LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Svi Mykhailiuk hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 23.2 seconds left, and No. 13 Kansas held on to beat Nebraska 73-72 and break out of a mini slump Saturday night.
Anton Gill missed a 3-pointer and James Palmer Jr. had his shot blocked by Udoka Azubuike on the Cornhuskers’ last possession, and Kansas was able to come up with the loose rebound and run out the clock to beat its former rival from the Big 12.
Azubuike had a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks (8-2), who got all they wanted from a determined Nebraska team playing in front of a sellout crowd that stayed after to watch the Huskers’ volleyball team play in the national championship match on the arena big screens.
Devonte Graham added 18 points and Mykhailiuk had 14 for the Jayhawks, who came into the game off losses to Washington and Arizona State. Palmer had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Huskers (7-5). Thomas Allen had a season-high 13 points, and Isaac Copeland had 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Jayhawks led 36-33 at halftime thanks to the work of Azubuike and Graham. The 7-foot, 280-pound Azubuike had his way inside against Jordy Tshimanga and two other defenders who tried to guard him, scoring 14 points in his 11 minutes before half. Graham made his first four shots, including three 3s, and had 11
Nebraska was able to keep it close even though point guard Glynn Watson Jr. was limited because of two quick fouls. Allen, who passed on a scholarship offer from Kansas, drove strong to the basket to tie it 30-all and went into the break with 10 points.
Kansas: The Jayhawks avoided their first three-game losing streak since February 2013. The Jayhawks are still trying to get themselves right before Big 12 play starts Dec. 29 at Texas. KU hosts Omaha on Monday and plays Stanford in Sacramento, California, on Thursday before taking off seven days.
Nebraska: The Huskers lost three times during their toughest four-game stretch of the season, but this is an improving team that could surprise in the Big Ten.
Kansas hosts Omaha on Monday. Nebraska hosts UTSA on Wednesday.