Talley leads Nebraska past Northwestern 64-49
Cornhuskers end home losing streak
Northwestern had a 5-1 road record entering Saturday's game at Nebraska, while Nebraska hadn't won at home in nearly a month.
Naturally, in the topsy-turvy Big Ten Conference, Nebraska won -- handily.
Dylan Talley scored a conference season-high 20 points as Nebraska defeated Northwestern 64-49 before 8,874 fans at the Devaney Sports Center for its second Big Ten victory. It was Nebraska's largest margin of victory at home this season.
"It was nice to see the Devaney fans leave with a smile on their face," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "I thought the crowd was great. I thought they helped. Those home crowds can really help you."
Nebraska (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten) ended a three-game losing streak at home, winning its first home game since Dec. 29. Meanwhile, Northwestern (12-9, 3-5) couldn't maintain momentum after winning two of its last three games against ranked teams.
Dave Sobolweski scored 21 points, equaling his season-high point total, to lead Northwestern, while Jared Swophsire had 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
Northwestern was within 35-31 following Alex Marcotullio's 3-pointer with 13:10 remaining.
But Ray Gallegos, who was shooting 21.9 percent on 3-pointers in Big Ten games, hit three straight 3-pointers to give Nebraska a 44-33 lead with 9:50 remaining, and the Huskers led by double digits the rest of the way.
"That sort of turned things around," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said, "and then we got a little undisciplined defensively, and there were too many holes."
Gallegos, who didn't score in the first 27 minutes, finished with 11 points. His 3-pointers came after Northwestern had switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense, a move Carmody didn't second guess.
"I wanted to do it to just to generate some offense," Carmody said. "Get our hands on a few balls, get a couple of run-outs, see if we could get something easy, because it seemed like it was a struggle all night."
Sobolweski finished 8-for-16 from the field, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers, but the rest of the Wildcats were just 10-for-40 overall (25 percent). As a team, Northwestern was 6-of-29 on 3-pointers.
"We were in a position to guard their actions, and I thought we did," Miles said, crediting assistant coach Craig Smith for a strong scout of Northwestern's Princeton-style offense. "Toward the end, we made them one-dimensional. They shot almost 30 threes, and that was fine. You have to win the paint against Princeton teams, and tonight, we won it. That's a really important part of the game."
Nebraska shot 45.1 percent from the field and is 11-0 this season when shooting at least 40 percent.
"We didn't even think about the offensive side of the ball this game; we just knew we had to keep competing on the defensive side of the ball," said Talley, who held Northwestern guard Reggie Hearn to 2-of-11 shooting and six points, or eight under his team-leading average. "We knew that the offense would come later on, and eventually, it did."
Nebraska led 24-22 at halftime, despite making just one of its first 11 shots.
The Huskers trailed 10-5 after Sobolewski's first of three 3-pointers in the first half, but they responded with a 10-2 run, holding Northwestern without a field goal until the 4:21 mark.
Sobolewski's second 3-pointer pulled the Wildcats within 18-17, but after Northwestern switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense, Talley hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give Nebraska a 24-17 lead, its biggest of the first half.
"I thought defensively in the beginning we did a pretty good job," Carmody said. "I didn't think they were getting great shots. I thought we were getting pretty good shots, but after eight or nine minutes, it's only 10-5. I thought we had to capitalize more on the beginning of the game."
Freshman center Alex Olah scored an easy basket off a pick-and-roll play, and Sobolewski hit another 3-pointer from the same spot in front of the Nebraska bench, cutting the Huskers' lead to two points entering halftime.
Northwestern shot 8-of-25 in the first half, including 3-of-10 on 3-pointers.
NOTES: Nebraska guard Benny Parker had a steal and layup in the first half for only his second field goal in eight Big Ten games. ... Nebraska senior Brandon Ubel scored 14 points and climbed into the Top 50 of the school's all-time scoring leaders. ... This was Northwestern's first game in Lincoln since 1975 and its first with Nebraska as a member of the Big Ten. ... Northwestern entered the game allowing 61.3 points per contest. … Nebraska center Andre Almeida (head injury) did not play. … The teams shot a combined 19-for-39 (48.7 percent) on free throws.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting and The Sports Xchange. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.