Nebraska stifles No. 14 Minnesota, 78-68, behind 29 from Glynn Watson
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Glynn Watson Jr. scored 20 of his 29 points in the second half and Nebraska opened up a 16-point lead early in the second half en route to a 78-68 win over No. 14 Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Watson scored seven straight points to open the second half, and Duby Okeke’s dunk put Nebraska (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) up 48-32 with 15:35 left.
Minnesota (8-2, 1-1) made two of its first 10 shots in the half and struggled against the Huskers’ switching man-to-man defense.
Minnesota cut the lead to 67-53 after two free throws by Nate Mason with 4:37 left, but James Palmer Jr.’s 3 put Nebraska up by 17.
The Gophers forced a pair of turnovers, hit three 3-pointers in the final three minutes, and Reggie Lynch’s dunk with 1:01 left cut the lead to 72-64. Watson and Isaac Copeland made 6 of 8 free throws in the final minute to seal it.
The Huskers held Big Ten scoring leader Jordan Murphy to 10 points, 11 below his season average, and held high-scoring Minnesota 21 points below its season average.
Mason led Minnesota with 20 points, and Amir Coffey had 17 points.
Copeland finished with 12 points for Nebraska and Palmer had 11 points.
Minnesota missed six shots to open both halves. The Gophers hit just 32 percent of their shots Tuesday. They entered averaging 49 percent shooting.
Nebraska, an up-and-down shooting team, hit 47 percent of its shots, 57 percent in the second half. The Huskers shot just 27 percent in their 86-57 loss at Michigan State on Sunday.
Nebraska travels to Omaha on Saturday to meet intrastate rival Creighton, which dropped out of the AP Top 25 after being ranked for one week.
Minnesota is at Arkansas on Saturday to play its second road contest and third game of the week.