Men’s Basketball: On Twosday, Northwestern heats up from 3-point range in win over Nebraska


Seeger Gray/The Daily Northwestern

Redshirt junior guard Chase Audige goes up for a layup. Audige had 15 points and five assists in Northwestern’s 77-65 win over Nebraska on Tuesday.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

On Twosday of all days, Northwestern was keen on attempting — and knocking down — a slew of 3-pointers in its win over Nebraska. 

“We made (13 threes) tonight, which really helped,” coach Chris Collins said. “We haven’t made shots, so making shots and seeing the ball going in was huge.”

The Wildcats’ willingness to let it fly from beyond the arc, however, threatened its lead in the first period. 

NU (13-13, 6-11 Big Ten) got off to a hot start behind strong showings from redshirt junior guard Chase Audige and junior guard Boo Buie. Audige was the first on the scoreboard, canning a triple 21 seconds into the game. Buie was proficient early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in quick succession just minutes later. 

But when the basketball gods giveth, they taketh away nearly as fast. The scorching hot nets quickly extinguished, as the Cats began to struggle from deep. NU missed eight of its next nine 3-pointers, and the Cornhuskers (7-20, 1-15 Big Ten) quickly climbed back into the game, cutting the Cats’ advantage to seven points. 

Junior forward Robbie Beran provided an answer with a second-chance 3-pointer, halting the Nebraska run and increasing the lead to 10. The double-digit advantage was short-lived, as the Cornhuskers trimmed the lead to six points before the intermission. NU made seven 3-pointers in the first half, but its 21 attempts almost eclipsed the Cats’ season average of 23.7 a game. 

Out of halftime, Nebraska immediately cut the lead to four points before Buie and senior forward Pete Nance responded with a 3-pointer each. Nance was the Cats’ best shooter on the night, connecting on four of five attempts from deep. 

“Nance was phenomenal,” Cornhusker coach Fred Hoiberg said. “When you have a spacing five like Pete Nance, it’s a game-changer, especially when they’re knocking down shots.”

Nance finished the night with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. But it was NU’s efficient shooting from 3-point range which separated the two squads. 

The Cats were an impressive 6-for-11 from three in the final 20 minutes. Nance, Buie, Beran and sophomore guard Ty Berry all saw the ball fall through the nylon from distance in the second half. After putting up 13 threes in its previous meeting with Nebraska, NU tied that mark on Tuesday. 

“Their defense was really aggressive in the second half and the threes were just there,” said Audige, who had 15 points and five assists. “We have great shooters. They were overhelping … and the drive and kicks were just there.” 

After struggling from beyond the arc in its most recent loss to Minnesota, the Cats were in dire need of a prolific shooting performance — and they got it today.

Only a trio of games remains on the schedule for NU before the Big Ten Tournament could very well wrap up its season. After beginning with such high expectations, Collins and company are looking to right the ship as the postseason looms large.

“This was a really important one for us tonight,” Collins said. “I was really proud of our sense of urgency right out of the gate and our energy was terrific … We’ve got three games left, and we’d like to try to climb the standings a little bit.”

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Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

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