Nebraska comes alive in overtime, defeats Southern 93-86
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Yvan Ouedraogo was going to be aggressive when Nebraska went into overtime against Southern Friday. And the 6-foot-9 freshman center from France was just that, scoring six of his 11 points in the extra five minutes to lift the Huskers to a 93-86 win
“I was on the bench almost all of the second half, Ouedraogo said, “and I was like ‘If I’m going on the court, I’m going to go crazy.’”
Nebraska (2-2) which led by as many as 13 in the first half, made four of its five shots in the extra period, two of them Green 3-pointers, while Southern (2-3) made 3 of 9 field goals. The Huskers went up 84-82 on Ouedraogo’s dunk with 3:14 left, starting a 10-0 run capped by Green’s second 3-pointer at the 1:06 mark.
Green knew that shot was good when it left his hand. And he praised his teammates for fighting back in a game that saw Nebraska give up a 13-point first half lead, then fall behind by eight in the second half.
“It was great,” he said. ”The team responded beautifully. We got in the huddles and there was no complaining, no nothing. We were just lifting each other up. Even Yvan when he wasn’t in the game. You could see he was frustrated, so we picked him up, and look, he got a dunk. We told Matej (Kavas) to keep shooting. If we just keep going like that, we are going to be fine.”
Trailing 40-38 at half, Southern opened a 56-48 lead on Micah Bradford’s jumper with 14:06 left. Nebraska countered with a 7-0 spurt on pair of Thorir Thorbjarnarson 3-pointers and a free throw and tied the game at 61 on Green’s free throw with 10:45 left.
“Thor hit a couple big threes, then the starters came back in and, I thought, did a solid job,” said Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg. “I thought Thor was as good as any player on the floor tonight for us...then Jervey, obviously was phenomenal. Hitting those two threes is great for Jervey’s confidence.”
Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way. Darius Williams’s layup with 34 seconds remaining gave the Jaguars an 80-79 lead. Green hit one of two free throws to tie the score with 15 seconds left. Bradford missed a driving 10-foot jumper with two seconds left and a 3-point shot by Montese Blake hit the rim to send the game to overtime.
Nebraska opened a 33-20 first-half lead on Kavas’ 3-pointer with 5:07 left. But the Huskers made just one more field goal in the period and Southern used a 13-0 run to cut the halftime margin to two.
Southern coach Sean Woods was disappointed with the loss but pleased with his team’s effort.
“We made a couple key mistakes,” Woods said. “It’s hard, when you’re on the road like this, with everything. I tip my hat off to our guys. I tip my hat off to Fred because he kept his guys in it. It was a great test for them also. But our guys are getting there, and I’m liking what I’m seeing.”
The Huskers won despite being outrebounded 54-28 and hitting only 19 of 37 free throws.
“Not very often you give up 25 offensive rebounds and miss 18 free throws and win a game,” Hoiberg said. “But give out guys credit for finding a way. It’s certainly better to learn from a win than a loss.”
Bradford had a career-high 31 points to lead Southern. Williams and Damiree Burns had 14 points each.
Green led Nebraska with 22 points. Cam Mack had 16 points and 8 assists for the Huskers, Ouedraogo had 11 points and Kavas 10.
THE BIG PICTURE
Southern -- Friday’s game was the first of 12 consecutive road games for the Jaguars. Southern will play all six of its December games away from home. It will return to Baton Rouge on Jan. 11 to play Grambling State in a Southwest Athletic Conference opener.
Nebraska -- The Huskers will play their next five games on the road, three in the Cayman Islands Classic, at Georgia Tech and at Creighton. That will be Nebraska’s longest stretch of non-conference games away from home since the 2000-01 season.
Nebraska plays Washington State in the Cayman Islands Classic in Grand Cayman Monday
Southern is at Omaha Monday.