Lincoln — Jervay Green’s 15 points led four Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska opened its Italian Tour with an 87-56 win over Stella Azzurra Academy Monday evening. Green led a balanced attack that saw all 12 players who dressed break into the scoring column. Freshman Kevin Cross tallied 13 off the bench while Dachon Burke and Matej Kavas added 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Huskers who spent most of Monday morning touring Vatican City, got off to a slow start and trailed for most of the first five minutes before Kavas scored five straight points and a Burke basket gave the Huskers an 11-10 lead. The hosts were within 17-14 before Cross’ three-point play sparked an 8-2 NU run, as the Huskers extend their lead to 25-15 at the end of the first quarter. Nebraska continued to stretch the lead, scoring 18 of the first 21 points of the second quarter to push the lead to 43-18 after six straight points from Green and took a 47-28 lead into the locker room. In the third quarter, the hosts got to with 17 on two occasions, the last being 54-37, before baskets by Samari Curtis and Kevin Cross pushed the margin back to 21 points and NU led 64-41 at the end of three periods.
Nebraska opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run, including 3-pointers from Cheatham and freshman Charlie Easley, to put the lead back to 29 points. NU used its bench for a good portion of the period in posting the 31-point win. While Tuesday’s opener gave the Huskers a chance to get back on the court, the team spent most of the day touring Vatican City. The home of the Catholic Church, it is the smallest country in the world, taking just 200 acres in downtown Rome. The team toured the various museums on the grounds before heading into the Sistine Chapel to witness the wall featuring paintings from the Old and New Testaments while the awe-inspiring ceiling was painted by Michelangelo in the early 1500s. Another highlight was a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, where Saint Peter was buried and the largest church in the world.
For freshman Charlie Easley, who grew up in Lincoln and graduated from Pius X High School, the experience had a lot of meaning. “All of the historic things you hear about, you see and learn about in school and it is cool to see it in one place,” Easley said. “I went to Catholic schools growing up and hearing all about (the Vatican) and to see it is amazing. When I walked into the Sistine Chapel, the first thing I thought to myself is how they painted and built all of this. It was a pretty cool experience.” The Huskers will wrap up their stay in Rome on Tuesday including a trip to the Colosseum before leaving for Florence and a matchup with Silute Basketball Club Wednesday evening (1 p.m. Lincoln time)