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Huskers pick up first win of Fred Hoiberg era

Huskers pick up first win of Fred Hoiberg era
Courtesy/NU Media Relations

Cam Mack poured in a career-best 24 points and was one of four Huskers in double figures, helping Nebraska defeat South Dakota State, 90-73, Friday night.

The victory improved NU’s record to 1-2 and gave Head Coach Fred Hoiberg his first victory since taking over in Lincoln in April.

NU, which never trailed, used a strong first-half performance to take control, shooting 57 percent in leading by as 31 in the opening 20 minutes to take a 51-27 lead into the locker room.

The Huskers raced off to a 12-2 start, as Dachon Burke Jr. and Hannif Cheatham combined for nine early points for the Big Red, as both players finished with 17 markers. Kevin Cross was the fourth Husker to post double figures with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench.

Douglas Wilson did all he could to keep his team within striking distance early, scoring the first six points of the contest for SDSU, and the visitors were within 26-14 before Nebraska blitz the Jackrabbits with a 19-2 spurt. NU held SDSU to one field goal over a five-minute span, as the Huskers took their largest lead of the half at 45-14 on a Yvan Ouedraogo putback to cap a run of 13 straight points.

Nebraska held the Jackrabbits to 27 percent shooting, including 1-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half. The Huskers placed three in double figures in the opening 20 minutes with 14 from Mack, 12 from Burke and 10 from Cheatham.

In the second half, SDSU was never able to cut the deficit to less than 17 points. The Jackrabbits were within 56-53 with 16:49 left, but Nebraska used 13-6 spurt as Cross scored six of 10 point off the bench to stretch the lead back to 30. From there, the Huskers were in control and never led by less than 17 points.

For the contest, the Huskers scored 16 points off of 13 Jackrabbit turnovers. Many of those turnovers led to fastbreak opportunities, and Nebraska capitalized, scoring 20 fastbreak points overall. Defensively, the Big Red held SDSU to 3-of-21 shooting (14.3 percent) from behind the arc.

Wilson turned in a strong performance in a losing effort, finishing with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, as SDSU fell to 3-2 on the season with its second straight setback.

The Huskers return to action next Friday, Nov. 22, when the Huskers host Southern. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and a limited number of tickets are available at Huskers.com/Tickets or by calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office during business hours.

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