Leading 63-61 with 6:23, Verge and Walker keyed a decisive 9-1 run for the Nebraska, as the Huskers (4-2) pulled away in the six minutes. Verge had two baskets and an assist as he found Walker on a basket, as NU scored seven straight points to take a 70-61 lead. NU stretch the lead to 72-62 after a pair of Verge free throws with 2:15 left and held on by going 7-of-8 from the foul line in the final 1:10 to earn the victory.
Verge finished with 18 points and a career-high 10 assists for his second double-double of the year, while also adding five boards and a trio of steals. Bryce McGowens had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists while Walker had 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and six boards. Walker is now 19-of-20 from the field in his last three games.
C.J. Wilcher rounded out NU’s double-figure quartet with 15 points to match his career high as Nebraska shot 52.8 percent from the field, while holding the Tigers to just 41.3 percent (26-for-63).
Nebraska took control early on, jumping out to a 13-3 lead in the first five minutes, holding Tennessee State to 1-of-6 shooting in that stretch. The Tigers went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-14 lead after eight minutes of play. Both teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the first half, but Dedric Boyd sank a three pointer at the end of the first half to put the Tigers up 41-38 going into the break.
Boyd had 16 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, going 5-of-8 from long range in the opening stanza. As a team, Tennessee State (1-4) went 10-of-19 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes before cooling off in the second half hitting just 3-of-14 after intermission.
The Huskers opened the second half with seven straight points, building a 45-41 lead after a Bryce McGowens’ 3-pointer with 18:38 left. The Tigers would come back with an 11-4 run of their own, taking a 52-49 lead after a basket from Carlos Marshall Jr. with 13:01 left. NU regained the lead at 56-54 on a Wilcher 3-pointer, as he went 3-of-7 from long range, but neither team took control until NU’s late run,
Kassim Nicholson joined Boyd in double figured with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Huskers conclude the seven-game homestand on Saturday afternoon, when NU hosts South Dakota. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.