Nebraska 80, Illinois 57
Saturday, February 18, 2012 5:00 PM
Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
D.J. Carstensen, Ed Hightower, Earl Walton
Final Scoring Summary
NEBRASKA 80, INDIANA 57: Bo Spencer erupted for 27 points, to lead last-place Nebraska to a one-sided win over Illinois.
Nebraska (12-13, 4-10 Big Ten) snapped a four-game losing skid while handing Illinois (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten) its fifth straight defeat and avenging a 59-54 loss in Champaign on Jan. 7.
Spencer put the Cornhuskers ahead by 28 points on a confident pull-back three-pointer with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. He shot nine for 11 from the floor, including five three-pointers - part of a 56-percent shooting effort from Nebraska.
The Huskers struggled to keep the Fighting Illini away from the rim to start the game, but switched to a zone midway through the first half which stumped Illinois and led to a 17-2 Nebraska run to end the first half. That run carried over to the second half, with the Cornhuskers outscoring the Illini 36-5 between 8:35 of the first half and 14:08 of second half.
Caleb Walker put the crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on its feet with a thunderous one-handed alley-oop finish with just under eight minutes left in the second half. The senior finished with 13 points.
D.J. Richardson led Illinois with 14 points, but shot a dismal two for seven from beyond the arc. The Fighting Illini opened the game hitting seven of nine but finished shooting just 40 percent from the field and six for 23 from three-point range.
The frustration showed on the Illinois bench, with 7-footer Meyers Leonard breaking down in tears in the final minutes of the game. He scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Nebraska improved to 11-5 when scoring 60 or more points this season… Illinois didn’t take its first free-throw attempt until 14:08 of the second half… Illinois leading scorer Brandon Paul come off the bench to start the game. He scored only two points… The Illini haven’t lost five in a row since January 2008 – matching Bruce Weber’s longest losing streak… The Huskers trail the all-time series versus the Fighting Illini 8-3.
Illinois Fighting Illini