer. But the Badgers added free throws to extend the lead, they hit 13-16 of the final free throws, a promising sign for a team that is going to want to go deep into the NCAA Tournament. Frank Kaminsky was the man that hit most of the free throws, going 5-6 from the charity stripe in the closing minutes, to give Wisconsin a 65-55 victory.
Scoring: Sam Dekker of Wisconsin and Terran Petteway of Nebraska, both with 21 points.
Rebounds: Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin with 12 rebounds.
Assists: Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin with 4 assists.
Blocks: Frank Kaminksy of Wisconsin with 3 blocks.
Player of the Game: Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin did it all, with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks.
The Wisconsin Badgers (22-2, 10-1) will look to keep their Big Ten lead when they return to the Kohl Center to face the Illinois Fighting Illini (16-8, 6-5) on Sunday, February 15. Meanwhile the Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-11, 5-7) will resign themselves to the fact that they can only play spoiler for other teams for the rest of this season. The first team they could possibly spoil it for is the Purdue Boilermakers (15-9, 7-4) when they travel to the Mackey Arena also on Sunday.