Piscataway, N.J. – Bryce McGowens’ 17 points led three Huskers in double figures, but Nebraska was unable to slow down Rutgers in a 93-65 setback Saturday afternoon.
McGowens had a team-high 17 markers for the Huskers, while Derrick Walker Jr. finished with 12 points and six boards. C.J. Wilcher added 11 points off the bench for Nebraska, which shot 49 percent, but committed 14 turnovers which led to 25 Rutgers points.
Ron Harper Jr. led all scorers with 29 points on 8-of-13 shooting to pace five Rutgers players in double figures. In all, the Scarlet Knights shot 58 percent from the field, including 10-of-18 from 3-point range. Aundre Hyatt had 13 off the bench while Clifford Omoruyi, Paul Mulcahy and Dean Reiber chipped in 10 points apiece for the winners.
Nebraska got off to another good start and was in solid position before Rutgers (9-5, 3-1 Big Ten) took advantage of some Husker foul trouble late in the first half to key a decisive run.
Nebraska was within 27-24 before Harper’s 3-point play with 5:30 left in the half marked the turning point. Walker picked up his third foul on the play and joined Lat Mayen, who has picked up his third foul on the previous possession, on the bench. Neither player played the rest of the first half, while Harper’s basket started nine straight for the hosts, which extended the margin to 36–24. NU was within 42-31 after a Keisei Tominaga 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in the half, and forced a turnover to potentially trim the lead to single figures before the half, but a Husker turnover and a basket by Reiber pushed the margin back to 13 at the break,.
The Huskers got the ball inside to Walker in the opening minutes of the second half, as his second basket of the half cut the deficit to 46-35 with 17:39 left, but would get no closer. Rutgers answered with an 11-2 spurt of its own, including eight straight from Harper to build a 20-poiont lead at 57-37 with just over 15 minutes left.
Nebraska would get to within 15 on three occasions, the least at 63-48, but could not cool down a Scarlet Knight attack that hit 10 of its first 14 shots after the break and shot 66 percent in the second half.
The Huskers return to action on Tuesday night, as they take on Big Ten co-leader Illinois. Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.