Men’s Basketball: Northwestern cruises to victory against Big Ten last-place Nebraska


Seeger Gray/The Daily Northwestern

Boo Buie passes to the corner. The Wildcats beat Nebraska handily with only three games left in regular season play

Aayushya Agarwal, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Although Northwestern and Nebraska rank toward the bottom of the Big Ten, the two teams delivered an entertaining contest Tuesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

NU’s 77-65 victory was led by senior forward Pete Nance, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Chase Audige came to play today as well. After consecutive poor performances, he nailed his first 3-point attempt to open the game’s scoring.

Coach Chris Collins was enthusiastic about Audige’s fifteen-point bounceback performance against the Cornhuskers (7-20, 1-15 Big Ten).

“I thought it was (Audige’s) best performance of the season, ” Collins said. “I love the fire Chase has. He made some big decisions on the offensive end.”

However, after several minutes of on-and-off shooting from the Cats and some grit from Nebraska, NU (13-13, 6-11 Big Ten) held only a mere 37-31 advantage at halftime.

Following the intermission, Nance buried NU’s first five points. By the first media timeout, the Cats had doubled their lead since halftime. Yet, once again, NU allowed Nebraska back into the game with some foul trouble, committing their seventh foul by the eight-minute mark. The Cornhuskers attempted 10 free throws in the second-half.

Nevertheless, the Cats countered Nebraska’s free throw attempts with timely shots. Junior forward Robbie Beran hit a three, extending NU’s lead to 66-47 right before the under-eight minute timeout. Soon after, Berry hit another jumper to give the Cats their first twenty-point lead of the contest.

Down the stretch, the Wildcats’ defense was momentous. In particular, back-to-back blocks by redshirt junior center Ryan Young and Nance at the four-minute mark propelled NU closer to victory.

“We had fight, intensity, and a sense of urgency,” Collins said. “Our defense early in the game was really swarming.”

In addition to the team’s defense, Collins praised his team’s efforts overall and looks ahead as the season winds down.

“It was important to come back out and just be us, and be the team we’ve played like for pretty much every game in the conference, whether win or loss,” Collins said. “That was there tonight. We had to get this one tonight, and our guys followed suit with that.”

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